Summary of the Oct 2010 Bon Beer Voyage Belgium Beercation (Day 3)

Summary of the Oct 2010 Bon Beer Voyage Belgium Beercation

 Day 3 Monday October 25th            (Sailing from Bruges to Ghent)

Our Barge, The Iris

 This morning we had the pleasure of a relaxed breakfast while being able to enjoy the scenery as the barge sailed slowly from Bruges to Ghent through the canal.   We played a few rounds Beer Cap Bingo for some cool prizes.

View during the Morning Sail to Ghent

Rainbow seen during the Morning Sail to Ghent

After another gourmet lunch on the barge we met up with a much smaller canal boat for an informative tour of the historic city of Ghent from the water. 

View of the Ghent waterway from the canal boat

View of the Ghent waterway from the canal boat

After the canal boat tour we all decided to fortify ourselves with a beer before we headed over to see the “torture” devices at the Gravensteen Castle (now a torture museum). 

Café ‘t Galgenhuis

We headed to the smallest bar in Ghent, Café ‘t Galgenhuis, which is an old “hangman’s”  or gallows house turned into a bar. 

 Here we tried 4 different beers from the same brewery Brouwerij Haacht NV.:

Haacht Wit Bier (Excelsior)- a Witbier of 4.8% abv,

Tongerlo Bruin– a 6.0% abv Belgian Dark Ale and    


Charles Quint Blond


Charles Quint Bruin

both the Charles Quint (aka Keizer Karel) Blond and Bruin.  The Blond is a Belgian Strong Pale Ale at 8.5% abv and the Bruin was a Belgian Strong Dark Ale of 9.0% abv.  

Charles Quint Blond and Bruin tasting at Café ‘t Galgenhuis

inside Café ‘t Galgenhuis

Gravensteen Castle

Gravensteen Castle Knight

Thumb screws from the Gravensteen Castle

After our visit through the Gravensteen Castle and seeing all the medieval torture devices we could stand, it was time to calm our tortured nerves with another beer. 

 Our closest stop was ‘t Waterhuis aan de Bierkant.  This canal side gem has a beer list of over 150 beers. 

‘t Waterhuis aan de Bierkant

We shared:

Reinaert Grand Cru

Reinaert Grand Cru -a Belgian Strong Dark Ale at 9.5% abv by De Proefbrouwerij,

Buffalo Belgian Bitter

What a huge fluffy head on this Buffalo Belgian Bitter

Buffalo Belgian Bitter- a Belgian IPA of 8.5% abv brewed by Brouwerij Van den Bossche,

Gouden Carolus Noël

Gouden Carolus Noël, a 10.5% abv Belgian Strong Dark Ale from Brouwerij Het Anker,

Rochefort 10

Rochefort 10, a Quadrupel with an abv of 11.30% brewed at the Brasserie de Rochefort  and the House Beer Mammelokker, a 6.0% Bruin.

inside ‘t Waterhuis aan de Bierkant

After our visit to the Waterhuis we walked next door to sample some of the 200 types of jenever at ’t Dreupelkot.  


't Dreupelkot ad and Pol behind the bar



Pol at ‘t Dreupelkot pouring some jenever

 At ‘t Dreupelkot we were greeted by Pol, a Santa Claus looking character.  We tried the vanilla, the chocolate, the banana and various mixtures of these before we convinced the new jenever junkies in our group to leave the bar!

 After our jenever experience, we took a short walk to De Dulle Griet.

Dulle Griet "Mad Meg" the Red Cannon in Ghent

After we all saw the cannon we went to the “other” Dulle Griet.  


De Dulle Griet

Dulle Griet has over 250 different bottle beers on their menu.  Their specialty is their famous “The Max”, which is Kwak from Brouwerij Bosteels poured into a Kwak Yard Glass.   As you may know, these glasses are not cheap, so in order to deter sticky fingered visitors from making them into souvenirs, patrons ordering “The Max” must take off one of their shoes as collateral.  The shoes is then put into a basket and hoisted to the ceiling by a pulley system.  When the glass is returned, so is the shoe! This bar can get crowded, so as a courtesy to your fellow imbibers, if you plan to have a Kwak, wear your odor eaters, please! 

"The Max" at De Dulle Griet

While in Dulle Griet we tried:

St. Bernardus Abt 12, Prior 8 and Rodenbach Grand Cru

St. Bernardus Abt 12– a 10.5% abv  Quadrupel brewed by Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV.

St Bernardus Prior 8– a Dubbel at 8.0 abv by Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV.

St Bernardus Witbier– 5.5% abv Witbier also from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV.

