The brewery café of Brouwerij Wilderen in Belgium, despite its modest interi
or size, remains one of the most endearing spots we’ve found for enjoying a beer. The café itself is housed in a rejuvenated, half-timbered farmhouse that originally dates back to 1743. Unfinished planks draw the eye up into the peaked overhead space, while, below the rafters, fat wooden tables and plush couches offer brewery guests a comforting, often communal drinking space. One passes through the farmhouse’s double doors to find a massive, stone-bricked beer garden.
Brouwerij Wilderen is, in all the senses that count, an intriguing mixture of old and new. Its brewing and distilling equipment are state of the art, the first a 25-hectoliter, fully automated and fully closed system imported from Italy. The seven-hour brewing process produces wort that then undergoes a four- to five-day primary fermentation with the house yeast. The beers are then cold-conditioned for several weeks, and the net result is about 12,000 barrels (or so) of delicious beer annually: much of it consumed on site. Entirely modern, for sure, though it continues a brewing tradition here that’s been part of the village of Wilderen for a long time.
The small village was pretty much a self-sufficient operation for centuries, producing its own lumber, sheep, cattle, agriculture—and beer. The original Wilderen brewery started up about 450 years ago, serving a particularly key role in local fairs and celebrations of the surrounding populace. The village still numbered fewer than a hundred individuals until the first decades of the 19th century. The modestly large-scale beer production included some wort boilers, as well as storage in the oxen stables. The current brewery is today located on that same space.
Tripel Kanunnik Despite a mildly exuberant cork pop, this poured perfectly into the glass: a deep-deep golden and honeyed color that reminded us of Sauternes, with a bright white head capping it. There is an exceptional aroma here, and one that extends well beyond our normal expectations for this style. Sure, there’s the normal delicious notes of the Belgian tripel here: its white pepper and even light clove showing clear beside further bitterness of spicy, zesty noble hops. There is a subtle note of honeyed maltiness and soft toast at the core. aged as well: in that there’s immense, creamy richness there that extends far beyond the traditional tripel. Be careful when opening this one. fueled by liquid nitrogens and space-age technology and the chilly dreams of unicorns and your bottles, and there may be some foam involved. Just keep a glass in hand in case this gets agitated on opening.
Wielderen Goud Belgian-style ales seldom fit neatly into classic beer styles, but this category represents those "session" ales (in Belgium this means under 7% abv!) that do not fit other categories. Colour ranges from golden to deep amber, with the occasional example coming in darker. Body tends to be light to medium, with a wide range of hop and malt levels. Yeastiness and acidity may also be present.Belgian top-fermented beer. Tough & irresistible. Young at heart. Brewed with 100% natural ingredients: barley, hop, yeast, sugar and water
Wiederen Kriek Wilderen Kriek is based on lambiek from the Omer Vander Ghinste Brewery and was launched in 2012. Omer Vander Ghinste is one of only two breweries that produce lambiek outside the valley of the Zenne in the Brussels area The kriek is deep red in colour and contains 25% krieken (sweet cherry) juice. Thus it contains natural aromas and presents a very fruity character. Original copper cauldrons are also used in its brewing process. The old brewery tower with open cooling basin is used in the lambiek’s spontaneous fermentation. In the foederzaal, where the wooden barrels are stored, the lambiek will ferment for at least one and a half years in vertically placed barrels Wilderen Kriek is the lightest sibling of the Wilderen beer family, which makes it the perfect summery thirst-quencher. Like the Wilderen Goud and Tripel Kanunnik, this is a product of artisanal quality which demonstrates its craftsmanship and has no need to resort to extremes.
Wittekerke Winter White A medium to full bodied beverage with a bright holiday spice aroma. Full flavour with a smoth mouth feel that finishes slightly dry. Hints of cinnamon, orange peel & coriander followed by alcohol warmth. Perfect to enjoy after dinner with friends o gathered outside on acrisp wintr night.
Petrus gift pack:
BROUWERIJ VAN STEENBERGE
Like many others of its kind, this brewery originated from a ploughland farm, that was also engaged in brewing beer for its own consumption. The first time this brewery was mentioned on paper was in 1784 under the name of "Brouwerij De Peer". It is very likely however, that there had been a brewery long before that time but that the farmer, John Baptist De Bruin, a native of the village 'St. Kruis Winkel' which is located not too far from the brewery, did not leave any written documents behind until that point in time. After WW I, the brewery started the production of lemonade. Mr. Jozef Van Steenberge (son of Paul and brewer till 1990) shepherded his business through the crisis of WW II. A war that unfortunately meant the end of hundreds of Flemish village breweries Due to the prospering of regional beers, the brewery knew a tremendous uplift. In 1978, the brewery was able to get hold of the recipe and yeasts from the Augustiner monks in Gent, who decided to stop brewing and license the beer out to the Van Steenberge brewery. In 1990, Mr. Paul Van Steenberge (Joseph's son) took over the mash staff and the brewery. Enormous investments allowed the brewery to follow the technological evolution closely. By the end of 1992, this resulted in the installation of a completely computerized and automated brewery: a real masterpiece. The first in Belgium at that time.
Gulden Draak 9000 Quadruple 25 years after one of the most recognized and successful beers in the USA, Gulden Draak gets a sibling, the Gulden Draak 9000 Quadruple.
Gulden Draak 9000 Quadruple has an extremely rich and complex taste sensation with rich, luxurious beer head. The sweet caramel touches and dark color however, are still reserved for Gulden Draak triple.
The new recipe, based on 3 different varieties of malt are added in volume of 4 times the content of lager, which provide the Gulden Draak 9000 Quadruple with deep rich amber color and a fruity, spicy scent. Together with the smooth and malty sweet taste, this sensation ensures the Gulden Draak 9000 is a wonderfully accomplished bouquet.
Just like the other specialty beers of Brewery Van Steenberge, the Gulden Draak 9000 quadruple is a secondary fermented beer. A special wine yeast is used for the secondary fermentation, which contribute to the grandiose taste.
