Toer De Geuze! Day Two

So day two of Toer De Geuze. Again, another hearty breakfast before heading out in the car to meet up with Seth and Casey at Mort Subite in Kobbegem, Asse. The Sunday starts an hour early at 10am and as the brewery (De Keersmaeker) was the furthest one away from our final destination it made sense to head over there. De Keersmaeker was founded in 1869 at a brewery site which originally dated from 1604. After a merger with Brabrux it was acquired by Alkaen-Maes in 1971, who were bought out by Scottish Newcastle in 2000. They are now part of the Heineken portfolio. They also produce another range of syrupy-sweet lambics – BUT I was interested in trying the limited edition Oude Kriek which was promised to be available.

Mort Subite
Mort Subite

In all honesty I was gob-smacked at how beautiful this brewery is. We took a great self-guided tour through the blending and maturation rooms with a taste of their superb lambic from the casks. Then off to the temporary bar where we received more tasting tickets so we could get a taste of the Oude Geuzes.

Mort Subite
Mort Subite

In between beers we also had free rein of the brewhouse which is simply stunning. The gleaming mash tuns and kettles sit within a tiled brewhouse which has a glazed wall that looks across the courtyard to the maturation room. The copper grant had recently been used too and this was such a treat for a brewery buff (read bore) like me.

Brewhouse Mort Subite
Brewhouse Mort Subite
Grant, Brewhouse Mort Subite
Grant, Brewhouse Mort Subite

In the bar the range of sweet fruit lambics was available alongside the wonderful Oude Geuze and Kriek plus other special brews for the occasion. A truly lovely surprise was to bump into old friends from Brugge who had come up on a special coach for the day. We managed to make time for a photo which Casey kindly photo-bombed for us. Quality!

Mort Subite. 3 legends and PD
Mort Subite. 3 legends and PD

The weather was behaving itself so we headed off to Gooik to check out the De Cam blendery. I was really looking forward to this as De Cam are a truly traditional blendery and when they opened in 1997 they were the first new blender for almost 40 years. The site was a former brewery and is now owned by the local community and also houses a tavern, museum and community centre.

De Cam
De Cam

The blendery offered regular tours around the site and ran through the process of fermenting the wort which they receive from Boon, Girardin and Lindemans. Frank Boon and Armand Debelder supported Willem van Herreweghen from Palm Brewery when he set up De Cam 23 years ago. When he went back to Palm in 2000, Karel Goddeau took over. Karel combines De Cam with his day job as brewer at nearby Slaghmuylder, the reason for Big Dan’s early night on Friday. We seemed to miss the free tasters of their lambic but the boys made up for it as there was a bar serving the full range. I definitely want to return.

De Cam
De Cam

Onwards to Geuzerie Tilquin, the only location of the Toer that sits – just, at 200 metres – in Wallonie. Based in Rebecq, Pierre Tilquin founded his blendery in 2009 and is the only one to use wort from Boon, Cantillon, Girardin and Lindemans. By now breakfast had worn off but Tilquin had a number of food options available in their courtyard including a hog roast or ‘pig on a spit’ which did nicely thank you very much. Unfortunately this is when the weather of the previous day decided to return and pay us another visit. Even the beautiful beer on offer struggled to lighten our moods so it was time to head back into Flanders and make our way to Beersel and their eponymous lambic brewery, Oud Beersel.

Geuzerie Tilquin
Geuzerie Tilquin

Oud Beersel was founded in 1882 and passed through generations of the Vandervelden family, the last being Danny Draps, nephew of Henri’s grandson. It closed in 1991 and didn’t re-open until 2005 when Gert Christiaens and Ronald De Bus took it over. The beers made here are also fantastic though their non-lambic Beersalis range is made by Huyghe.

