Monday, September 6, 2010

Day 4: Man Up for Beef’s Beer and Chocolate Day: Brussels - Belgium

Last day of the Belgian Beer Weekend and not only did we manage to get through the 50 token we bought half way through yesterday but also the 20 more we got this morning, and the beer festival is still going as I write this. Jaimi has retired to his bed again at 6:50pm and I am left to put some tunes on and write up this blog entry.

Ok, to the day, again we got in early to the centre of town so had time to relax over a coffee/hot chocolate and gear up for the beers to be drunk. We got in at 11 as yesterday and instead of going with the masses to the Trappist Tent we hit Lindeman’s for some fruit beers to ease ourselves into the morning. The Fraboise is a very sweet gay looking beer (Jaimi pronounced everyone serving these beers was gay) but woth some slight sourness. Has a sort of cordial flavour to the sweetness. Comment from JF, ‘had just had a red bull and reckons this is a great brekkie beer. The Kriek is also gay looking with a sour fruit smell. The sweetnesss counteracts the sourness but sour dominates on sides of the mouth as it goes down your throat. Is nowhere near the Lou Pepe in terms of sourness.

The next tent was Boon where the Geuze Mariage Parfait has a pretty complex fruit flavour with some sweet before the sourness before the sourness kicks in but dissipates in aftertaste. JF comment – smokey, sour afterspike. ‘That stuff’ll give ya cancer’ The Boon faro went down a lot better with Faulkner call this the ‘sherbert tickler’. Very delicate flavours. Has sweet honey smell but again, let it warm on the tongue and the sherbert is unleashed better than the Linderman’s. More honey flavour comes from it as it warms.

It was this stage as we got our next beers we met up with a Polish couple and their dog who let us on their table and we had a great chat with them about beers (yep, another women that appreciates her beers). So we got to talk with them about beer as we drank our next beers. The Delirum Nocturnum had a nice caramel flavour with some hop finish, but blends wells with the beer, while the Gluten Free Pilsner had a dry smell for me and of course a light flavour to go with it. JF felt it was a good palate neutralizer (he is always nicer then me when saying a beer is tasteless) and so a good time out half time time beer – equivalent to a glass of water!!! Definitely not a man’s beer!! JF also got onto a Chapeau Banane and for myself it tastes just like lolly banana’s, which as know in the summer with a Boag’s St George, I don’t mind the taste of lolly bananas in beer, so it sat ok with me. JF has it down as ‘Pedal to the metal banana’, strong banana flavour. Takes him back to the days of opening footy cards – bubblegum flavour. Outrageously sweet, and a bit sherberty and powdery.Jaimi’s thoughts on the St Feuillien Saison were simply that it was a F*cking Great Beer. However, I decided to flesh this out by saying that it has a great caramel undertone on this fruity but mellowed, which comes from the aging. Good session beer with enough flavour to keep it interesting. Along with this we had the same brewer’s Triple, which has alcohol and a citrus smell. There is a citrus sweetness with light malt. Alcohol hits but is not overstated with a slight hop aftertaste. Standard, straightforward triple. JF may have thought that there was liquorice overtones, but his note-taking is atrocious.

After the previous saison, JF wanted to try another, so we got on the Saison Silly, but we found it not as mellow as the previous one, as it had a lot more caramel and also seemed to have a hop aftertaste. Still, at least there was a nice girl in the area we were drinking it, and had to make Jaimi stand in front of her so I could get this shot of her (that’s f*cking teamwork!)

Moving on, we grabbed a Duchesse De Bourgogne which starts off with a decent sweetness with the malt but something artificial about it before a sourness sets in at the end. Not very good. JF disliked it so much he doesn’t want to comment about it apart from ‘it sucks the life out of ya’. We also had a Caralous Classic which was quite different as it seems to have sweetness with alcohol but doesn’t go anywhere. Just plain and straight.As we got towards the end of our tokens, I decided to hit an old fave in St Bernardus with the Watou Triple and 12. The Triple had a nice spiced flavour with caramel, and JF found it citrusy with sweet toffee, but mellows out with not harsh on alcohol (spikes very slightly at the end). The 12 was left for JF, who had one of the best comments on beer for the day stating ‘sour bouquet, immediate sweetness that is then overridden by the toasted caramel overtones’.

With 3 tokens left I rediscovered a girl in one of the tents I had been checking out before, so decided to our last beer from her tent. It was a Maredsous Donker, which was a pretty straight-forward dubbel with typical dark malt. Not how I would like to end a beer drinking session as big as this, but then I didn’t have enough tokens to get a beer a liked, so went with the good looker instead.

So overall, has been a great 3 days drinking all the Belgium beers we have been able to try, and having it with a great mate by my side. In the end we have been able to try something like 35 beers, which is awesome, and I couldn’t have done it without Jaimi. Once we ran out of token it meant I could start getting onto the chocolate side of the day and visit two chocolate shops on the way back to the hostel (one had a hottie in it too) and finally get into experiencing this side of the adventure. Big thanks to those involved in organizing the beer festival and all the brewers for getting their products all together to allow people like ourselves to come and try some many different beers in a (almost too) convenient manner.

So that is it for Brussels at the moment. Tomorrow we head north to Bruges. Anyway, Faulkner is giving me the wind up for writing so much, so I better finish up so we can have dinner and a few more beers.

Cheers to the Belgian Beer Festival,


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