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Old 08-18-2009, 02:37 PM   #1
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Default Summer 09 European beer tour

Here are a few of the beers we sampled on our recent trip to Germany, Holland and Belgium.

First off the Alts. We had been to Uerige twice before (in late Winter both times), but never any of the others. This time we hit all of the Brewpubs in the Alstadt of Dusseldorf. Schumacher was the favorite of both of us. This beer was almost a pale ale, all the was missing was some aroma hops, and some crystal malt. We love Uerige, it was more malty and we decided that this would still be our favorite when visiting in colder weather. In the summer heat, the hops of the Schumacher hit the spot. Fuschen was good too. Schlussel was good, but our least favorite. There was a hint of sourness in this one. It was earlier in the day so it could have been a less fresh keg.
We also had the Vingus Alt at its brewpub in nearby Krefeld.

The Uerige stop was the most important stop as this Alt is available in the States and we wanted to compare the two. The version from the pub didn't have the slightest hint of sweetness that the import version has. The same was true for all of the Alts, no sweetness at all, malty yes, sweet no. My wife's best guess is that there is some caramelization occuring during the pastuerization prior to export. All had noticible bitterness, but very smooth. Some had a slight hint of roast to them. None was thin, but a couple had a very full body.
Top left photo is Schumacher




Typical serving style at the brewpubs. This was at Schumacher (Im Golden Kessel)

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Old 08-18-2009, 02:39 PM   #2
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Here are some of the beers we had in Belgium, in the town of Namur (French speaking region)

We visted with some cousins (retirees) of my Mother-in-law who live just south of Charloi. We were offered a number of beers from his cellar. We had a Mort Subite Kriek and it was great! We also had it later at a bar. Dinner was moule frites washed down with the Maes pils (large commercial brand). Best mussels ever, beer was great (contextual). The next day we walked around Namur and did some grazing and drinking.



Mort Subite (Sudden Death) Kriek and Gueuze Maes Pils and Blanche de Bruges Wit

The Geueze was lovely, almost hard cider like. The Wit was loaded with coriander and really hit the spot. We also picked up a few bottles to try later. We had a regular Rodenbach and it was much better than the bottles I've had in the State. We also had some Leffe (Blonde and Brune) but weren't to thrilled with them.

Then it was back to Germany and on to Cologne.

I was surpised by the Kolsch compared to the two imports I've had in the States - Gaffel and Rheisdorf - which we should have tried on our trip, but didn't. They all were way more bitter than I expected. All had very noticible and often lingering bitterness. The Malzmuhle was the least bitter, but it was still obvious. The fruitiness I expected was there, but I was definitely surprised by the hops. Like the Alts, little hop aroma.



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Old 08-18-2009, 02:39 PM   #3
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More Kolsch in Cologne



Pfaffen, not to be confused with Paffgen. Two doors apart from one another and apparently the result of some family dispute



I enjoyed all of the Kolschs we tried. I found them all fairly similar to one another - more so than the Alts. I'd have to say the Paffgen and the Sunner were probably my favorites.

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Brewing soon: Saison
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Old 08-18-2009, 04:12 PM   #4
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super jealous of that trip! looks friggin' awesome... thanks for sharing the pics. that mort subite kriek looks delicioso. the glassware is all beautiful also... i would have had bulging pockets after leaving each spot...

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Old 08-18-2009, 05:00 PM   #5
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I was just through State College, OK, I-80 really, on Friday...

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Old 08-18-2009, 07:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homebrewer_99 View Post
I was just through State College, OK, I-80 really, on Friday...
Next time take the detour (~20 min off I-80 each way) and stop in. I've always got 4 beers on tap, and others available for pulling samples.

We drank a decent amount of beer, but I could have drunk a lot more. Most of the time we were with my Brother-in-law (he lives in that region) and while a fan of good beer, his tolerance is fairly low.

My wife loved Belgium! They people were extremely friendly and they spoke slowly so my wife could easily understand them with her 25 yr ago French from College. We will definitely go back, ideally doing a canal/river boat tour sampling beers along the way. I started looking already and the are a number of boats, but I think it will have to be 2 or more boats with some overland travel - if we want to explore more than one region
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Secondary:
Primary: Pale Ale
Brewing soon: Saison
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Old 08-24-2009, 04:22 PM   #7
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Any advice about or experience with the Luxembourg area in Wallonie? My wife and I will be there in October and we'll be going to Rochefort but I don't really know much else about the area (aside from the history of the Ardennes).

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Old 08-24-2009, 11:15 PM   #8
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pjj2ba thanks for the belgian beer porn man... sure wish i was back there again to try 'em, though i have never had those beers..
Man, belgians is the best... gotta love those beers.
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Old 08-25-2009, 03:09 PM   #9
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We spent one night at a relative of my MIL who lives just South of Charleroi. He recomended a tour of the Ardennes but didn't give any specifics. The next day he dropped us off in Namur and we spent the day there before heading back to Germany. The relative did suggest that one could do a boat tour on the Muse river starting in France and going through the Ardennes, ending in Namur or Leige. That is on our to do list for the next time.

We didn't really have a plan for Belgium other than visiting the relatives - this was a scouting trip. We ended up the next day being dropped off in Namur and just wandered around and grazing and drinking our way around the old part of town. Most bars only had a couple beers on tap. After we got back to my BIL's place in Germany we pulled out his Michael Jackson book and found that we had missed a great beer bar - if we had only turned right at the train station .

From MJ's beerhunter.com

Quote:
Café L'Eblouissant ("The Dazzling"), 27 Grouchy Armée (81 73719), under the guidance of Alain Mossiat, a passionate Walloon of Irish descent. Snack heartily on Belgian sausages-and-mash, followed by ice-cream flavoured with beer. Go on Saturday; it is not open on Sunday. Neither is La Cave de Wallonie (6 Rue de la Halle), where Francois Tonglet has 300 bottled beers for sale by the bottle, with their appropriate glasses, and local gins.
We didn't know about Belgian Gin, again, until we got back to Germany. I'd have liked to try that - next time........
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Brewing soon: Saison
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Old 08-25-2009, 03:48 PM   #10
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Cool. I'm going to check out that website right now. Got to mark stuff on Google Earth.

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