Breweries "Visited"

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Basement Fires

Day #624 Vuur & Vlam / Brouwerij De Molen, Bodegraven, Netherlands
Previously from this brewery: Engels, London Porter

So after reviewing the first two beers from Sint-Sixtus, you're expecting the legedary Westvleteren 12 here today, right?  Nope.  Going to make you wait for that one.  My blog and I can do whatever I want.

Instead, I'll give you the only non-Belgian beer I drank during the Beercycling trip: a bottle of Vuur & Vlam, an IPA from Dutch brewer Brouwerij De Molen.  I found this bottle on the impressive tap list at Le Trappiste, a cool basement (catacombs?) bar in Brugge.  This beer poured a dark gold color with a fluffy white head.  At least I think it did - not great lighting in the catacombs.  There are aromas of tangerine, and when you drink it you find pine and grapefruit, with good amounts of bitterness throughout.  Very tasty, and easily the hoppiest beer I drank on the trip.  If you close your eyes, this tastes exactly like an American IPA; one that I really enjoyed.

Henk, one of our tour guides, is from the Netherlands and actually grows hops on his farm which he sells to De Molen.  He let us know that this beer name translates to English as "Fire & Flames," although if Henk knew why, I'm not sure I wrote that down.  They have a number of "something & something" named beers, in fact, if you check out their website. Guess they have a fondness for the ampersand?
Darkness not good for photos
I mentioned that Le Trappiste is in an old basement - the bar is in a building that (allegedly) dates back to the 13th century.  They had an impressive draft and bottle list, including a beer from Flying Dog in Maryland. One of the very, very few American beers I saw on any of the beer menus I looked at.  As if this all wasn't good enough, the sound system was blaring a Queen album.  Not just one song - an entire album.  It's like they knew I was coming!
Life in the catacombs
Thing to Think About Today:
Follow me a bit: IPAs are known for their strong hops.  Hops grow on vines.  This beer is named Fire and Flames.  Therefore, I make a stretch connection and give you Death Cab for Cutie and their extraordinarily mellow Grapevine Fires, a song with a permanent home in my quiet mix for when I want to just zone out.

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