Brouwerij Oud Beersel
Brouwerij Oud Beersel

We couldn’t get on one of the organised tours as the place was rammed though we did manage to get into the now closed tasting cafe where the boys got themselves some bottles. It is rumoured that Gert is hoping to re-open the cafe sometime in the future. Beersel town is definitely worth a visit with a number of cafes to choose from – In De Oude Pruim being a personal favourite. You also have the Brouwerij Drie Fonteinen and their excellent restaurant plus the Biercentrum De Lambiek museum.

Brouwerij Oud Beersel
Brouwerij Oud Beersel

It was now getting late and everyone was keen to make the most of the time left at the last of our stops – Hanssens Artisinale blendery in nearby Dworp. Converted from a dairy to a brewery by Bartholomé Hanssens in 1896, the site was known as Sint-Antonius and didn’t produce lambic but a brown beer. Production ceased during the 1st World War and when the war ended Bartholomé (who has also become town mayor in 1914) decided to cease brewing as the brewkit has been taken by the occupying German army, and re-launch his site as a geuzestekerij.

Geuzestekerij Hanssens Artisanaal
Geuzestekerij Hanssens Artisanaal

Since 1997 the blendery has been run by fourth generation Sidy and her husband John Matthys. The site is rarely open to the public so we were keen to spend as much time there as possible. Great tours available throughout the blendery where you can check out the barrels from Boon, Giradin and Lindemans.

Since 1997 the blendery has been run by fourth generation Sidy and her husband John Matthys. The site is rarely open to the public so we were keen to spend as much time there as possible.
Geuzestekerij Hanssens Artisanaal

A major bar set up – we were all keen to get the Very Special Oud Red released specially for the occasion, plus many others. Food and even llamas! A real party atmosphere so when you go to the Toer make sure that you give yourself plenty of time on the Sunday to wring every last drop out of the experience. With a heavy heart it was finally time to bid Hanssens farewell and drop Seth and Casey off at the train station.

I couldn't resist
I couldn’t resist, in with the casks at Hanssens

Time for Dan and I to head back to Ninove and get stuck back into Brouwerij Slaghmuylder’s finest. For some reason we also thought that it would be a good idea to have another go at that 1.5kg cote a los. The drive the following day was going to be fun!

Witkap Stimulo, In Den Keizer
Witkap Stimulo, In Den Keizer

Homeward-bound Dan and I took in a number of breweries to help me get a grip on the distances between them for future tours. This included Slaghmuylder, Roman, Verzet, De Feniks, Gulden Spoor, Omer and St Bernardus. Wonderful.

Brouwerij Slaghmuylder
Brouwerij Slaghmuylder
Brouwerij Roman
Brouwerij Cnudde
Brouwerij Roman
Brouwerij Roman
Brouwerij De Feniks
Brouwerij De Feniks
Brouwerij Gulden Spoor
Brouwerij Gulden Spoor
Brouwerij Omer van der Ghinste
Brouwerij Omer van der Ghinste

 

Craft Beer Tasting at the Irish Embassy

Last week I was honoured to be invited to the Irish Embassy (not the pub but the impressive building on Grosvenor Place!) in order to taste a range of gins, whiskey, poitin and craft beers from artisans chosen by Irish Food Board Bord Bia from the length and breadth of the Emerald Isle. Ambassador Dan Mulhall welcomed everyone and we all tucked in, supplemented by canapes courtesy of independent Irish suppliers.

Boyne Brewhouse, Na Cuana
Boyne Brewhouse, Peter Cooney of Na Cuana

Based in Drogheda, County Louth, Aine O’Hara (formerly of Matilda Bay craft brewery, Australia) has developed a range of craft beers to feature at the new distillery, visitor centre and Boyne Brewhouse craft brewery. I tasted Born in a Day, an Australian Pale Ale ABV 4.8%; Pagan’s Pillar Sparkling Copper Ale ABV 4.8%; and Long Arm Dortmunder Export ABV 4.8%. Boyne Brewhouse are part of family-owned Na Cuana who also produce cider, whiskey and Irish cream liqueurs.

