We visited Poperinge this morning, it’s the hop growing capital of Belgium and our nearest proper town. While there we saw a nice church (or “castle” if you’re Josh) and some war memorials then went to a cafe. We wanted to try local beers so I had a St. Bernardus 6 and Jess had a Poperings Nunnebier. I choose the weakest St. Bernardus on the menu as it was hot and I was driving though it’s still 6.7%! One of the original recipes from when it was brewed under license for Trappist Westvleteren, it was nice and rich while lighter than their big hitters but a little sweet for me as I’ve found St. Bernardus beers before. The Nunnebier is 7.2% but tastes just like a nice refreshing malty pilsner, amazing! Jess then picked up some other interesting locals to try.
We then headed home for lunch. Our three year, Josh, is a big fan of Westvleteren and Chimay… cheese. He thinks beer smells like poopy which is very good news at his age.
Later we met friends in Brugge. While Josh demolished yet another waffle with ice cream and chocolate sauce I had a Rochefort 10 and Jess had a Straffe Hendrick Tripel which were both very nice.
At home in the evening we tried a Poperings Hommelbier 7.5% which is a really excellent blond with hints of grapefruit or lemon and spicy yeast. It’s a little like a Westmalle Tripel but a little weaker at 7.5% which makes it an excellent thirst quencher.
Finally Jess made a carbonnades flamondes (beef beer stew) for tomorrow which required half a big bottle of St. Bernadus Abt leaving leaving the other half to finish… It’s lovely, rich and caramelly with orange and spice though not actually spiced like Pannepot or Rochefort. I enjoyed it much more than I had previously in the UK though it’s still a tiny bit sweet for me and Jess thinks it lacks the depth of a dark Rochefort or Westvleteren.