Breweries "Visited"

Sunday, July 21, 2013

King Me!

Day #589 Tripel 8 / Brouwerij Fort Lapin, Bruges, Belgium
Previously from this brewery: n/a... this beer is the first out the limo!

As some of you may have read yesterday, this blog has just returned from a 13 day trip to Belgium, which included an awesome ten day bike tour through the Flanders region of the country.  For those of you who like cycling, travel, and drinking amazing beers, I cannot recommend the good people at enough!  Evan and Henk, our guides, did a fantastic job of putting together itineraries for each day, getting us behind the scenes access at world class breweries, feeding us, and making sure we had a great time.

I don't intend to review every beer I drank in Belgium (sometimes, taking notes is way less fun than just enjoying a beer), I don't intend to review every beer in the order they were drank (not that I even remember what order they came in), and I won't recap every minute of every day spent across the pond (do you really care what I had for lunch in Ghent?).  I will, however, highlight a few key points, mention some of the cool things I saw, and OF COURSE review many of the incredible beers I drank.  Don't expect the reviews to be overly lengthy; like I said, I had more fun drinking them than I did writing about them.

First up was a visit we paid to Brouwerij Fort Lapin, a newcomer on the Belgian brewing scene.  Housed in an old chocolate factory, this brewery was started by Kristof Vandenbussche - a former HVAC specialist who loved brewing beer.  Named for the local fort (and Lapin means 'rabbit' in French, in case you were wondering about the logo), this brewery only produces two beers, and doesn't ship outside of their local area.  Why?  Because Kristof only wants to brew enough beer to pay the bills and be happy.  He's not trying to be beer giant InBev.  Smart thinking, and I'm sure one that affords him much happiness.

I sampled both of the beers there, and today's review is for the Tripel 8, which poured a hazy gold color with a nice, white, fluffy head.  The taste was dry, with promintent notes of grain, and a balance of malt and mild bitterness.  A typical but tasty Belgian blonde beer - and refreshing after our ride from Ghent over to Brugge. One interesting thing I noticed; Americans are quick to categorize their beers and create new "unique" styles. In Belgium, unless you're talking lambics or gueuze, you pretty much get blonde and bruin as your styles.   They keep it simple, and I like that.
Nice glass....
How's this for good timing?  As I write this review, it's Belgian National Day!  Basically, that's like their 4th of July, as it commemorates the day Leopold I swore his allegiance, becoming the first "King of the Belgians".  Special meaning this year, as King Albert II is abdicating the throne, and his son, Crown Prince Phillipe, is taking over.

Thing to Think About Today:
In honor of King Phillipe's ascendance to the throne, I present America's version of The King, Elvis Presley, in tribute.  Long live the new King, the seventh Belgium has ever known.

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