Boyne Brewhouse
Boyne Brewhouse

Next up was traditional O’Hara’s from County Carlow who were celebrating their 20th anniversary. I tried the award-winning Irish Stout ABV 4.3%; the Irish Red ABV 4.3% and IPA (Irish Pale Ale) 4.3%. Among other beers they produce is an Extra Irish Stout that Export Sales Tim Garde recommended and they have also started a barrel-aged series.

O'Hara's Stout and IPA
O’Hara’s Stout and IPA
Clever Man range of beers
Clever Man’s range of beers

Wexford’s Clever Man of Drew Fox Brewing Company presented a very fine collection of beers, all generously poured by owner Malcolm Molloy. I started with the 12 Foot Under Amber Ale, made with 6 malts ABV 4.5% before moving on to Atractor Ale, a superb example of a Kolsch ABV 4.5%, then Little Willie Tank American Pale Ale ABV 4.5% and finally, Ejector Seat Turf Smoked Stout, an amazing combination of flavours that I had to try again before leaving! ABV 4.5%. In case you were wondering where the cryptic names for the beers come from, they are all named after ‘Clever Men’ ( inventors) and as the first two breweries they keep their beers to the same ABV.

Clever Man Turf Smoked Stout
Clever Man Turf Smoked Stout

Oranmore’s Galway Hooker was established in 2006 by cousins Ronan Brennan and Aidan Murphy, who was on hand to dispense his excellent award-winning Irish Pale Ale ABV 4.3%. They also produce a stout, an amber lager, and IPA plus the occasional special batch brew.

Master Brewer Aidan Murphy
Master Brewer Aidan Murphy

The White Hag Brewing Company from County Sligo has an ambition to be the ‘best Irish craft beer in the world’. Paul Mullin and Eoin Ennis were keen to demonstrate the seriousness of their statement with the help of their fantastic Beann Gulban Irish Heather Sour Ale which has been aged in red wine barrels ABV 7.5% and the wonderful Black Boar barrel-aged Imperial Russian Stout ABV 10.2%. I wish I had visited their stand earlier as I would dearly love to sample more of their beer. I will keep a look out for these fellas – they are doing good business Stateside apparently.

Finally, I spent some time with the wonderful Quincey Fennelly, co-proprietor of Wicklow Wolf Brewing Co in Bray. A true craft brewery, they even grow their own hops. Quincey poured me his Children of the Revolution IPA, a very good version and the latest in their IPA series ABV 5.7% and then his Black Perle Porter, a deliciously rich porter whose flavours are augmented by German Perle hops ABV 4.8%.

Quincey Fennelly
Quincey Fennelly

A great night and another fantastic event with wonderful beer people. Finished off by a visit to the mighty Star Tavern, Belgravia and a delightful end to a perfect evening.

Thanks to Leila Taleb, Liquid for the invitation.

http://wicklowwolf.com/

http://thewhitehag.com/

http://www.galwayhooker.ie/

http://www.cleverman.ie/

http://www.carlowbrewing.com/

http://nacuana.ie/

 

 

 

 

 

New Zealand Beer Collective celebrate their 1st Birthday

The other week saw discerning lovers of craft beer, hot sauce and vinyl’s fave bottle shop, the outstanding Hop Burns and Black host the first year anniversary of the New Zealand Beer Collective. The always warm welcome from Jen and Glenn (or Jin and Glinn for those in the know) was augmented by Assistant Manager Craig’s attention to detail that ensured I tasted the wide range of NZ beers on show, while being able to safely drive home later!

New Zealand Beer Collective HBB
New Zealand Beer Collective HBB

Some of the beers sampled included the ubiquitous range of Yeastie Boys brews, the now-global New Zealand producer. I tasted their Digital IPA, a crisp and refreshing Pacific/New World IPA ABV 5.7% and their collaboration with Northumberland’s Wylam Brewery, WxY an extra pale New Zealand IPA ABV 7%. Very subtle but bursting with delicious flavours. Stu McKinlay, Creative Director of Yeastie Boys and overseeing their Northern Hemisphere operations was on hand to answer questions during the tastings.

