My next day in Brussels, Tuesday 3 October, I took advantage of our friends’ lovely backyard by installing myself with two grocery store bought beers. The cats then did their part by installing themselves on wall and lawn respectively.
I started out with a Sloeber, which is a member of the strong blond family. It was good. Then I moved onto a Luvanium Tripel, which is a newly brewed beer inspired by what the students at the University of Leuven used to make in the 1700s.
Appearance: golden with a nice head, 9%
Nose: classic, Belgian yeast, spices
Palate: fruity, spicy, fresh white bread
Finish: white pepper, coriander, hops
Overall: a yummy Belgian Tripel
Rating: 4/5 Excellent
After a quick lunch, I headed towards the Grand Place again, this time to check out those cafés that I missed the day before.
At the Poechenellekelder, which is opposite the famous statue of a peeing boy, Manneken Pis, I enjoyed a Witkap Pater Special. A little over four years ago, I sat in the very same spot and enjoyed the same beer, which was eventually narrated in the blog post Belgium part 2: Witkap Pater Special. This time though, I took some photos!
I decided to stay for a second beer, so I tried a Brusseleir Zweit IPA, which is apparently a hybrid black IPA. This beer is indicative of how influential the North American craft beer scene has been on Belgium in the last few years. Whereas last time I visited there was little to no sign of American influence on Belgian brewing practices, now there are dozens of new micro breweries churning out American style craft beers, and even the existing breweries are indulging in the hop craze. I actually find this kind of sad, since the hop craze often seems one dimensional, but I suppose fads make money.
Brusseleir Zweit IPA
Appearance: very dark brown, beige head, 8%
Nose: burnt coffee, hops
Palate: black cherry, hops, alcohol
Finish: powerful hops and coffee
Rating: 3/5 Good
Finally I visited the puppet theatre café Toone, where I drank a Rodenbach. I also met a fellow traveller, Dev from San Francisco, and he graciously gave me the last two fingers of Westvleteren 12 from his bottle!
After a visit to yet another art gallery, I embarked for one night in Luxembourg!