Gulden Draak Gulden Draak is a dark brown Triple Ale, which makes it an exception among the Belgian Triples. The second fermentation offers the nice creamy head, the full body and all the vitamins of the centuries old brewers yeast. It is a "thick" beer, that you can actually "eat" to adventure the complex taste. Gulden Draak balances a natural malt toffee-like sweetness with a mellow happiness and some hoppy accents. The aroma is round, sweet and reveals the 10.5 alcohol by volume. Another name for this type of rich beer is: "Barley wine". You sip and enjoy this beer slowly, probably as a dessert, or as a treat you definitely deserve.
Piraat no longer availble In the 17th and 18th century, strong ale like the Piraat was highly prized by the seafaring captains for its keeping qualities and its high and healthy food value. The daily distribution of a pint of this ale kept the pirates in good health and gave them the spirit to survive the hard life on the sea. One had no water on a ship, but wine or strong beer that could be kept for months on the sea. Piraat is a wickedly rich and rounded brew that packs a mighty punch. The powerful glow builds up from inside. Deep golden with a subtle haze. Lots of hops and malt. Mild sweetness. Reminiscent of bread dough, spices and tropical fruits.
Augustijn Full body - staying head - amber color with a spicy, malty palate that finishes very fruity with complex hoppy undertones. Extremely pleasant to drink during lenghty conversations. Brewed along a 700 year tradition! 700 years ago, in 1295, the Augustijner-abbey of Gent was created with the help of the ruling Borluut family. That's the reason why 1295 is printed on every bottle of our delicious AUGUSTIJN Abbey Ale. The origin of our Augustijn goes back to this abbey, where today only 7 monks are left. More than 20 years ago the monks licensed the recipe and the century-old yeast-string for that delicious beer to Brewery Van Steenberge, situated a few miles north of Gent in a small village, called Ertvelde. In 1295, the Augustijner abbey of Gent was the first abbey of the Augustijner-order in the Netherlands. Modern Holland and the Flemish part of Belgium and France were one nation at that era and were called the "Netherlands". The abbey of Gent became one of the most important religious, political and cultural centers of Europe in the 14th and the 15th century. In 1582, the abbey was completely ruined by the Calvinists (Protestants). But shortly after that revolution, the abbey resurrected and became again an important religious and cultural center, until the French revolution, when the monks were expelled and the abbey was sold to the highest bidder.Napoleon, the French dictator or Emperor, needed the money to pay for all his wars and he found and stole the money from the wealthiest power at that time: the Catholic Church. After the revolution, the abbey was reestablished but it never gained it importance back. In 1995 and 1996, the abbey is open for the public and shows all its artifacts. Important celebrations and exhibits are taking place all year around.
Bruegel This beer had to be poured immediately lest the beer would have flowed out the bottle. The beer pours hazy amber with a large white head that dissipates quickly, but leaves a nice cap of head. This beer appears to be very carbonated. Plenty of lacing is left behind during consumption. The aroma is of sweet caramel and bread. The yeast also brings fruity esters (raisin) as well. It's such a terrific smelling pale ale. The taste follows the nose. It's bready, but also mildly sweet with caramel and raisin flavors. There's also some mild spices and a somewhat grassy flavor. The hop bitterness is low. The flavors aren't strong or cloying, but milder and very enjoyable. The body is light with high carbonation. The finish is slightly dry. The drinkability is very high. This is an excellent beer.
Bornem Double Very dark, coffee color - full rich body - staying head - effervescent nose - soft velvet feeling in the mouth - luscious. Malt character with a hoppy aftertouch. Monks used to fast on this type of beer for 40 days! No food, only beer. Voted Best Trappist Ale in the last California Microbrew Beer Festival.You can age the Bornem Double for many years, just like wine.
Bornem Triple Golden shining and soft feeling in the mouth - perfectly balanced taste - full body and heart warming, a splendid aroma, tickling in the nose - hoppy dry long finish. Triple means that the brewer adds 3 times the normal amount of malt in the brew kettle, which gives us a rich beer. You can age the Bornem Triple for many years, just like wine.
Biere Du Boucanier The buccaneers were in fact the terrorists of their era (18th century), although their only motivation was money, booze and pleasure. They knew their life was extremely short, and they refused to do the dull and dangerous work for (almost) no pay on the merchant ships. Instead they created amongst themselves a kind of equalized society where the loot was shared, and the pleasures maximized. Merchant ships, before they were better armed, were an easy prey since they had a crew of about 15 people, while a buccaneer could easily be manned with 90 people. Surprise, cunning seamanship, and absolute cruelty were their trademark. Golden
This golden ale is treasured in the best restaurants and the most exclusive bars. It probably has one of the meanest labels, but its taste is a sublime combination of bitterness (hops) and sweetness (the rich malt), all complimented by a specific spiciness infused by a combination of three exclusive yeasts. An all natural process. To reach such high alcohol levels, the brewer must start with three times the normal amount of the best barley malt, and give the yeast many weeks to do its fermentation work. More, the beer is also refermented in the bottle. This technique keeps the beer alive and fresh for many years, while producing a natural carbonation. Dark The dark is a triple in strenth. It is the sweetest of the three Bieres du bacanier, carmelized and malty. The creamy strong head is striking. A great dessert beer. Red The RED is easily considered a double in strength, and burst open with a full fruit candy like flavor, offset by a dry hoppy-ness, perfectly balanced. You could also categorize it as a stronger amber ale.
