Thursday, December 12, 2019

Antwerp Day 1

I started out the day heading up towards the University to check out the recently re-opened ‘t Waagstuk.  A couple of years ago they suddenly announced they were closing because the city and declared the building to be unsafe. Not surprising with an old building. I heard later that there was in addition a dispute between partners, but that is just a rumor.  Anyway, a few months ago they re-opened. The entrance...

...and the courtyard looked the same.

The have 10 beers on tap, five fixed and five rotating.

I hadn’t had a De Koninck yet. The way you order it in Antwerp is to ask for a Bolleke, which is the name for this shape of glass. Duvel/Moortgat, the owners of the brewery, officially changed the name of the beer to “Bolleke” — I assume to protect them against somebody else selling a beer in that same shape glass. Whatever the name, it still tastes good, but the name seems silly to me.

It was lunchtime, so I ordered some spaghetti, that most Belgian of bar food. This was a cut above the usual Bolognese with mushrooms and veggies in the sauce. 

I needed another beer, so I ordered the Troubadour Magma Tropical, this years special Magma beer. As the name implies, lot of fruity hops in there.

The bar looked pretty much the same but before there was a large beer mug collection hanging from the ceiling (you can see the empty hooks) and I remembered more old time brewery memorabilia. But it was the same cozy place.

It was time to move on, one more place to check out. On the way I passed a bakery with a bread vending machine. I supposed they are all over but I’ve only seen them in Antwerp (there is one in the train station)

I was heading to Billies Bottle Shop. I normally don’t include bottle shops in my travels, unless they are set up to drink the beer on site. Billies — which is connected to the Billies pub, was reported to have two taps and a heated patio where you could drink the tap beer or a bottle you purchased.

I peeked in the window and saw the two beers on tap were Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout, while a great beer I didn’t come to Belgium to drink it, and another American beer that was a fruity-tooty milkshake IPA from a brewery I didn’t recognize. So I passed and headed to the Kulminator.

I ordered the Krieken Lambik and Leen asked if I wanted Timmerman’s or Oud Beersel. I couldn’t decide so I ordered one of each.

The Timmerman’s was four years old and Leen though the Oud Beersel was about two years old. Surprising to me, the Timmerman’s was my favorite. It still had noticeable cheery aroma and flavor and was nicely tart. The Oud Beersel was thin and head a strange “meaty” aroma (though not in the taste) 
and really had no significant cherry.

I was going to make this a short day, so I ordered one last beer, the Rodenbach Grand Cru.  Not much to say about it. You either love or hate this beer and I don’t hate it.

I had overdone it bit the day before so I was knocking off early to be rested and ready for the days to come.

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