Saturday, October 22, 2011

Another Evening at the Kulminator

I spent a good part of the morning, into the afternoon trying to get my internet connection fixed. After wasting some money (and time) on things I didn't need,  I finally figured out the problem and got it fixed. So it was a bit of a slow day, beerwise, but that is good after nearly two weeks.

First (beer) stop was the fairly new (18 months) Antwaerps Bierhuyske (Antwerp's Beerhouse). They have 9 taps -- mostly interesting stuff. The bottle list looks pretty decent as well.

Antwaerps Bierhuyske
My first beer was a "Bolleke" -- a goblet of draft De Koninck. I neglected to take a picture -- or rather I took a picture with my iPhone for a "status update" on a social networking site and didn't take one with my camera -- the source of pictures here.

Next I had a St  Feuillien triple (from the bottle). I had ordered one the previous night at the K but they were out of bottles less that 3 liters so I passed and had an Ename Triple as well. The StF is usually one of my favorite triples but I think I like the Ename better.

St Feuillien Triple
Tom had a 3 Fonteinen Kriek

3 Fonteinen Kriek
... and Sam a Goulden Draak

Gulden Draak
By this time it was past 3pm so we adjourned and headed for Vleminckveld, with some stops on the way for errands.

We arrived at the Kulminator just as they were opening. We grabbed a table and were getting settled but before we could even order a beer, groups of people (including one of more than a dozen people) started streaming in and before you knew it the place was packed.

I started off with the Rodenbach Vintage -- there were some sour beers to be drunk tonight so it seemed a good place to start.

Rodenbach Vintage

Next up was a bottle of the 2011 Mega Blend from the Tour de Gueze. Gueze from eight different brewers were blended together. It was good, but a little less intense than I expected. Cantillion is not part of the group so maybe that is why.

Tour de Gueze 2011 -- a blend of 8 Gueze

The Gueze was followed by a De Struise Brouwers Tsjeeses Reserva of unknown age (probably 3 years). This is a version of their Christmas beer aged in Oak. It was oak-y, a bit spicy, very low carbonation and quite nice overall.

De Struise Tjeeses Reserva

Orval is a beer I like but I rarely drink it at home -- I don't think it travels all that well.  I try to have at least one every trip to Belgium. Since there were just two of us left, we had one from 2008 as well.

Fresh and 2008 Orval

The fresh one was served cool (as in slightly refrigerated) so it wasn't a quite a fare comparison, but I did like the fresh one better. The aged one was much more carbonated and the brettanomyces ("brett") character was very strong. I like a little brett but if you like a strong brett character, go for the aged.

Tom decided to head over to Paters Vatje for more Lasagna (and Dulle Teve, I'm sure) but I decided to call it an early night and finish off with a Avec les Bons Voeux.

Last Beer of the night
On the way out the door Dirk offered me a very special beer. I said I couldn't take it home with me as I wasn't checking luggage. He suggested we drink it together tomorrow night. So stay tuned....

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