Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Day 5 and 6: Brugge and Ghent

The last night in Brussels we hit delerium beer café. 3 big levels with people from the beer festival. 27 beers on tap. Tried german dunkel (chocolate, perfect finish to the beer and choc day), rader ambree (bit of caramel), Triple Karmeliet (much creamier out of the tap and a bit more caramel), and delerium tremens (house beer that tasted pretty good as well). JF had a blonde before I persuaded him into the Saison IV, which he then stuck on for the rest of the night. Good vibe in the place which kept us there longer than I expected. So a few hours after the beer festival finish, already getting into my first beer café. We head to bruges today. On the way to the train station we met up with the polish couple we had met the day before at the beer festival. After some confusion we managed to pack ourselves onto the train the bruges and an hour later were walking through the lovely streets of it.

Got to the hostel (Charlie Rockets) and Jaimi recommended we hit a Flemish restaurant (Pas Partout), which had an amazing stroverij (beef stewed in beer) which I had with a Leffe Brune. The meat just melted in my mouth and reminded me of how it is with beef and Guinness pie. We had a quick kip before trying to get into some beers. All the places I had wanted to go were closed between lunch and dinner, so just hit a bar on the canal for a standard brune and JF went for another Saison (Urthel). By 4pm the one bar I had really wanted to try was open so we hit T’Brugs Beertje and I was finally able to find some amazing dark beers that the bar owner was very pleased to see me drinking. Of particular note was the Ellezelloise Hercule Stout and the Achel Extra Brune. The De Dolle Special Extra Export Stout, Senne Stouterik and Smisje Catherine Imperial Stout did not fare as well, but then the Hercule (creamy and dark malty) and the Achel (similar to a Rochfort 8/10) were very good. We got chatting to a couple of people at this bar including an American tourist who really appreciated her beers and was really trying to get women into beer. We hung out with Kris for the night heading to Poatersgat. At this point the night got pretty big so not much to say about the beers we had from here. Ok, so I had a big night in Belgium. JF piked and so was just left to Kris and myself to chat to the barman and English bloke sitting beside us. So it’s a bit of a blur but unlike JF, I have pulled up not too bad from the night, and so just writing this entry as I wait for him to sort himself out. Off to Ghent where we have been taking it easy on the beers (I only had three all day), did a tour of the local castle and just enjoyed the surrounds. The first beer was a Gruut Amber which is from the only brewer in Ghent. It was nice early on with caramel taste and texture but then hops hit and the beer watered at the end. I had a Leffe Brune which I think is like the toohey’s old of Belgium. We also hit a nice beer café called Waterhuis aan de Bierkant where I decided to try something a little different with a Bier de Miel Honey Beer.

It was actually a pretty easy drinking beer with I not overly sweet or syrupy. There was a well rounded flavour with enough of a cleansing, slight watery finish to get you going back for more quick enough. So managed to get through the day and not hurt myself any further from the previous night. Tomorrow is Jaimi’s last day with me in Belgium, so he better step up in Antwerp. I think from there I will start my journey to the south to take in some nice country while I drink beer. Really tough going…



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