Bob's 1st ever "tart" beer as he tastes Rodenbach Grand Cru

Rodenbach Grand Cru– a Flanders Red Ale at 6.00% abv from Brouwerij Rodenbach NV 

Bush De Noël

Bush De Noël– a 12.0% abv Belgian Strong Dark Ale from Brasserie Dubuisson Frères

Geuze Boon a Gueuze of 6.0% abv from Brouwerij Boon

Gouden Carolus Classic a Belgian Strong Dark Ale -of 8.5%abv Brouwerij Het Anker.

Janet has the Delirium Tremens and is seeing Pink Elephants

Delirium Tremens a 8.5% abv Belgian Strong Pale Ale brewed at Brouwerij Huyghe.

cheers at De Dulle Griet

Afterward we stopped by a nearby bottle shop where a few of us to the opportunity to do a little beer hunting & gathered up few bottle to bring back to the barge as well as back home.

Dinner tonight on the barge was spectacular, we had salmon…

Dinner is served

and we shared a few beers and a few laughs as we reminisced about the day’s adventures.

 Next up is Day 4. We will visit 3 breweries then meet our Barge, the Iris, in Bassrode where we will spend the night before heading to Antwerp and Brussels.


 Link for Summary of Day 1

Link for Summary of Day 2

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Beer #153 Popering Hommel Bier

 The Beer I forgot I had in My Refrigerator & I’m Sure Glad I found It! 


Popering Hommel Bier


Name:  Popering Hommel Bier

Style: Belgium IPA                      

Brewery: Brouwerij Van Eecke N.V.   website

Country: Belgium

Region: Watou

ABV: 7.5% Abv

How served:  750 ml corked & caged bottle poured into a Maredsous glass.           

My Overall Opinion:  Very Good.

I paired this beer with: Grilled tilapia topped with a lemon zest and spicy olive oil.

Tasted on:  Wednesday January 12th, 2011  

Note: This beer poured a hazy straw color with a fluffy 2 finger off white head which left a thick lacing on the glass.   The nose was of sweet citrus, leaning towards orange.  The taste starts off slightly sweet but ends up dry.  In-between you pick up some spices and orange/lemon zest.  In this beer you have what might be a Belgian tripel turned hoppy.  The mouthfeel had a medium creaminess with a good carbonation level which tickled your tongue.  The drinkability was very good and refreshing with no hint of the 7.5%abv hidden in this beer.    This is a top notch Belgian IPA.  This beer improved greatly as it warmed up & I like the way the yeast improved on the flavor in the last pour from the bottle.

 From their website:  Poperings Hommelbier      

Despite the high quality of the abbey beer Het Kapittel, the favourite of the brewery remains POPERINGS HOMMELBIER.

In the area of Poperinge, which is a little town in the west of Belgium, harvesting hops is a main industry and art.  In the local dialect hommel means hop and therefore we have used the dialect to give our product a name: Poperings hommelbier.  In order to brew this beer, we use a blend of 3 types of hops.  In addition, the presence of hops in the beer are strong, enhancing its flavour and refreshing, slightly bitter taste.  Hommelbier is a beer with secondary fermentation in the bottle. Therefore, a layer of ferment is still present at the bottom of the bottle. This beer has a unique distinction of being a completely natural beer. In order to stir the layer of ferment, the beer is gently served in a glass, preferably at a temperature between 6°and8°C. We suggest keeping the bottles upright. Before serving the beer, bottles should be stored in a cool place, until they have reached the desired temperature.

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Beer #131 Alvinne, De Struise & Pipeworks PIPEDREAM


Pipedream by Alvinne, De Struise & Pipeworks

Name:  Pipedream

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale, but drinks like a Belgian IPA

Brewery: This is a  collaboration between Picobrouwerij Alvinne, De Struise Brouwers and Pipeworks Brewing Co.  This was Brewed at Alvinne.

Country:  Belgium

Region:  Heule

ABV: 7.8% Abv

How served: 330ml bottle poured into an Oerbier glass.         

My Overall Opinion: Very Good.

I paired this beer with: Chicken in a box, lemon pepper style.

Tasted on:  Wednesday July 14th, 2010. 

Note:  As I cracked open the cap this beer was starting to gush.  I was able to pour it with minimal beer loss.  It poured with a HUGH thick and chunky head.  This head lasted for quite a while before it thinned out leaving a nice lace on the glass.  The nose was not very strong with hints of citrus and Belgium yeast

The taste was also mild or I should say well balanced, as the hops where there in the background surrounded by sweetness you would normally find in a Belgian strong pale ale plus there was a mild funkiness.  This mixture was close to being Orval like.  This was a nice pleasant find and I would drink it again.

