We went to Brugge today and had a ride on the horse drawn carriage for Jess’s birthday- lovely! We also bought some amazing chocolate (Chocolaterie De Burg is highly recommended) and visited the Struise brewery shop. They are quite an experimental modern brewery with a huge range which makes choosing really difficult… Eventually I bought a O.N.E.- 10% Bourbon barrel aged, and an Ypres- 7% 2009 double barrel aged, as we plan to visit there.
When at the till I was told that the brewery was open today and it’s very near the cottage in Oostvleteren; The Vleteren area certainly makes lots of good beer! We visited on the way home, tried a few crazy things from the taps including a lovely wheat bock, and bought a mixed crate: 12 Pannepot fisherman’s ales, 6 Black Albert stouts and 6 Elliot Brew IPAs. Er and I picked up a Struiselensis which looks interesting and is brewed with wild yeast. Out of these we know and love the Pannepot and the Black Albert has been highly recommended. We also picked up two glasses and some pannepot bread from the local baker.
When home we tried the Elliot Brew, it’s dark amber, rich and strong (9%) but very hoppy and still quite balanced. Then we had a Pannepot which is even stronger at 10%, dark, spicy with hints of orange orangey and oaky. It’s very rich and very lovely. I’m a very lucky boy to be able to take the family to a brewery on my wife’s birthday, big thanks to her and I hope she enjoyed the day, chocolate and beer.