Breweries "Visited"

Monday, July 29, 2013

Hail to the Lion

Day #597 Vlaamsche Leeuw Donker / Brouwerij van Vlaanderen, Oostkamp, Belgium
Previously from this brewery: N/A, this beer is the first out the limo!

I know, I know.  You're already sick of hearing about Belgium, and reading about Belgium, and seeing pictures of Belgium.  I do apologize, but if I flew halfway around the planet to visit the beer capital of the world, I'm going to continue boring you until I run out.

Tonight's selection is a bottle of Vlaamsche Leeuw, from Brouwerij van Vlaanderen.  It came in a bottle during a visit to the town of Kortrijk, a short bike ride away from the French border.  This is the donker, which means dark beer in Flemish, but like all breweries in Belgium they also make a blonde.  In the glass, you see a rich, dark brown color with a lingering fluffy head.  Your nose finds caramel and apples, and when you take a sip you get delicious, caramel malt sweetness with touches of dark fruits.  For most of the trip, I stayed with lighter beers and tended to not choose donkers, but this one was a great call - and one I'm not likely to find in America any time soon!!!
The say what now?
For those of you who want a super brief international diplomacy lesson, Belgium was at one time part of several other countries, including France.  It's not any longer, but people in the Flanders region in the northern part of the country, which speaks Flemish (a variation of Dutch), don't always see eye to eye with the predominately French speaking part of the country in the south.  The phrase Vlaamsche Leeuw translates to Flemish Lion, and is actually the name of the national anthem of the Flemish people.  The lion symbol on the glass and bottle can be found on many flags flown over Flanders, and the bad blood between France and Belgium goes back to 1300 or so.  These guys can hold a grudge!

Looks like this beer is contract brewed at de Proef, a large brewer where smaller guys come to brew beer rather than investing in the bricks and mortar needed to start up their own production facilities.  I'm more or less okay with this practice, as long as the brewery in question participates in the brewing and not just mails in a recipe.

Thing to Think About Today:
In the spirit of all things Flanders and anyone smart enough to pick a lion as your mascot, I present to you some Mumford and Sons, with the always awesome Little Lion Man.  Which of course would be Beetje Leeuw Man in Flemish (I think), which doesn't really roll off the tongue.  Going with a live version from Red Rocks, where I will eventually see a concert in person.  Eventually.  Have a good night all... I regret to inform you more Belgium is on the way when I write again next.

"Take all the courage you have left / And waste it on fixing all the problems that you made in your own head"

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