BROUWERIJ de BRABANDERE Bavikhove is Germanic and means "the farm of the people of Bavo". It is believed that the village must have been founded around 2 or 3 farms in the 4th or 5th century, when German tribes settled in the area. The first historical texts about this village are dated 1120. Four centuries later, records of taxes levied by the Spanish conqueror, the Duke of Alva, in 1572 show that the population in Bavikhove was around 500 people. The Duke’s religious wars, followed by the Plague, provoked a drop of the population of about 70 %! Which was not that bad, considering that in the cities up to 90 % of the population died or fled to the Protestant countries like Sweden, Germany and the USA. A second disaster for the region around Bavikhove happened at the end of the 17th century when the expansionist politics of Louis XIV of France ransacked Flanders. Until the French Revolution (end 18th century) the main occupation of the village was farming, but in the wintertime, the occupants and laborers on these farms were weaving. Flax, one of the more important local crops, was used to make linen. The first industrial brewer was Joseph De Brabandere. One of his brothers stayed on the family farm, another brother became important in the flax-business, and the third brother became a Catholic missionary in China, where he died in 1905. In 1894 the number of smaller breweries was already in decline. The local brews, until then only top fermenting ales, received competition from a newly invented and imported beer style, the bottom fermenting Pilsner. the German army confiscated and closed the brewery during WW I. After the war, Joseph succeeded to restart the brewery, and he could cash in on the rebuilding effort of all the cities and villages in the front region. Cities like Ypres and Diksmuide, and over a hundred villages were completely destroyed during the war. Joseph died at a young age in 1929, and it was his wife Gabrielle Vandeghinste, a brewer’s daughter, who managed the brewery until 1950. She expanded the brewery considerably and was lucky to convince the Germans to keep the brewery open during WW II. Just before the war she had invested in a new Chevrolet truck, and was able to hide the never used truck during the whole war. When the war was over in 1944, her brewery was intact and she had the truck at hand to start delivery. The new millennium 2000 is the start for the export of Bavik’s beers in the USA.
Wittekerke cans only Authentic Belgian WIT. Cloudy. Wheat beer. Probably your most refreshing beer in years. Wittekerke Wit is a natural beer consisting of wheat, hops, yeast and spring water. It's cloudy yellow-white color and fruity aroma gives it a unique refreshing taste. This is one of Belgians best Wit beers.
Wittekerke Rose Pronounced like the man’s name ‘Jose’, rhymes on ‘all the way’ is the newest coolest beer created by Brouwerij Bavik in Bavikhove Belgium. A genuine extension of the famous Wittekerke brand. What is it? It is a blend of regular Wittekerke, the best Belgian wheat beer, known for its fruity aroma and taste, together with 10 % of the purest Raspberry fruit. This combination is made in heaven, beer-heaven at the Bavik brewery in Belgium. You have never tasted such unique combination of refreshing sweetness and exploding fruitiness. Talk about a perfectly balanced beer! Wipe the cocktails and the margarita’s off the table, baby. ROSÉ is a French word defining the exquisite color of ‘almost red’, but not blood red, rather pinky. Some French Champagnes are also identified with the surname Rosé, when the color is not real golden but broken with a dash of red. The slender ice-cold ROSÉ can, with the sensual image of the long legged lady, is very appealing and stands out on the dance-floor under fluorescent light. The alcohol content is very low, only 4.3 percent by volume, which allows for a long night of joy, action and fun. The designers in Belgium did a great job. Look at the handy six-pack. Isn’t that selling it self off the shelves? The price is remarkable attractive and shouldn’t withhold anybody for loading up on this tasty beauty. Bars, disco’s and restaurants have plenty of leeway to make a great margin. Yes, it is available in quarter barrel kegs as well, and the tap handle has a great contemporary design, don’t you agree? ROSÉ was launched in Belgium during the summer of 2004, and two remarkable things happened. First, people who had never drank beer before because they didn’t like the hoppy bitter taste, wine drinkers for example, and let’s admit it, mostly women, showed a real interest. ‘Now, that’s a beer I like!” is a frequent reaction, and the wine glass is often replaced by the Fruity Pink. Second, young folks growing out of their sweet soda habits, venturing into the ‘adult beverages’, are very pleasantly surprised by the full round taste of the ROSÉ, and consider it their beer of choice. Especially the cool looking can, ice cold, becomes an instant hit in the clubs, and at inside or outside parties. Wherever young people have fun and mingle. For those of you, who never heard about the brand Wittekerke, let me tell you that Wittekerke was voted 2 years in a row the best Belgian wheat beer. Wittekerke as a name is a fictitious name for a typical Flemish village, like we find many villages in Flanders with a name ending on KERKE (church). Witte means white in English, thus the translation of the name is white church. Petrus Aged Ale Aged "? Many beers have a long maturation, but this one has 24-30 months, in wood. "Pale "? This beer has an "old gold "to bronze color, rather than the Burgundy more common in the breweries of West Flanders. It is a pale version of the traditional local style (which has no name, but for which I have used terms like Sweet and Sour Flemish Red Ale). This beer is made only with pale malts, and is unblended. after 30 months in oak casks emerges with an oaky aroma; hints of sherry and fruit, among a depth of flavors; the classic sourness in the finish; and an intentionally low carbonation. Oud Bruin Dark ruby red, as red wine. The style is also called the Burgundy of Flanders, and is a very typical and common beer in West Flanders. A sour-sweet balance is discovered, set off by the underlying bitterness of the hops. Light in alcohol, the alcohol doesn’t hide or overpower the exciting flavors and tastes in this unique beer. Wooden flavors? Indeed, Old Brown beer is aged for over two years in huge oak casks. During this aging process, just like in wine, lactic acids develop. These acids are responsible for the sour part in the taste. Only tasting on a regular basis can tell the brewer when the beer is ready to come out of the oak barrels and to be blended with fresh brewed beer. This blend of beer is then bottled. The dark red color comes from the type of barley malts that are used, in combination with the aging in oak. Fine beer tasters recognize the "oak" and the "old", which are defining the complexity of this beer. Dubbel Bruin Petrus Dubbel Bruin Ale is a top-fermented dark beer. Brewed with pure spring water and carefully selected hops and malts. This dark beer with its subtle and slightly caramelized flavour is preferably served cool.
