Drinking In Europe: Witkap Pater Stimulo

Witkap Pater Stimulo

I like to drink things. I especially like drinking things from countries called Belgium, Germany, and the Czech Republic. And In this series which I’ve creatively named Drinking In Europe, I drink something from one of these places or their neighbors and then write about it. 

There’s these things called Trappist beers, ok? These are beers brewed by monks inside Trappist monasteries. There are only a dozen or so of them in the world, of which half are in Belgium. These beers are regarded as some of the best on the planet and are really famous and you’ve probably heard of the most famous ones called Orval and Chimay.

Well, since there is a short supply of these Trappist beers, other breweries in Belgium make similar beers but of course they can’t be called Trappist because that would a sin against the lord our savoir and Belgian law. Instead, these beers emulate the Trappist style and often put a monk-looking dude on their bottle or in their name. Turns out though, that many of these beers are just as or more highly regarded than some of the Trappist beers. One of these such beers is Witkap Pater Stimulo.

Witkap Pater Stimulo

Witkap Pater Stimulo is one of three beers in the Witkap Pater stable, and it is a single ale at only 6%. According to their website, it is a “a refreshing gold-colored beer of high fermentation and with fermentation on the bottle – thus a living beer with evolving taste.” I picked it up in bottles at a local shop, and then proceeded to pour it in the wrong type of glass the wrong way, so it really foamed up on me and I ended up with too much sediment in the glass.

Witkap Pater Stimulo

Is Witkap Pater Stimulo a good beer? Yes, it is. It’s got a beautiful rich golden color and just tastes like what beer should taste like according to me. Pick one up, you won’t regret it, just do a better job of pouring it than me (here’s the brewery’s pouring instructions).

Drinking In Europe: Hoegaarden Forbidden Fruit

Hoegaarden Forbidden Fruit

I like to drink things. I especially like drinking things from countries called Belgium, Germany, and the Czech Republic. And In this series which I’ve creatively named Drinking In Europe, I drink something from one of these places or their neighbors and then write about it.

The town of Hoegaarden, Belgium was a hub of citrusy and sunny white beer activity back in the old days. The drunken fun lasted for centuries before dying out and then being brought back to life by a guy named Pierre Celis in the 1960’s. He created a white beer that eventually came to be known as Hoegaarden.

Hoegaarden white beer from Belgium was one of my first ever tastes of European beer on European soil, and while I know it’s just a big mass-produced AB-InBev brand nowadays, I still have a soft spot for it. A cold draft Hoegaarden on a hot summer night will always be one of my go-to moves, and I’m not going to apologize for it.

Hoegaarden Forbidden Fruit

Apparently, they are now making other beers under the Hoegaarden brand like this thing I picked up at the local beer shop called Hoegaarden Forbidden Fruit. Seems a bit shady if you ask me, but I figured the least I could do was buy it, take it home, pour it in a glass, and drink it.

Hoegaarden Forbidden Fruit

So, what was Hoegaarden Forbidden Fruit like? Well, when I opened the bottle and tilted it, the beer poured out, so we were off to a good start. Once it poured out, it looked nothing like a white (wheat) beer. It’s “maroony” in color and has a toasty brown taste with maybe a medium body? I would say it is probably meant to be more like one of those Belgian Trappy beers than a wheat beer. Despite the name, there is absolutely nothing fruity about it.

Is it a good beer? I would say so, yes.

So, if you like good beer, keep an eye out for it when you buy beer and you could be the next person to drink it.

 

Drinking In Europe: Blanche de Namur

blanche de namur

I like to drink things. I especially like drinking beer from countries called Belgium, Germany, and the Czech Republic. And in this new series, every once in a while I will be drinking something from one of these places or their neighbors and then writing things about it.

Just to get this out of the way right from the start: I am not a beer expert. I’m just a guy who likes to drink a few beers in a row and sometimes stumble into something that makes him say “damn, this is a good beer.” I can’t explain exactly what causes that feeling, but as they say, “when you know, you know”.

And I know what you are thinking, and you’re right; this whole thing is pretty much just an excuse to drink.

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For the first edition of my European Beer of the Week, I am drinking Blanche de Namur, a Belgian wheat (wit) beer from the family-owned Bocq Brewery in Purnode, Belgium. Bocq claims to be one of the last remaining family-owned breweries of their size, which really makes me like them, since I come from a family, too.

I’ve had Blanche de Namur in bottles and on draft, and it’s consistently been cloudy and creamy with a light muted-yellow color and a teeny-tiny hint of orange flavor, but not too much orange. Blanche de Namur is really refreshing, making it the perfect beer to drink at the park on a hot summer day or to cool off with in the air conditioning after a workout.

If you are wondering, it’s 4.5% and goes for around €1.10-€1.50 per 25cl bottle here in Amsterdam.

In summary, I think that Blanche de Namur is a good beer. The bartender at the dive bar around the corner from us swears that Blanche de Namur is the best wheat beer in the world, and I look forward to doing much more research this summer to confirm this fact.

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