Tuatara on the Kapiti Coast, North of Wellington showcased their Black Mojo Espresso, a delicious limited edition unfiltered espresso stout ABV 6.5%. More please.

Soren Eriksen, owner of 8 Wired Brewing Co, based in Warkworth North of Auckland, spent some time with me to discuss his beers, especially the complex and sophisticated flavours of his Sour Side of the Moon, a dark red sour ABV 6% and Wild Feijoa Sour Ale, ABV 9.5%. Apparently a Feijoa is an indigenous New Zealand fruit found in many domestic gardens. Hopwired IPA ABV 7.3%, is made with all NZ malt and hops and is a very subtle IPA which I prefer to the overly hopped IPAs that are so trendy these days. Tropidelic Pale Ale 5.4% is a sessionable tropical-fruit pale that I enjoyed enormously.

Finally, Rennaisance Brewing Co from Marlborough, Collision Course IPA ABV 6.2%. A blend of citrus hop flavours and lager yeast was a good thirst quencher and palate cleanser in preparation of the sour beers tasted from 8 Wired.

New Zealand Beer Collective 1st anniversary
New Zealand Beer Collective 1st anniversary

Todd Nicolson, GM New Zealand Beer Collective was on hand to welcome everyone formally and celebrate the birthday of the Collective. Superb finger food from Kate supplemented the beer on offer. A lovely evening and an abundance of wonderful people brought together by their shared love of beer. I really must work out how to get to HBB by train next time and ditch the car!

http://8wired.co.nz/

https://www.renaissancebrewing.co.nz/

http://www.tuatarabrewing.co.nz/

http://www.yeastieboys.co.nz/

http://www.beercollective.nz/

 

London Brewers Market hits Spitalfields today

Great times at London Brewers Market. Great people, awesome sounds, lovely brews and a Philly cheesesteak! Held at Spitalfields Market 3 times a year I urge you to visit this fantastic event and buy a cheesesteak.

Gypsy Hill
Gipsy Hill

A great start at Gipsy Hill  and I thoroughly enjoyed their Dissident Porter. I had their Beatnik at Hop Burns and Black this week so was keen to try more of their beer. Beautifully smooth and understated, reminiscent of Brains Dark to be honest. ABV 4.7%.

Gipsy Hill Disident
Gipsy Hill Disident

Onwards to Windsor and Eton Mandarin Christmas Ale on cask. A beer reminiscent of Fullers London Pride but not of mandarins oddly enough. However, I found out that the hops are Mandarina Bavaria, a recent style and although the beer is a standard bitter, you do get a taste of the manadarin peel on the long bitter finish. ABV 4.5%.

Windsor and Eton Mandarin Beer
Windsor and Eton Mandarin Christmas Ale

A quick visit to Anspach and Hobday for their Saison, spiced with German biscuit for a festive spicy flavour underpinning that great flowery, hoppy taste. Next up were the guys from Orbit Beers, Walworth in South London.

Orbit Brewing Company
Orbit Beers London

I had a cheeky snifter of their wonderful Dunkelweiss Leika. A lovely version of this classic but not quite there yet I have to grudgingly admit. More spice and herbs please.

The smallest Dunkelweiss I have ever tried!
The smallest Dunkelweiss I have ever tried!

However, I did get to have a chug at their amazing Alt Bier, Neu. A delicious Alt, full-bodied and gently hopped – wifey even had the cheek to swap her beer with mine! Lovely beer, want some more. ABV 4.7%.

Finally on to Fullers for a  taste of their new American Red Ale, Montana Red. A deliciously mix of hoppy ale and spicy goodness and a session-tempting 4.5% ABV.