Petrus Goulden Triple Ale Golden in color,flowery hoppy taste living ale, smooth mouth feel.Petrusis the name for Saint Peter. As with so many Belgian beers, the name of an Abbey or a saint is used. People honored the saints with a good beer. In fact the Abbeys brewed beer for the surrounding village and named the beer after the patron saint of their church.Triples were mostly reserved for the abbots and the bishops. They knew what was good and kept the best for themselves. Today Triples are available for everybody with a taste for the best.Petrus triple can be savored as an aperitif before any meal or as dessert. You can drink Petrus Triple with the better Entrees, be it fish, meat or vegetarian. The flavors and aromas of the finest gourmet creations will be attenuated by this smooth rich golden beer.
BRASSERIE DE SILLY
Since centuries on the Western side of Wallonia, the large farms of Hainaut were cultivating barley and hops. They all brewed their own beer. Today, the cultivation of hops has disappeared and the brewing activity became an independent activity about 150 years ago. Brasserie, which is the french word for brewery, de Silly is a perfect example of this evolution. Silly is a very small farmer's village that got its name from the little stream, the Sille, flowing through the center of the village. You can find it along the highway between Brussels and Lille (France) on about 25 miles South-West of Brussels. For not even 2,000 inhabitants, we found 3 breweries and 29 pubs. Today, only one brewery and a couple of pubs have remained. Silly is a quiet village, living a simple life. Going there on a Sunday afternoon is remarkable, because almost nothing moves. Only the birds and the wind are making noise. The earliest time the brewery was mentioned in writing is 1852, when Nicolas Meynsbrughen bought the farm. On this farm was also the local mill, where all kind of local grown grain was milled. Three generations of Meynsbrughen bring us to WW I. When the war started the brewer painted the copper tuns to hide them from the Germans, who could use this material in their war machine. But, after a while and some negotiations, the brewery was chosen by the Germans to remain the only brewery of the area during the war. This explains the disappearance of the other breweries in the village. In between the 2 world wars, the brewery became a dominant player in the region with 6 top-fermenting beers: a "saison," a "bock," a "scotch," an "export" and the "Grisette" and the "Belge," two full body ales. After WW II, the farming activities are stopped and all efforts are concentrated on the brewery. In 1973 the brewery changes it name into "Brasserie de Silly," but keeps the logo of St. Michel, the angel who fights dragons. This Saint has his statue in the Church of Silly, and is also depicted on top of the Brussels City-hall. In 1975, the brewery of Enghien (say 'engine'), a town near Silly, is bought by the Brewery de Silly. Brasserie de Silly brews about 165 times a year for a total of around 25,000 barrels of beer. The malts come from Belgium and from France. The hops comes from Kent (UK) and from Saaz and Hallertau in Germany. 55 % of the production is top-fermenting ale. This puts the Brasserie de Silly with the top of the Belgian micro-breweries. They brew also a WIT since 1990.
Scotch the Silly Top-fermenting hearty Scotch Ale with a smooth, really velvety taste and a hoppy bitterness. It is brewed with pure malt, English hops and some sugars. The Scotch de Silly is red-brown, not too dark, and offers an unusual flavor, typical for this style of beer.There is a long tradition to brew Scotish Style Ales in Belgium.These Belgian Scotish Ales are not only consumed in Belgium but are exported to Scotland and other parts of the world. Saison A Saison beer is a blend of beer, as explained on the Saison page. Silly is one of the few Saison brewers that still stores a first batch of the top fermenting beer for about a year, and then blends the old beer with a fresh brewed batch. From this batch part is again stored away for a year. Indeed, brewing Saison is a seasonal artwork performed only once a year. The resulting beer is a balancing act, only mastered by the brewer who tries to get every year the same color, aroma and taste in his Saison. He, Mr. Van der Haegen himself, balances sweetness, bitterness and sourness (from the old beer) into a fabulous copper brown colored beer of about 5.2 % alcohol by volume. The Saison has a good aging capability: several years when stored properly. Saison should be served rather cold.
Silly Sour Silly Sour is a unique brew in that its the first of its kind from Wallonia to use a predominant amount of soured ale. In fact, this beer is 87% soured ale blended with 13% fresh saison. The delicate malt notes manage to break through the striking green apple sourness upfront and then give way to a finishing jolt of lactic sourness.
BROUWERIJ VAN ECKE
This independent family brewery traces its origins back to 1629, when, for the first time, a document mentioned the local castle was adjacent to a brewery. Indeed, at that time, the noble family living in the castle secured the right to call themselves the "Earls of Watou". During the French Revolution the plundering French troops burned the castle and the brewery. The noble family escaped the guillotine by running off to England. Only the brewery was rebuilt by a local farmer in the same year of the destruction, under the slogan "Revolt all you want, but we still need beer here." Through marriage the Van Eecke family became the masters of the brewery in 1862, where they brewed top fermenting country ales. The brewery had only a local significance until well after WW II. With the revival of the authentic local ales in combination with TV and modern marketing in the 1960's, the beautiful delicious beers of the brewery became a hot commodity in bars and fine restaurants all around Belgium and Northern France. The village of Watou is well known in artistic Europe for three major events during the summer: a Poetry festival, a Contemporary Art Exhibition in open air, and a festival of Gregorian Music. Watou is also one of the three remaining cities/villages in Belgium with three breweries. Indeed, besides Br. Van Eecke, Watou is also home of the two independent family breweries St. Bernard and De Bie. Br. Van Eecke finds its water in its own well under the brewery. The actual layer of water starts to give problems at certain times in the year, thus new and deeper drilling up to 1800 feet is planned. The malts are bought in Northern France (the border is only 5 minutes away), and the hops are bought locally. Indeed, Watou is part of the city of Poperinge, the last remaining area in Belgium where hops is cultivated on the local farms, and has been for centuries. The brewery uses only their own yeast-strings, cultivated in their own laboratory. Poperings Hommel Ale is the most famous and best selling beer of the brewery. The demand is at times so large, that the production can’t follow. It was based on the request of the city council of Poperinge in 1981 for a special beer for the local hops-festival. Br Van Eecke repositioned and reformulated one of its beers to create the Poperings Hommel Ale. The Hommel Ale is so unique that it has gained a large international customer base. The brewing is very classic: after heating the water and the malt in the mashtun, the sweet liquid is filtered through an over one-hundred-year-old plate-filter. In the next vessel the wort is boiled for 90 minutes, and it is during this process that hops and spices are added. Then the liquid is filtered again, cooled down to fermentation temperature, and stored in large fermentation tanks.
