Day Six, Brugge: Brugs Beertje, Dickie's

We arrived at Brugs Beertje, which means "The Little Bruges Bear." It's a small two room bar with a nice shabby atmosphere. The walls are covered with beer signs, a picture of which is on the cover of The Good Beer Guide. We sat in the front room at a table near the German guys who we had seen earlier in the day. As the guide says, there's a"virtual guarantee of meeting like-minded beer travelers from everywhere." The beer list was extensive with a lot of quality beers by solid breweries. Having skipped dinner we ordered a snack plate, which had sausage, pâté, cheese and garnishes. I'm now convinced that plates like this are the perfect bar snack.

We ended up socializing at this bar much more than at other bars that we'd been to. Perhaps it was the alcohol taking effect. Whatever the reason, it was a great time.

The Germans:
We spent quite awhile talking to the German guys who we'd run into three times already. The conversation was mostly about politics and the EU. At one point David said "Right now Americans think they can destroy everything." To which one of them replied, "Yeah, there was a time when the Germans thought we could destroy everything too." Not knowing if this was a joke or not David and I remained silent until they started laughing themselves. They eventually moved on to Dickie's, where we would run into them later.

The Brewer and Wife:
A British couple came in who we also talked with. He was the Brewer for Green Jack in the UK. They were ostensibly there on vacation, but his wife seemed to think that on this trip he had managed to bring work into it by the virtue of being at a bar talking about beer. He said his brewery was near St. Peters, and that all of "the boys that work at St. Peters drink my beer because St. Peters is shite." We mostly talked beer. He couldn't say enough good things about American hops.

Bob and Shelagh:
Bob and Shelagh were a couple from the UK, Edinburgh if I remember correctly. David was practicing coaster flips when Bob asked him to try it left handed. A task at which David failed miserably. Bob wrote the following in my book:
David, the cocky bastard, lost to a UK pensioner at left handed beer mat flips.
Ha Ha, Bob Richards
Bob was a consummate joker, so our choice of Belgium over the UK as a vacation destination was ridiculed with, "Name five famous people from Belgium." When he found out I was a grad student at MIT he said "Name me five famous people to graduate from MIT." Somehow the topic of stature came up and I referred to myself as thin. Bob responded by calling me "porky" for the rest of the evening, "are you sure you should be wearing that sweater porky? Horizontal stripes are a bad choice for you." David was also talking about author Ian Rankin, but couldn't remember a title. Bob wrote this in my book:
"I know every Ian Rankin book I just cannot remember one title."

Bob and David

Bob and I

David and Bob

We eventually decided to head to Dickie's to finish out the night.

559. N'Ice Chouffe

Where I got it and serving details.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Brasserie d'Achouffe
Alcohol: 10.00%
Serving: Bottle, 750 mL
Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.0): Pours a hazy brown-amber with a thick, brown head that thins to a film leaving good lace.

Smell (4.0): Sweet, notes of caramel, cherries and raisins with light pepper on swirling.

Taste (4.0): Sweet and fruity malts: light cherries and raisins. There's lots of pepper in the finish with some nice roasted flavors.

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

Drinkability (4.0): Good drinkability for a strong winter beer.

Overall (4.0)

560. Watou Tripel

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
Alcohol: 7.50%
Serving: Bottle, 11.2 oz.
Style: Tripel, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.0): Pours a hazy amber with a thick white head that retains well leaving patchy lace as the glass is emptied.

Smell (4.0): Mixed fruit aromas, bananas and sour apples. There's also some honey sweetness.

Taste (4.0): Banana, berry and sour apple fruitiness. The finish is peppery with a moderat hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel (4.5): Medium-bodied, moderate carbonation, dry finish.

Drinkability (4.5): Very drinkable.

Overall (4.1)

561. Het Kapittel Abt

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Brouwerij Van Eecke N.V.
Alcohol: 10.00%
Serving: Bottle, 11.2 oz.
Style: Tripel, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.5): Pours a cloudy golden with a thick, white head that remains as a persistent half-inch layer leaving heavy lace.

Smell (4.0): Fruity, mostly sour apples with a leafy hop aroma

Taste (3.5): Some fruity sweetness, some tartness, moderate peppery spice with a light bitterness in the finish.

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

Drinkability (4.0): Very drinkable.

Overall (3.9)

561. De Dolle Extra Export Stout

I let the brewer for Green Jack try this. He thought it was a good stout, but you could tell it was Belgian.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers
Alcohol: 9.00%
Serving: Bottle, 11.2 oz.
Style: Foreign / Export Stout, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (5.0): Pours an opaque black with a thick brown head.

Smell (4.0): Nice stout roasted aromas of chocolate and coffee as well as some tart cherry aromas.

Taste (4.5): Cherry and chocolate with a nice sourness. The finish has some nice roasted bitterness.

Mouthfeel (4.5): Medium to full-bodied, velvety, moderate carbonation.

Drinkability (4.5): A very nice and tasty stout.

Overall (4.5)

563. Wostyntje

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Brouwerij De Regenboog
Alcohol: 7.00%
Serving: Bottle, 11.2 oz.
Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.0): Pours a cloudy orange with a fluffy, white head that leaves patchy lace.

Smell (4.0): Fruity, peppery. I can't smell mustard.

Taste (3.5): Fruity and sweet banana flavors. The finish is spicy with some pepper and mustard, which is surprisingly, not overpowering.

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

Drinkability (4.0): Not bad for such a strange beer.

Overall (3.8)

564. Jan Van Gent

I've made a note to myself in the book not to trust the numbers because I'm drunk, so I haven't put them here (overall: 4.05).

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Brouwerij Liefmans
Serving: Bottle
Style: Belgian Pale Ale, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance: Pours a lightly hazy golden with a white head that retains well and leaves no lace.

Smell: Some light fruitiness, with noticeable grainy aromas.

Taste: Sweet and fruity with some dry graininess.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation, medium-bodied and lightly dry.

Drinkability: Very!

We left Brugs Beertje and headed to Dickie's where we saw the Germans again. This time we got a picture with them as they were leaving.

With the Germans

We didn't have anything new, though David had a Chimay before I cut him off, while I had a Chimay and two Orvals.

There was a large group of people in the back singing Irish folk songs. It was a mixed group, there were three Irish people, and Englishman and a few Belgians. David walked over and got them to start singing James Taylor. Then David and I sang all three verses of Mercedes Benz, though when we were on the second and third verses they were still singing the only verse people know. They invited us to sit with them, so we talked for a while, about what I don't remember.

There was a lot more singing, but eventually we got into pub games, like blowing cards off of a glass. David, being David got competitive and started to irritate the laid back Europeans. He was chastised four times by various people, five if you count what the owner said to me.
1. Ex Belgian Military - "You have to be who you are."
2. Englishman - "Don't kid a kidder."
3. Portuguese Owner - "You are in Europe, not America. Try and learn something.
4. Belgian Tour Guide - "You're so competitive you can't help but defeat yourself."
5. Portuguese Owner (to me as I was paying) - "Your friend is too American, you're not, but your friend is."

We somehow managed to stumble back to our hostel. I have no idea how we found it, but we did.

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