Day Seven, West Flanders: Kortrijk, Ieper, Poperinge, Paix, Ter Posterie

We had breakfast at the hostel in Brugge and then caught the train to Kortrijk. We walked around the city and saw what there was to see, which was essentially just the Stadhuis. We stopped for lunch at a restaurant called "Pomodoro, Pomodoro," where David had an alleged slice of pizza and I had salmon ravioli.

Having exhausted the tourism opportunities in Kortrijk, we decided to take to train to Ieper, rent a car and drive to some of the WWI grave sites in the surrounding countryside. The rental place was a Ford dealership on the edge of town. We were able to rent a Ford KA without any problems, though the guy thought it was weird that we just wanted it for one day. We stopped for gas (petrol!) and purchased a road atlas of Belgium. The picture below isn't the car we drove, but it gives you an idea of how small the car was.

The tiny Ford KA

We drove to various WWI cemeteries around Ieper including the German Cemetery.

WWI cemetery

WWI cemetery

WWI cemetery

WWI cemetery

A monument to Canadian soldiers

German cemetery

German cemetery

After driving to the cemeteries, which where wholly depressing, we decided to drive to Abdij St. Sixtus to see if In De Vrede, the brewery café, was open. We tried to take N8 to Westvleteren, but due to abysmal signage, we were unable to follow the road. We ended up getting lost and taking a circuitous route. Finding the abbey on the back roads was difficult as well. We eventually found it, but the café is closed on Fridays so we weren't able to get anything.

We then drove into Poperinge for dinner. The plan was to eat at Paix, which was listed in the Good Beer Guide, but the food was a little too haught. Instead we stopped at a Belgian fast food palce. I ordered a burger and fries (with mayo) and a can of Hoegaarden, and David ordered a chicken kabob with fries (with ketchup). The burger was okay, but the fries were good. As we were leaving the fast food place we saw the guy we rented the car from in line, though he didn't notice us.

We then went to Paix for a round before heading to Ieper.

565. Queue De Charrue Brune

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Brasserie Vanuxeem
Alcohol: ?
Serving: Bottle, 11.2 oz.
Style: Belgian Dark Ale, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (3.5): Pours a clear ruby with a thin brown head that fades to a sudsy film.

Smell (3.5): Notes of cherries with some medicinal phenols.

Taste (3.5): Cherry sweetness with a flash of tartness and a medicinal finish. Too sweet overall.

Mouthfeel (3.5): Medium-bodied, low carbonation, a bit syrupy.

Drinkability (3.5): Too sweet and syrupy, but otherwise not bad.

Overall (3.5)

566. Queue De Charrue Blonde

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Brasserie Vanuxeem
Alcohol: 9.00%
Serving: Bottle, 11.2 oz.
Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.0): Pours a cloudy golden with a thick, white head that fades to a persistent quarter-inch layer leaving patchy lace.

Smell (3.5): Grainy with some pepper and light citrus.

Taste (4.0): Subdued fruity sweetness upfront with a peppery and grainy finish with a light bitterness.

Mouthfeel (3.5): High carbonation, light-bodied with a grainy dryness.

Drinkability (4.0): Good, sweet and spicy.

Overall (3.85)

After leaving Paix we headed to Ieper and went to Ter Posterie for a round. We were the only people in the bar aside from a large group of British people who asked if I was writing a thesis on beer, and later called us tickers under their breath.

567. Yperman

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Brouwerij Leroy
Alcohol: 5.50%
Serving: Bottle
Style: Belgian Pale Ale, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.0): Pours a lightly hazy amber-golden with a thin off-white head that persists as a thin layer.

Smell (3.5): Light fruit, sugar and peppery spice.

Taste (3.5): Light sweetness, fruit and toasty malts upfront. The finish is peppery with some mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel (4.0): Medium-bodied, low carbonation, lightly dry finish.

Drinkability (4.0): Decently drinkable. Not too sweet.

Overall (3.7)

568. Kuurnse Witte

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Brouwerij Bavik
Alcohol: 7.00%
Serving: Bottle
Style: Witbier, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.0): Pours a hazy golden with a thick, ecru head that fades to a thin film leaving heavy lace.

Smell (3.5): Sweet and fruity with bananas, tart orange, some sweet malt, pepper and coriander.

Taste (3.5): Sweet bananas, some orangey tartness, with a light spiciness and a light graininess in the finish.

Mouthfeel (4.0): Medium-bodied, low carbonation, dry graininess and warming alcohol.

Drinkability (3.5): Too sweet.

Overall (3.65)

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