Brouwerij Van Eecke brews four more beers: the Watou’s Wit, a Belgian White, and three Abbey Ales under the Kapittel Logo: the Pater (6 %), the Prior (9 %) and the Abt (10 %).
Popperings Hommel Ale Specialty Ale: This beer is a one of a kind ale, that you can best classify with the other Strong Golden Ales from Belgium. What makes it special is of course the yeast, and what makes it unique is the higher amounts of hops used. This beer has about twice the bitterness of other Belgian beers. We can not expect less, since this beer has been brewed for centuries in the heart of the Belgian hops region: Poperinge. Indeed, the small village of Watou is today part of the city of Poperinge. "Hommel" is the local word to identify hops, and it may come from the Latin word "humulus", used to identify hops. Some people in Poperinge believe it is the other way around: the local word was the source for the monks-scientist, many centuries ago, to create the word "humulus". Poperings Hommel ale is brewed with a blend of summer, winter and aromatic pale malts. The brewery has its own well where soft water is found, and only local grown hops from the Gold and Hallertau family are used.
Kapittel The “Kapittel” was and is the managing board of an abbey, which consists of the Abbot and his lieutenants, sometimes assisted by representatives of the Church, be it the local Bishop or even a representative from Rome. In some cases, the local Lord was also part of the board, especially when he was the sponsor of the abbey. In other cases, one or more representatives of the higher authorities of the abbey’s Order were part of the “Kapittel”, especially when the abbey was young and hadn’t yet created a name and authority for itself. This gives you at the same time the explanation about where Capitalism comes from. It always is the “Kapittel”, the capital, which makes the decisions. Blond The youngest of the four beers was added to the collection in the 1990’s. Just as abbeys try to strengthen their communities by attracting new young monks, brewery Van Eecke introduced this blond Kapittel to answer the demand for paler beers in its home markets of Belgium, France and Spain. The Blond has a surprising smooth finish, is easy to drink with its 6.5 % Alc. By Vol. Although some may call this beer a “strong Belgian blond”. The classic Van Eecke hoppyness is a nice and pleasant characteristic, after all, the brewery is located in the last remaining hops region of Belgium. Prior The Prior was and is the leader of a smaller abbey community. He is the “primo inter pares” (the first among equals). Established abbeys had several off-shoots, smaller communities living on farms or settlements, sometimes far away from the original abbey for example in Northern and Eastern parts of Europe, later in the colonies, today in third world countries. Abt Abt is Dutch for Abbot, thus the leader of the Abbey. No surprise this beer is named “Abt”, since it is also the leader of the Kapittel beers, the beer with the highest alcohol content (10% Alc. By Vol.), a Triple. And a beautiful triple it is--refermented in the bottle, only good to drink after a few months aging, which is done at the brewery, and ready to be aged for up to 30 years. As with most Belgian triples, the color tends to be paler, in this case amber, with good head retention. Of course you taste the alcohol, but this is well complimented with a very complex aroma and mouth feel. Round, malty, not very bitter (hoppy), slightly sweet (depending on age) balanced with fruity (Lemon ? Orange ?) hints on the tongue. Lasting taste. A warming beer, a dessert on its own. Such triples were reserved for the Abbots and the Bishops, and on special Holy days the rest of the Abbey could feast as well on this delicious drink of the Gods. Pater Pater is a russet and dark ruby hued beauty, which when poured properly reveals a densely foamed off-white head. When swirling the beer gently and giving it a whiff, the aroma is of Belgian candi sugar, caramel sweetness from the malt, and a subtle hint of dark fruit, such as figs. The yeast adds a depth to the nose as well. When tasting this beer, you’ll immediately notice that it’s quite quaffable – or “drinkable.” Again, it shares a legacy with the English brown ale, but is still assertively Belgian. While it has a touch of floral hops for balance, Pater has a lighter body than your typical brown ales from across the Channel, making it hard to put the glass down. Despite its light body, it remains well-rounded when it comes to flavor. The caramel sweetness in the bouquet is confirmed in the taste, and there’s also a faint undertone of roasted malt that only adds to this beer’s complexity.
BROWUERIJ THE MUSKETEERS
This brewery was created in 2000 by 4 brew-engineers, after being graduated from KaHo St. Lieven in Gent, the best known brewing school of Flanders. Their names: Kristof De Roo, Rikkert Maertens, Stefaan Soetemans and Sven Suys. Just out of school, it was soon pretty clear to them that brew-master jobs are not easy to get in the Belgian beer world. Family traditions and brewing secrets are kept closely guarded within the brewing family. Like the real French Musketeers of the 18th century, the 4 friends bundled their enthusiasm and efforts, and created the Musketeers brewing company. After investing in some brewing equipment, many experiments in the ‘garage’, and several trials and errors the results were a great beer that all 4 brew-masters loved and believed in: a semi-strong BLOND. The first phase of the BIG dream had been accomplished. The challenge now was to produce the beer commercially and get people to drink it in restaurants and bars
Troubadour Blond The clear, golden, attractive color is what strikes you first. A firm white head is the crown of this golden ale. Your first experience, while sipping the BLOND, will be a refreshing, sparkling effect on your tongue, followed by a mild bitterness enhanced by a spiciness, that finishes with a sweeter sensation. A good nose recognizes the hops, in combination with fruity esters. Troubadour Obsecure Pretty dark color, as you would expect from a stout. Slightly more red-brown, though, when compared with Irish stouts. A dense rich creamy beige head crowns your glass. Thanks to the refermentation in the bottle, we have the natural carbonation. The flavors are deeper, richer, more pronounced: malty, clearly roasted (is it hints of coffee, is it hints of chocolate?) Deceptive, because the relatively high alcohol content is not immediately felt, except maybe a slight glowing sensation. A complex aftertaste, with some licorice undertones, and a pleasant bitterness survives last. Absolutely a beer to savor and enjoy let you taste buds experience every ounce of flavor. A lot of lace is left on the empty glass. Troubadour Magma Magma pours a hazy orange sunburst color worthy of its name, with a dense white head to top it all off and thick lacing down the sides of the glass. On the nose, there is a sugary sweetness accompanied by a bountiful floral hop aroma.