Smiles with Fullers Montana Red
Smiles with Fullers Montana Red

All in all a great afternoon spent with wonderful beer people on top of their game, top sounds, great clothes, lovely food – Liberty Cheesesteak is a must, even better than Philly! – and superb art and culture. A wonderful way to spend a Saturday 🙂

londonbrewersmarket.tumblr.com

http://www.oldspitalfieldsmarket.com/events

 

The Fifteenth Twickenham Beer Festival kicks off

43 breweries, 17 cider and perry makers and 96 different brews were on show yesterday when this annual festival in York House, Twickenham opened its doors for the fifteenth time.

Festival Hall just prior to opening
Festival Hall just prior to opening
All styles of beer to whet your appetite
All styles of beer to whet your appetite
Ciders and Perries get their own bar
Ciders and Perries get their own bar

While the Camra Richmond and Hounslow Branch organisers are showcasing many of our local beers from South West London and its environs, brewers and cider and perry makers from the length and breadth of the country are represented at Twickenham. The festival doors opened at 12.00 noon to the delight of a queue of thirsty enthusiasts who couldn’t wait to get their lips around some wonderful beers. The festival is using pint glasses marked with 1/3 of a pint for the first time, alongside 1/2 and full pint measures. So there is ample opportunity to indulge in some serious tasting.

Standout beers for me yesterday were Kissingate Black Cheery Mild, ABV 4.2%, Kew Brewery Pagoda No. 2 Pale, ABV 4.3%, Highland Brewing Co. Scapa Special, ABV 4.2%, Titanic Plum Porter, ABV 4.9% and Rudgate Brew 22 – Chocolate Dunkel Weizen, ABV 4.5%.

The doors are open!
The doors are open!

The festival is open today from noon until 10.30pm and Saturday from noon until 9.00pm and food is available throughout both sessions. This year’s souvenir festival glass is designed in homage to the Rugby World Cup, being held around the corner.

Location: YORK HOUSE Richmond Road, Twickenham, TW1 3AA.

Public transport: 6min from Twickenham Station – buses 33, 490, H22, R68, R70 pass the gate, + 110, 267, 281, 290 stop nearby in King Street.

Admission: £3.00 (£2.00 Thu & Fri lunchtime), CAMRA members £2.00 (FREE Thu & Fri lunchtime), Festival Glass £3.00 (refundable if you wish).

http://www.rhcamra.org.uk/festivalnews.html

Sour Beer Tasting

Twickenham’s Real Ale hosted a sour beer tasting on Wednesday night, to showcase a broad range of this increasingly popular beer style and to allow Store Manager Tim Peyton to indulge in his passion for these beers.

A beautiful range of Geuzes
A beautiful range of Geuezes

Tim kicked off the evening by presenting two styles of Gose. Originating from the 16th century from Goslar in Lower Saxony and brewed with 50% wheat, Gose’s flavours are typically lemon tartness, herb and salt – either from the water in the brew or an adjunct. As such it does not comply with the Reinheitsgebot and is classified as a regional speciality. After the second world war, production of Gose all but disappeared with the exception of a succession of tiny revivalist breweries throughout the second half of the 20th century. Since 2000, the Bayerischer-bahnhof brewery began producing Gose and other beers in the old Leipzig train station. Gose is now brewed all over the world.

First up was Stockholm brewer Omnipollo’s Bianca Mango Lassi Gose. Brewed in collaboration with Buxton Brewery this Gose is a thirst-quenching shock of citrus-sour, balanced with the addition of pureed mango, lactose and, of course salt. The aroma is very unusual with a heavy sense of spice. Interestingly, this beer began its life with an ABV of 3%. An absolute delight and a foretaste of the treasures to come. ABV 6%.

Another Buxton collaboration, this time with Denmark’s To Ol brewery, Coral Seas adds seaweed and rock salt to the mix and you can really get a taste of the sea from this full bodied, lemony-sour Gose. ABV 5.4%.