On the Label:  PIPEDREAM is a joint venture between Alvinne, De Struise & Pipeworks Brewing Co.  PIPEDREAM is an American inspired IPA using five hop varieties to satisfy the discerning hophead.  This truly is a Chicago PIPEDREAM come true.

Best by Date: November 2014 stamped on the cap

On their Website While we have not opened our brewery yet, we are currently involved in some interesting collaborations. Our first offering is an American inspired IPA brewed with Belgian breweries De Struise and Alvinne. This is a limited production beer brewed at Picobrewerij Alvinne and will be available at the Pre-ZBF festival, De Struise’s web shop, Alvinne’s bottle shop, and at Ebenezers Restaurant and Pub in Lovell Maine. We are very excited to have the opportunity to work with these fantastic brewers and to bring our pipedream to fruition. We hope you enjoy drinking it as much as we enjoyed brewing it.


The Pipeworks Team

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Beer #105 Stone Cali-Belgique IPA


Stone Cali-Belgique IPA

Name: Stone Cali-Belgique IPA

Style: Belgian IPA

Brewery: Stone Brewing Co.  website

Country: USA

Region: Escondido, California

ABV: 6.9% Abv

How served: 22oz capped bomber poured into a Stone India Pale Ale glass.          

My Overall Opinion: Very Good.

I paired this beer with: Chicken which was marinated with Stubb’s chicken marinade and then grilled. This IPA was very good with cutting thru the mild heat of Stubb’s while not overpowering the flavor, I’ll do this pairing again.

Tasted on:  Tuesday May 4th, 2010. 

Note:  This beer poured with a nice thick head & had a floral nose with a hint of spices from the Belgian yeast and a mild undertone of bubblegum.  The taste was mildly spicy & more on the sweet side then the bitter side despite the IPA label, possibly the influence and the Belgian yeast.  There is nothing about this beer which will make you not want to have another.

On the Label:  Enjoy by 07/06/10.

From their website: When reading the name “Stone Cali-Belgique IPA”, “Cali” hints that it is a California-Style IPA, and this brew has an undeniable Belgian influence, indicated by the word “Belgique” (which is how Belgium’s French-speaking populations says the word “Belgian”; the Dutch-speaking Belgians say “Belgie”).  We carefully selected a Belgian yeast strain that illuminates a fascinating new aspect of the beer is otherwise quite simply Stone IPA.  The result is both completely new and different, while still being recognizable as a Stone brew- and Stone IPA in particular.  Think of it as an otherwise identical twin to Stone IPA that was raised in a Belgian culture.  Literally.

Quick Facts:

First Release Date: August 2008

Hop Variety: Columbus, Centennial, Dry-hopped with Chinook.

Stats: Alc./Vol. 6.9%, 77 IBU’s

Availability: Year-Round Limited Release in 22oz bottles and draft.

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Beer # 93 Victory Wild Devil

Victory Wild Devil Ale

Name: Wild Devil Ale

Style: Belgian IPA

Brewery: Victory Brewing Company website

Country: USA

Region: Downingtown, Pennsylvania

ABV: 6.7% Abv

How served: 750ml caged and corked bottle poured into an Oerbier glass.        

My Overall Opinion: Very Good.

I paired this beer with: Publix lemon pepper rotisserie chicken (chicken in a bag).

Tasted on: Wednesday March 31th, 2010. 

Note: This beer was bottled on Jun 11 2009. This is a great twist on HopDevil, and reminded me a little of Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel, but with a bit more “funk”.  Victory hit a home run on this Belgian style ale. 

On the Label:  It’s arguable that our menacingly delicious HopDevil has always been ‘wild’.  Though the India Pale Ale style that he represents was born in Great Britain, we approached the style with German malts and whole flower American hops, making a unique ale of him, indeed.  But what has made him truly wild is a change of yeast.  Brettanomyces yeast has given many a Belgian ale its soulful character of sharp tang and deep funk.  Fermented completely with brettanomyces, WildDevil features the greatest flavors of Europe and America combined.  Floral, aromatic hops still leap from this amber ale, but a whole host of new flavors are intertwined with the citrus and pine flavors of these hops, making WildDevil a sensation that is wild, worldly and wonderful!

From their website:

ABOUT: Bold, spicy, menacingly delicious HopDevil takes on an entirely new dimension when subjected to a ‘wild’ yeast fermentation. A sharp, tart edge has been added by this fermentation that plays into the caramel sweet malt deliciously and creates complex interplay with the citrus accented hops.

Malts:Imported, 2 row German malts
Hops:Whole flower American hops
Yeast: 100% laboratory grown Brettanomyces
Alcohol by Vol: 6.8%

750 ml bottle conditioned bottles year round; limited draft times

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