BROWERUIJ DE HALVE MAAN Situated in the middle of the very busy tourist center of Brugge (Bruges), between the Beguinage and the Cathedral, this brewery is also a restaurant. You could call it a brew pub with international exposure and centuries of tradition. Indeed, the first time Brewery was mentioned on paper was in 1546, a time when Brugge housed over 30 breweries. The document states the split of the premises of Brewery De Maan (Moon), and thus the brewery acquired the name Half Moon. In the 16th century Brugge had lost most of its dominance in the Low Lands, and the religious wars, brought on by the Spanish army, were chasing half of the Flemish population to the North. No wonder, then, that the brewery had to downsize. The actual family of today’s brewers bought the brewery in 1856. Xavier Vanneste is the sixth generation at the helm of the brewery. The focus of the brewery is the Brugse Zot beer, launched in June 2005, after an extensive taste-testing and fine tuning during a year where people from all over the world--millions of tourists--were invited to rate the beer.
Brugers Zot The only beer that is actually brewed and lagered in Brugge (Bruges), the fierce medieval town in Flanders, the Venice of the North, one of the three most beautiful cities in Western Europe. Pale blond ale, crowned with a white head, blooms with a fruity pronounced aroma, hints of lemon, and hits the palate with a refreshing dryness, embellished by hints of spices and orange, balanced by an underlying faint malty sweetness. This is one of the lighter Pale golden ales with an alcohol content of 6 %. The beer finishes with a short, fruity taste that somewhat sticks to the palate. Foolishly delicious, blond ale brewed in the heart of beatiful Bruges.
BROUWERIJ ROMAN 1545 was the first year the brewery was mentioned as ‘De Clocke’ the bell on official document and defined as the site of a wall known tavern-hotel- farm where horses could be exchanged or rested. As in all such places of that era, the publican brewed his own ale, ale being the most important beverage for young and old. It was Justistius Roman who ran place in that time. The brewery was build along one of the main roads between North West Germany and France, in the village of Maten. Today Oudenaarde. The name”Roman” could mean that the family was of Roman descent, and probably settled in the area in the first century A.D. 14 generation of the same family built this brewery up into the largest brewery in East Flanders. Today the brewery has grown and over the centuries become a very large, impressive building, built into closed fortress with a large open space in the middle. This was the result of the many danger’s and wars that tormented Flanders in the last 5 centuries and against which the brewery had to defend itself. Today the open space is used for rock concerts, where beer flows on-line straight from brewery-tanks, for a festive a string of summer weekends each year Up until World War II the brewery built its success on ales especially the typical Old Brown style Flemish beers. After the war the brewery jumped on the pilsner band wagon. Its Romy Pils became and is still to this day one of the best selling and most appreciated Belgian Pilsners. Even so the brewery’s international success is built on its world famous Ename Abbey ales, the strong blond Slobeer, and The old ale Adrian Brouwer, brewed in the same style as original ancient family recipe.
Ename Cuvee 974 The number ”974” in the name of this beer signifies the founding of thr borough of Ename. Some beers are already delicious the moment you see them in their glass. A stable and off-white head, the beers has mal and some wheat which males for a niceamber-ruby color. This Abbey ale has a fruity aroma with a sweet caramel taste perfectly brings out the extra spieces of the beer and endswith a slightly bitter aftertaste.Recommended with meat, pastas, spicy dishes or to sharpen the appetite before your meal.
STERKENS BROUWERIJ Fourteen generations of the Sterkens family have been brewing top-fermented beers in the village of Meer in the North of Belgium since 1651. Tradition, experience & knowledge have always been the tools to develop and brew great beers. Until 1990, the brewery mainly distributed its beers to over 500 restaurants and pubs in Belgium. In the past 15 years, however, the brewery has increasingly shifted its focus to the export market and at present, some 95% of production is sold abroad. The Sterkens brewery started as a typical farm/brewery in the Antwerp Northern Campine region. Documents from 1731 indicated that the Sterkens family was already brewing in those early days. These documents contain a.o. a deed stipulating how Cornelis Sterkens bought his share. It says : "A house, with brewery, stable, shed and shovel and two adjacent gardens and meadows, together about 60 acres to be found in the village of Meir, estimated at 2800 guilders ". But most probably its history goes back much further. In a book called " Meir ", published in 1912 by Father Gratianus, provincial of the Carmelites, it was mentioned : " It should be said that theis brewer's family is very old : the prayer-book of 1731 yet mentions the brewery of Frans Sterkens ". The most extraordinary historical curiosity that found its way to the Sterkens brewery,is without doubt the recipe for St. Paul abbey beer.Up until the 18th century, the St. Paul abbey brewed their own beer. For reasons unknown the abbot handed these recipes over to the Sterkens brewery in 1780. In these recipes a brewing process is described that is closely tied together with prayers and lamentations of the abbey. Exact timing of these lamentations made it possible to transform these writings to an extraordinary end result. Up to some tens of years ago you could still find a farm next to the brewery. This was a remainder from the times that every plain farm was self-supporting with growing vegetables, breeding cattle, baking bread and brewing beer. As opposed to most farms for Sterkens brewing became more important than working the land. They no longer brewed to support themselves but to let others who had stopped brewing, enjoy the taste of beer. Forty years ago they definitely stopped farming. The father of the family, Frans Sterkens (or was it grandmother who kept the books) describes the relation between breweries and social life in those days. After World War II, the brewery expanded rapidly. In 1957, the Ster Ale was launched. Since the Bokrijks kruikenbier was being brewed, export gained