Tim’s colleague Dan then took us on a tour of Berliner Weisse. Originating in Northern Germany in the sixteenth century, this variation of the wheat beer style uses barley and wheat malt that is kilned at a very low temperature to minimise colour. Fermentation uses a mixture of yeast and lactobacillus bacteria, giving the lactic acid taste. By the late nineteenth century Berliner Weisse was the most alcoholic drink in Berlin with up to 50 breweries producing it. By the end of the twentieth century the number of breweries had reduced to just two. However, breweries across the world have now begun to brew beers based upon this style. The beer can be drunk straight, or more commonly it is laced with a sweet syrup such as raspberry or woodruff.

Berliner Weisse
Berliner Weisse

Finchampstead’s Siren brewery named their Calypso beer after the Greek Goddess who was said to have a sharp tongue. This is a bright and refreshing beer with an almost grapefruit-tartness and a hoppy background. The use of US hops Comet and Simcoe give this sour beer a more bitter aroma and finish than the Gose beers we sampled earlier. ABV 4%.

South London brewery Kernel were represented by two beers. Their London Sour Barrel Aged, a mixture of Saison and London Sour was a lot less spritzy than the Calypso but very smooth and full bodied. Bramley apple tartness and bitter-hop nose and finish. Very nice indeed. ABV 4.1%. Their London Sour Raspberry poured a deep pink with a lovely white head. Grape/Cherry aroma and a deliciously raspberry-tartness with a typically dry and mouth-watering finish leaving you keen for another. ABV 3.4%.

Dan also poured glasses of Anspach and Hobday’s take on Berliner Weisse which he had bottled earlier that day. Typically cloudy, this beer was more restrained in the use of bittering hops than the previous beers and as such made for a truly lovely smooth and sour beer.

Geuze tasting
Geueze tasting

Finally, we re-joined Tim who took everyone through a selection of four lambics from Belgium. Traditionally brewed in Pajottenland, South West of Brussels, lambic is produced by spontaneous fermentation from wild yeasts and bacteria native to the region. Different ages of lambics are blended, bottled and undergo secondary fermentation to produce Geueze.

My favourite Geueze blender, Drie Fontainen from Beersel was represented by their Oude Geueze. A delicious blend of one, two and three year old lambics that have matured in oak casks, this beer enjoys a further six months fermentation in the bottle. Seriously sour but with a complex blend of spice, herbs and oak with an almost champagne-like feel in its texture. Can be matured for ten years apparently but I would prefer to drink it fresh. ABV 6%.

Andelecht’s Cantillon brewery is a must visit for when you are in Brussels. Entrance fee is 7 euros and when I last visited this living museum they were in the middle of filling up barrels of Geueze with fresh cherries for their Kriek. Cherry-red with a beautiful raspberry tartness, this is a far cry from the syrupy fruit beers that flooded the market many years ago. Very tart, very dry, very smooth. Delicious. ABV 5%.

The High Council for the Artisanal Lambic Beer Styles (Horal) was created in 1997 by Armand Debelder of Drie Fonteinen who with five other lambic producers set out to protect and promote the brewing of traditional lambic beers. I hadn’t tasted their beers before and was treated to Oude Geueze Megablend 2015. The 2015 vintage blends young and old lambics from nine Horal members (3 Fonteinen, Boon, De Oude Cam, De Troch, Hanssens, Lindemans, Oud Beersel, Tilquin and Timmermans). Grassy and yeasty on the nose, the taste is surprisingly full-bodied for such a young beer. Dry, acidic and citrus aftertaste. I will be looking out for this! ABV 7%.

Finally, our evening ended with a sample of Lindemans Oude Geueze Cuvee Rene Special Blend from 2010. The self-styled ‘Queen of Geuezes’ has a beautiful Art Nouveau label adorning its champagne bottle. A rich aromoa of grass, herbs and musty Brettanomyces leads you to a grapefruit-citrus taste that is tempered by the ageing to include spice and estery pineapple. A long and dry but not too bitter finish. Very elegant. ABV 6%.

