Later, on that same day in Brussels, I visited the Poechenellekelder, another classic Brusselse cafe. It is located across from the Manneken Pis, Belgium’s famous statue of a urinating little boy. Despite my frequent pub crawling while on exchange, I had never actually been to the Poechenellekelder before, so this was a real treat to be able to investigate a classic cafe for the first time! I decided to order a Witkap beer, since I had fond memories of their line up. It did not disappoint. Once again tasting notes scribbled on the back of a coaster.
Nose: Apricots, honeyed oats.
Palate: Rich, creamy, delicate, soft, complex, cream corn, (butter toffee?)
Finish: Provides an enveloping balm of flavour to the throat, yeasty, honeyed oats.
5/5 Fucking Excellent
In June 2013 I returned to Belgium for the first time since my exchange, and while I was there I quested to reach a total of tasting 200 different Belgian beers. My lifetime total upon arrival was 186, and I started out with a couple of days in Brussels to add to that. During my first full day on the town I tried 5 new beers, a grand start! On that day I visited the lovely cafe A La Mort Subite. With its Art Nouveau architecture, excellent beers and classic Bruxelloise vibe, I would recommend this cafe to anyone who visits Brussels.
Context: The other day I went downtown Victoria with the aim of shortening my hair. I headed over to Jimmy’s on Fort Street, where you can get the most inexpensive haircut in town, only $13. Giving my usual vague advice to the barber, “just make it a couple inches shorter please, I don’t like having to do stuff with it in the morning,” I exited Jimmy’s having transformed from “a hockey player to a business man, your wife love you even more!” In all honesty, I wasn’t even sure what had happened to my hair; apparently I now had short hair everywhere except at the front, which was really the only area that was too long for me when I had walked in, and it was all slicked up and to the side in some sort of a ridiculous James Dean part. Turns out James Dean didn’t really have a part in his hair, but he never had a wife either, so at least I had one thing in common with him. Meeting up with some friends, we played 9-ball, drank beer, and watched Hockey Night in Canada. During my second pint of the Tasman, and third pint of the afternoon, I recorded these notes.
Appearance: Copper coloured with a nice frothy head. A proper 20oz glass.
Nose: Hoppy and crisp, like a hoppy apple cider.
Palate: Much like the nose.
Finish: Refreshing, with hints of heather and hop.
Rating: 3/5 Good
Context: During my exchange in Belgium, I lived not far from Brouwerij Huyghe , and I was often told by the locals about “the pink elephant” Delirium Tremens, the local beer which had been “elected best beer in the world.” I would smile and nod, since most people assumed I knew nothing about beer, which to be fair was half true, since I had arrived with a rather undeveloped palate, but I did have a vast knowledge of brands, styles and brewing history already in my mind. Later during my exchange I was fortunate enough to receive a private tour of the brewery with my parents, given to us by the owner, who happened to know my host family. I also learned to enjoy Huyghe’s flagship beer, as well as their Guinness world record holding cafe in Brussels, Delirium Cafe, which offered over 2000 different beers at that time. I truly enjoyed living in a land where everyone knew about Delirium Tremens, even if they didn’t drink it, because hey, drinking enough of something else could make you understand just the same…
The first blog post is always the hardest, or so I’ve been experiencing for the past year and a half, ever since I decided to start blogging about beer. In that span I have drank a lot of beer, and I have had my fair share of adventures, but somehow I have never been able to convert to this social media thing to tell my stories. Instead I have enthusiastically told all manner of hilarious personal stories to anyone who would listen in the many pubs, bars, living rooms and bonfires that I frequent. But that is all changing right now, for this is truly a blog post, and it is about Tuesday afternoon, when I drank some beer, and then some whisky. Continue Reading