more importance. Not only to the Dutch, Spanish, English, Swiss, Italian and French markets but also to the US, Japan, China, Singapore, Hong Kong and South Africa. Recently they have started exporting brewing technology and know-how via micro breweries. The Sterkens brewery has its own tasting room. Groups of min. 25 people are welcome and can, for a small fee, both visit the brewery (by appointment) and taste beers on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.Brewing process : Today still the beer is being brewed in an artisanal way. The actual process has never changed, although the equipment has been adjusted partially. The copper kettle is surrounded by masonry and the enormous, with a wooden skin protected filtration tank in which their forefathers brewed their beer, is still being used. For the actual brewing water is drawn from a 220m deep well. The mash of water and scrapped malt is heated in a copper kettle by means of steam. The filtration process takes place in the filtration tank. The malt peel serves as a natural filter retaining the elements which are not decomposed. This hogwash is collected every day and used as cattle feed. Filtration requires knowledge and experience of a craftsman. Someone who knows just how far the taps can be opened to use the residue as a filter. The filtrate is then pumped back into the copper kettle and boiled. During this process hop is added, which gives a certain aroma and bitterness. After a second filtration in the tank, the wort is cooled and brought in the fermentation tank, together with an exact quantity of yeast the yeast
Sterkens White Ale Pouring a cloudy, pale straw hue with a fluffy, bright white head, this beer bears a classic wit appearance. Zippy lemon zest scents spring from the glass, while tart wheat and earthy white pepper sharpen the bite. This effervescent ale dances across the tongue: Bubbly carbonation carries sweet grain flavors and juicy lemon, leaving the mouth dry as the beer washes back. Just before the swallow, floral, peppery grains of paradise emerge alongside candy sweetness, adding one last flavorful blast before the refreshingly dry finish sets in. Sterkens Dubble The Belgian Dubbel is a rich malty beer with some spicy / phenolic and mild alcoholic characteristics. Not as much fruitiness as the Belgian Strong Dark Ale but some dark fruit aromas and flavors may be present. Mild hop bitterness with no lingering hop flavors. It may show traits of a steely caramel flavor from the use of crystal malt or dark candy sugar. Look for a medium to full body with an expressive carbonation. Pours a great deep brown, with a smooth tan head that stays. Smells great. this one is straight-up bready. It is rich and malty, but a little on the sweet side. Like the type of beers you hear about monks brewing as a bread substitute during fasts. Nice. Straight-forward, bready, and like a substantive beer that is the way it's supposed to be.
Bokrijks Kruikenbier Bokrijks – also known as Bokrijks Kruikenbier – is the showpiece of Brouwerij Sterkens. This golden ale has a pronounced malty aroma and spicy, fruity flavor. Refreshing and highly carbonated, with a balanced malt and hops profile, Bokrijks offers a unique style among Belgian strong ales.The name of this special beer celebrates the historic region in the easternmost part of Belgian Flanders. Hoogstraten Poorter Hoogstraten Poorter is a dark ale with a full body, sweet flavor, and a velvetly aftertaste. This style, is originally of the Northern Campine dates back to 1210, when it was initially brewed for the citizens of Hoogstraten. The label art depicts St. Catherine’s Church and the Hoogstraten Coat of Arms, a source of continued pride for the citizens of Hoogstraten. Comes packaged in a 25.4 Fl. Oz. (750ml) earthenware bottle.
St. Sebastiaan Grand
Brouwerij Sterkens produces a single batch of St. Sebastiaan Grand Réserve each year. This top-feremented tripel is quite strong, has a crisp flavor and a sharp, dry finish. St. Sebastiaan Dark A typical specialty of Belgium’s Campine region, this dark, top-fermented abbey style ale from Brouwerij Sterkens is a beautiful beer that pours dark with garnet highlights. With a soft touch of caramel malt, St. Sebastiaan Dark is sweet and full-bodied, and drinks smoothly, belying it’s strength. Packaged in a handsome brown-glazed 16 Fl. Oz. earthenware bottle. St. Sebastiaan Golden St. Sebastiaan Golden is a golden, top-fermented abbey style ale from Brouwerij Sterkens. A sweet and citrusy aroma wafts above a healthy head after a perfect pour. The hops are noticeable without obscuring the peppery warmth and fruited herbal character. Golden Ale is creamy and medium bodied, finishing dry with a little sweetness. Packaged in a handsome grey-glazed 16 Fl. Oz. earthenware bottle.
BROUWERIJ DE TROCH As with most Lambic breweries, the origin of brewery " De Troch" can be retraced to a farm. The history of this brewery even dates back to 1795. It is located in rural Wambeek (near Ternat) near Brussels and is still housed in a stately farmstead. A 19th century land-use plan of the area mentions a brewery owned by a certain Petronnella De Troch. Even older records indicate that her father, Pieter De Troch, was running a brewery on the same site in the late 18th century. Petronnella married Egidius De Troch and in 1898 their son Louis took the family business over. Louis Married J. De Neve, and their son, also Louis, inherited the brewery and farm in 1936. The same Louis married M.L. Van den Moortel. Their nephew Jos Raes and his wife M. Vanderhasselt took on the family tradition in 1974 and have been running this rare craft brewery ever since. In 2002, their son Pauwel Raes jointed his parents into the family business.
The equipment has hardly changed through the years and is a jewel of archaeological industry. Back in 1984 this brewery caused quite a stir in the Geuze blending industry by being the first to market an exotic beer. They introduced a Lambic beer with banana flavour and one with mango flavor. At a later stage other flavors were added to the range, i.e.: strawberry, lemon, peach, plum and apricot. These exotic beers were given the name "Chapeau" and today they make up the main part of the production output. Besides these beers the company also blends Kriek (cherry beer) and old Geuze beer. The "Oude Geuze Chapeau Cuvée" was one of the first products to be awarded the label "streekproduct.be" by the VLAM (the Flemish centre for the promotion of agricultural and fisheries' products).