Thanks to Tim and Dan for a wonderful tasting evening. Looking forward to the next one!

http://www.realale.com

http://www.omnipollo.com

http://www.buxtonbrewery.co.uk

http://to-ol.dk

http://www.sirencraftbrew.com

http://www.thekernelbrewery.com

http://anspachandhobday.com

http://www.3fonteinen.be

http://www.cantillon.be

http://www.lindemans.be

http://www.horal.be

Italian Craft Beer tasting at RealAle.com. Andreas Falt from Atlas Brands leads a masterclass in Twickenham’s fantastic beer shop

Wednesday evening saw Andreas Falt, from Atlas Brands deliver an Italian Craft Beer masterclass. The resurgent Italian craft beer market was celebrated with brews from all over the peninsula.

IMG_4690

We started with Tipopils from the Birrificio Microbrewery in Lombardy. ‘Italy’s favourite craft lager’ is a refreshing and citrusy Pils from this brewery started by Agostino Arioli in 1996 and provided a mouthwatering start to the evening. ABV 5.2%

Moving on to the Abruzzo/Lazio border we tasted two beers from the fantastic Birra del Borgo. First up was the classic IPA, ReAle, a smooth, rounded IPA, more citrusy and less over-hopped than most modern IPAs even though it uses American hops. One of my favourite beers from one of my favourite breweries. ABV 6.4%

Next up was their Imperial Pilsner My Antonio, a powerful hoppy Pils brewed in collaboration with Sam Calagione from Dogfish Brewery in Maryland, USA. Very more-ish, this deliciously elegant beer has multiple layers of flowery hop flavours. ABV 7.5%

It was time to try something different, which was no understatement. Lover Beer near Turin produces Beer Brugna, a 9 month aged sour ale which uses brettanomyces yeast to give it a distinct aroma and flavour. Fresh plums add to the taste and finish to deliver a truly distinctive ale. ABV 6.2&

Lover Beer’s Saison De L’Ouvrier Griotta is another sour ale but this time flavoured with fresh raspberries. Refreshingly tart this beer has an ABV of 5.8%.

Speaking of something different, the three beers from Lombardy’s Brewfist certainly delivered in that regard. Triple hopped Golden IPA Spaceman delivered layers of floral and citrus notes with an ABV of 7%.

Moving on to Spaghetti Western Imperial Chocolate Coffee Stout. A full-on bitter -chocolate and coffee punch to the senses. ABV 8.7%

Their final beer was Spaghetti Western Grappa Barrel, as above but with a maturation in grappa casks and leaves traces of grappa from the barrels on the nose and finish. ABV 8.7%

The evening was drawn to a close with a tasting of Birra Toccalmatto’s Russian Imperial Stout Wild Bretta. Parma’s self-styled ‘Beer Freaks’ use barley and roasted malt, English hops and breattanomyces yeast to produce a beer that matures for a further 3 years in bourbon casks and delivers a taste experience unlike any other. An expensive beer not to be rushed but to linger over while enjoying after dinner chocolates , it can be stored ‘for decades’. ABV 12%

IMG_4688

http://www.realale.com/; @RealAle_com

http://atlas-brands.com/; @andreasfaelt

www.tipopils.co.uk; @TipopilsUK

http://www.birradelborgo.it/; @BirraDelBorgo

http://www.loverbeer.com/

http://www.brewfist.com/; @BrewFist_

http://www.birratoccalmatto.com/

Bruges Beer Festival starts today!

The 8th Bruges Beer Festival starts today, continuing right through the weekend. 80 brewers are featured with 366 beers to chose from! The festival is located in the Beursplein just off T’Zand. If anyone is going I would be grateful to hear back from you with any news concerning this event, including unusual beers, new breweries, beer ranges and the overall experience

Bruges' famous Beer Wall
Bruges’ famous Beer Wall

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