Sunday, October 18, 2015

More walking around Antwerp drinking bee

Our traditional Saturday in Antwerp involves an early Bolleke at Oud Arsenaal, then those that are interested take a walk thru the open air market.

I'd seen the market and didn't have anything to buy, so I stayed for another beer, this one the house beer, Arsenaaltje

When the group was back together we walked around the Cathedral...  place called Bar Deco. From the outside it doesn't look that interesting but they have a decent tap list and a wonderful bottle list, including lots of lambics.

I had a Kriek Boon -- a bit sweeter than I like but very refreshing.

Then it was over to Antwearps Bierhuiske, one of the better beer cafes in Antwerp.

I started off with a 3 Forquets Lupulus a hoppy Belgian IPA (of hoppy Triple if you prefer).

Keeping on the theme, next was Choufee Houblon, another Belgian IPA. Both were great.

We needed some food so we walked around the corner to Gollem. Their tap list has gotten better over the years, many more interesting beers.

I had the Schelde Brouwerij Zeezuiper with my Vlaams Stoofvleees.

Way too much food -- the stew was made with Westmalle Dubble.

Then it was 4pm and you know where we were next...

I hadn't had the La Trappe Quad, so I did.

Tom ordered an Oerbier so I had an Arabier. Both were nice, hard to choose which I liked better.

Getting ready to call it a night, we went out with a bang -- De Struise Black Albert and Mikkeller Black. The Black Albert was "only" 13% but stood up well. As somebody once said, don't be afraid of the dark...

Sunday we will take our trip into Brussels.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Walking around Antwerp drinking beer

The first stop was Oud Arsenaal -- we wanted to get there with to start the day to try the two Trappist "Monk's" beers they had -- Westmalle Extra and Chimay Doree. 

They were each about 4.8% and very delicious. I could drink either one all day -- I guess that is the point...

Next we headed over to Gollem for beer and a bowl of soup. I started with the Triple D'Anvers, De Konnick's very nice triple.

The soup of the day was "Tomato Chicory" -- it was tasty but strange. Not much tomato.

The had the Troubadour Magma Triple Strike Brett on draft. I had to try one...

I enjoyed it but a small glass was enough -- the flavor built up on your tongue and so got overpowering.  It has a wonderful hop aroma and the hop bitterness and the Brett character worked -- for a while.

Next we walked down the street to a new (for me) place -- Cafe Pardaf.

The tap selection was not so interesting -- lots of Leffe but they have a great bottle selection. I had the Weize Triple -- a new beer for me that won somebody's award of "Best Triple of 2014.' I couldn't argue.

By now it was close to 4pm and we had an appointment at the Kulminator. Again, started with a Bon Voeux. Can't go wrong with that...

Moving up the alcohol line, next was a Bush Noel -- sweet but not too sweet and very drinkable for 12% alcohol.

We next had a flight of Stille Nacht, going back to the early 1990's The pale one on the left is 2014 -- quite a difference.

The oldest Stille Nacht on the menu is 1987 so we tried one of those. Wow, still a great beer.

Then we got a treat, Dirk brought out the original 1982 Stille Nacht from his private stock. Over 30 years old  and still a great beer.

I didn't actually get to drink this one but they had an empty bottle of Spencer, the Trappist beer from Massachusetts...

Going down hill, we decided to have some Triples. Leen brought them out blind -- we knew what two of them were but not the other two.

We picked out the Westmalle but failed on the others...

The beer of the week was a Barley wine from the Netherlands -- I met the brewer once at the Kulminator (he is a friend of Dirk and Leen's) so I thought it might be rude not to try his beer. Very, very nice.

My brother had a "come to Tsjeesus" moment so  took a picture...

My finishing beer was to be a Mikkeller Black, a wonderful 17% beer. I got about two sips when said brother managed to spill it while passing it around the table.

So as penance he bought two VIven IPA's for the table. I remember them as being tasting but at this point I don't remember much else.

That was it for the day. We overdid it enough that we skipped our plan day trip to Brussels.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

First Day in Antwerp

The Sticke Warriors 2015 trip is underway and Wednesday we arrived in Antwerp. Crappy internet connection at the hotel so for now just some pictures...

 After dropping our stuff at the hotel, we headed for Oud Arsenaal...

First beer there is always the a Bolleke of De Konnick -- as good as ever.

A lot of really interesting beers  to try, including both Westmalle Extra and Chimay Doree (the lower gravity beers the monks drink)

We decide to try the 3 single hop beers -- 30, 60 and 90 (rough IBUs) with New Zealand, French and American hops respectively. Surprising me I really like the 30 with the 60 a close second. The 90 was made with Chinook and I guess I've just had enough beers made with that hop.

It was time for some food so we headed over to Paters Veatje

Many of us usually have a De Dolle Dulle Teve ("Mad Bitch") there but surprisingly they don't carry it any more. So I had a De Ranke XX Bitter -- another very fine beer.

Lasagne Verde is my tradition choice.

Then back to the hotel to check and ad rest a bit and then we headed for the Kulminator for their 4pm opening (we were a bit late)

An amazing tap list -- probably the best I've ever seen there. Many exclusive or nearly exclusive beers.

DuPont Avec les Bons Voeux is always my first beer...

Next up was the Chimay Grande Reserve (aka Chimay Blue) on draft -- a first for me. Be draft it was too cold so I had to let it warm up a but...

Changing gears next was a Timmerans Kriekelnambic -- also on draft and very tart and sour.

To balance the sour we went with sweet -- the Kulminators 40th Anniversay beer (brewed by Mikkeller)

Dirk said we need a nightcap so he pour us a taste of "Black Albert on Steroids" -- the De Struisse Black Albert stout twice freeze distilled (think eisbock) to bring it to 40%. Wow