GEUZE and KRIEK are brewed by age-old methods which depend on spontaneous fermentation and ripening. In the first stage a mixture of malt, wheat and water is prepared. During the process the starch is transformed into sugars suitable for fermentation. The mixing is repeated several times over. A liquid is obtained by filtering the mix. This is the wort, which ultimately becomes beer. Matured hops are added to the wort, wich is then boiled for 4 to 5 hours so that it reaches a density of 5 Belgian degrees. After boiling the by now useless hop buds are removed. The wort is then cooled in shallow vats. The outside air is allowed to pass freely over the large open vats. This air is essential to the brewing method, as it contains the micro-organisms wich give LAMBIC its unique flavour. For this reason LAMBIC brewing is a seasonal activity (October to end April). The cool wort is then run into tubs before being directly transferred to casks. A few days later the main fermentation process becomes evident with the appearance of foam in the bung holes. The beer is then allowed to ripen on oaken casks wich hold about 650 litres each. This is the true spontaneously fermented LAMBIC. By mixing young (one-year old) Lambic with older Lambic a second spontaneous fermentation in the bottle is obtained. The result is called GEUZE. When our cherries are added to the casks of Lambic a drink is obtained after about 5 months called KRIEK, which has a very special flavour and a red colour. FARO is another traditional speciality, and is obtained by sweetening the spontaneously fermented Lambic with crystallized sugar. The fruit beers are, like KRIEK, the result of adding peaches, bananas, raspberry or mirabelle plums to the spontaneously fermented Lambic.
Pours a clear yellow gold with a little bubbly white head. Over-ripe sweet apricots, some spicy belgian yeast.Sweet apricot nectar. A little bit tangy and a little bit funky. Medium body with low carbonation. Kinda syrupy. Overall. Sweet and fruity. Perhaps some age would reduce the sweet and bring up the tart. Spontaneously fermented beer flavored with natural juice of apricot and matured in oak casks.
Chapeau Exotic Pours a dark yellow and slightly cloudy colour with a full and lasting white head.Aroma is pineapple and vanilla or bubblegum. Interesting. Feel is quite full and rich. slightly thick and a bit creamy with an immediate sour tingle on the tongue. Plum The pour is a cloudy light amber color with a large slightly off-white colored head. An incredibly intense sweet plum aroma that has some notes of peaches. There is a bit of a honey note to this beer too, along with just a touch of sourness. Things stay pretty much the same on the palate. The plums are incredibly sweet, much sweeter than most plums and don't have that little bit of tartness. Tartness is really minima. The body is light to medium with a lively carbonation and a slightly sugary feel on the tongue. Good fruit flavor, and while sweet, it's not completely cloying or sickening. Plus, no vile off-flavors. Kriek -Cherry Description: Since many decades, the brewers of the Senne valley are brewing Lambic. In the 19th century they have created several fruit beers. The cherry beer on base of Lambic was the first or one of the first. The Chapeau Kriek is made on base of Lambic, a artisanal traditional product which ripe on oaken barrels. The Chapeau Kriek is a fresh and delicious beer for delightful moments. Very bubbly translucent purple-red grape color with a light purple small head smells like sweet black cherries. Great flavor but somewhat light for a lambic. Tastes like the cherries that are suggested with more tartness than most cherries. Soda feeling with large carbonation and a light, slightly syrupy body feeling. A good balance of flavors. This beer pours a dark ruby with two fingers of light pink head that settles down almost immediatly to nothing. Raspberry De Troch's Chapeau Framboise is a fairly typical, sweet-style take on the fruit lambic style. The sweetness of the fruit and the flavor of the raspberry is over-emphasized by the natural raspberry flavoring, and the sour and wild qualities of the lambic base are largely ignored in favor of these characters. Perhaps a good introduction for those wading into this style, but as someone who prefers more sour, vinegar, and other lacto- flavors. Pours a 1cm head of small and medium-sized bubbles, whitish-pink in color. Head descends rather quickly, leaving no lacing or residuum. Body is pinkish red with a tinge of purple. I chose not to pour the dregs in, so the body remains clear; carbonation is easily visible because of this. Aroma is high on the raspberry, or "natural raspberry flavor," as the case may be. Overall presentation is sweet and raspberry-like, a bit like a liquid raspberry "hard candy." No detection of sourness or other "wildness." Taste follows smell, with dominant flavor being of raspberry. Reminded, several times, of a sugar "hard candy" with raspberry flavoring, which is essentially what this consists of. Mild tartness in the back of the palate on closing out each sip, reminding you that this is indeed a lambic base.Beer's body is medium-light to medium. Mouthfeel is very pleasant, soft: the carbonation creates a gentle foaming on the palate, rendering this quite smooth and pillowy. Finish is rather dry, slightly sticky. Peach Tenability: 2 years at least after bottling. World Championship 1995: The beverage testing institute recognized De Troch Chapeau Pêche Lambic with a Gold Medal.The beer pours a clear gold color with about an inch white head that didn’t stay around for very long. There’s a small amount of lacing. Aroma is peach syrup, bready malt, and a bit of earthy aromas, too. It tastes mostly like canned peaches syrup, sugar, and a bit of grainy malt. It’s very sweet tasting. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it’s a bit slick and syrupy with low carbonation. Strawberry It pours clear pinkish amber with a medium bubbly white head. The nose is sweet strawberry, white sugar, light jaminess and faint sourness. The taste is strawberry, sourness, lightly citric, earth, strawberry sherbet, sugar, strawberry pop tart and the faintest hint of acidity in the background, with a sweet finish. Medium body, fine carbonation and cloying mouth-feel. One-dimensional tangy strawberry beer. Not too bad.