Ok, I think I may have given away a few clues as to what this post may be about. As much as I want to talk about the delicious amber nectar that is Kwak, this post is going to be dominated by Brown ales – or more correctly Bruin ales!
After leaving Amsterdam, we headed south into Belgium with a pit-stop in Antwerp before heading onto Brugge. I have stated many times that Brugge is my favourite European city and my faith was restored yet again upon arriving in the town square. I have yet to watch the Virgin media release, In Bruges, but it is high on my list of movies to see after what must be my fifth or sixth visit to the city. Brugge is a great place to go drinking, with more than enough bars, café’s and pubs serving up Belgium’s finest to satisfy your beverage needs. My favourite place to grab a beer is ‘t Hof Van Rembrandt a smallish café that has a modest beer selection and a nice outlook over a small square. In Summer it is an amazing place to sit, people watch and enjoy a beer during the long sun lit evenings. Some may argue that there are a lot better pubs such as De Garre and ‘t Brugs Beertje, but as I have been with my wife on every occasion, I simply have not been able to trounce around looking for these gems.
Anyhow, over the new year period when I was there I had a little bit of a fetish for Bruin ales. Some that spring to mind are, Grimburgen bruin, St Feuillien bruin and Kasteel bruin, with the latter being 11% abv and tasting sickly sweet. It poured almost like maple syrup! I also ordered a Brugge triple which I don’t think I was served. The beer tasted a lot like Leffe bruin to me and I feel I may have been swindled, but then I didn’t mind too much as I was in a bruin ale mood. Other highlights included Primus Haacht witbier which my mother-in-law bought me whilst my wife and father-in-law went climbing up the tower in the main square as well as a nice pint of unpasteurized Bruges Zot. I must say that I am not really a fan of this beer normally and find it a little bit rough, but I think I have been put off by an obnoxious lady from the USA who ruined the brewery tour for me a couple of years ago. The murky beer I had recently was a top spec
pint, over-sized wine glass. This leads me to Kwak, a favourite of mine just because of the novel glass and stand. I really appreciate the inventiveness involved. An over-sized wine glass in this instance would have been the easy option to take – full marks for effort and it does make the beer taste better.
In other exciting news: Did you know that you can die in North Korea by sleeping in a room with the fan on? Linky.