Tag Archives: Belgium

Visiting Rodenbach Brewery

Here is the short report I promised to write of my visit to Rodenbach Brewery in the end of October (as a part of the YSS2014 conference). I took notes on my phone, so I have to apologize that a) I didn’t manage to capture all the details, b) there may be some inaccuracies in my text. Anyways, we arrived at the brewery in the evening after a 1.5 hour bus ride from Gent. Here, Site Manager / Brewmaster Rudi Ghequire welcomed us and took us on a tour around the brewery.


We began by visiting their new brewhouse (finished in 2001), which was supplied by Meura. It is a 250 hL brewhouse, which is capable of doing both decoction and infusion mashing. Below are some pictures of the boil kettle (I think) and the mash filter. We have a similar mash filter in our pilot brewery here at work, but it is of course much smaller (1 hL brewhouse). Rodenbach beers are quite lightly hopped, and the brewery uses hop extract in the boil. After the boil, the wort is cooled and aerated with sterile air. After this it is transferred onwards for primary fermentation.




Rodenbach carries out their primary fermentation in 1 of 10 of their stainless steel cylindroconical vessels (I didn’t manage to capture the size). Primary fermentation is carried out for one week at 20C, after which the beer is cooled to 8C. The wort is pitched with a blend of Saccharomyces yeast and lactic acid bacteria (I’m not sure if they pitch any Brettanomyces?). After fermentation, some of the beer is transferred to wooden vats for aging (more of that later), while the rest is used for blending. The ‘regular’ Rodenbach is 75% fresh beer and 25% aged beer, while the Rodenbach Grand Cru is 33% fresh beer and 66% aged beer. Rodenbach Vintage is 100% aged beer. Below you can see pictures of the fermentation vessel and their airlocks (slightly bigger than the homebrew versions!).



Next we moved on to the bottling hall. Rodenbach is today owned by Palm Breweries, which means distribution is probably better than it has been previously. Rodenbach also contract brews for other breweries (which ones, I do not know). While we were there, we got to see Tripel Karmeliet (Brouwerij Bosteels) getting put into corked 75 cl bottles. Really fascinating to see these traditional beers getting packaged with modern automated technology. They had quite an impressive wall of empty beer cases waiting to be filled in the hall.



After this we made a quick tour through the old brewhouse (which I think is some kind of museum now), after which we walked through the vat cellar. Rodenbach apparently produced geuze previously, by cooling their wort in a coolship, but they stopped doing this in the 1970s. I unfortunately don’t remember the reason, but maybe they though they had more control over their brewing process with their current fermentation methods. Anyways, after primary fermentation, a portion of the fresh beer is transferred to one of 294 wooden vats, made from French oak, where it is allowed to mature for 2 years. During this time, the beer develops stronger lactic and acetic acid notes. The vats stand vertically (which was pointed out as an important characteristic for the flavour), and are not filled completely. This is to allow some air in the headspace, which promotes the growth of acetic acid bacteria. The vat cellar is kept at 15C, which I guess keeps metabolic activity of the microbes at a lower rate. Rudi told us that the beer develops a thick pellicle in the vats, and that a thick layer of beer stone also builds up along the inside of the vat with time. This means that the flavor contribution from the wood decreases with vat age. I don’t remember the life-time of the vats, but I think it might have been around 50 years if I’m not completely mistaken. A batch of Rodenbach beer is blended from several different vats, since they can taste very different. New vats are made at the brewery in their wood-working shop. Before they are used for beer, they are ‘wetted’ for three months to proof the wood.






After the tour, Rodenbach were kind enough to serve us dinner and beer (thank you!). I’m normally not that big a fan of sour beer, but I thought both the regular Rodenbach and the Grand Cru were really refreshing and nice (not too acidic)! No surprise that the great Michael Jackson once said that Rodenbach Grand Cru is “The most refreshing beer in the world”. Thank you Rudi (standing in the background behind my glass in the picture below) for your hospitality!


Back from Gent

I was in Gent during the week attending the 4th Young Scientists Symposium on Malting, Brewing & Distilling, and I had some great fun. There were lots of interesting lectures and I met lots of interesting people. I’ll post some thoughts about the current trends in brewing research in a later post. We also visited Rodenbach brewery, where brewmaster Rudi Ghequire guided us around and was kind enough to invite us to dinner (thank you!). I will also post some pictures and notes I took during the tour in a later post. While in Gent, I also had time for a quick visit to De Hopduvel, where I found some real gems:


All in all, a really nice trip!

Beer Tasting

A couple of weeks ago (yes, I have really postponed writing this), me and two friends gathered to drink some beer after work, and at the same time I could ‘get rid of’ / taste through some of my evergrowing beer stock to make place for more. We had nine beers on the agenda, with one of them being Lovecats, the homebrewed blonde ale, and many being beers I had tried before. The whole line-up from left to right was: Firestone Walker Double Barrel Ale, Alesmith X, Port Brewing Shark Attack, Hopfenstopfer Jahrgangsbier, Lovecats, Green Glash Hop Head Red, Lindemanns Faro, William Bros Kelpie and Dark Star Espresso Stout.

We began by tasting Lovecats (left in picture below), Hopfenstopfer Jahrgangsbier (center in picture below) and Firestone Walker Double Barrel Ale (right in picture below). Lovecats poured with the usual hazy orange color and quickly-collapsing white-colored head. The aroma was citrusy, grassy and also featured tones of tropical fruits, and compared to the other two beers in the lineup (and actually also compared to the hoppier beers tasted later during the evening), it became evident that Lovecats has a really strong hop aroma. The flavor began with a slight maltiness, which was joined by a grassy and citrusy hoppiness, that lingered on to a bitter and slightly tart finish. The beer had a light body and quite high carbonation. Overall, Lovecats is an okay pale ale, have brewed better though.

Hopfenstopfer Jahrgangsbier is  German Pilsener, apparently brewed with homegrown malts and hops. The beer poured with a crystal-clear golden-yellow color and a fluffy white head. The aroma was very mild, but featured sweet, malty, and perfume-like tones. The flavor was also quite sweet, with malty and bready tones dominating. There was almost no hoppiness nor bitterness present in the flavor. The beer had a light body and medium carbonation level. Overall, I didn’t really like this one. Very bland and boring.

Firestone Walker’s Double Barrel Ale is an English-style Pale Ale, fermented in oak barrels. The beer poured with a clear copper color and a fluffy off-white head. Nice looking beer. The aroma contained some herbal and earthy hops, combined with tones of oak, caramel and the slightest fruitiness. The flavor was similar to the aroma, with a caramelly and bready maltiness dominating together with a oaky woodiness and a herbal hoppiness. The finish was dry and quite astringent. The body was smooth and medium-full, and the beer had a medium carbonation level. Overall, a strange beer, but the oakiness went together quite well with the caramel and hops.

After this we moved on to the darker and (the only) sour beer: William Bros Kelpie (left in the picture below), Lindemanns Faro (center in the picture below) and Dark Star Espresso Stout (right in the picture below). Kelpie, which I have had a small taste sample of before, is a dark traditional ale that has been brewed with fresh seaweed in the mash tun. The beer poured clear and dark brown, almost black, with a quite long-lasting cream-colored head. The aroma was dominated by toasted and roasted malts, with slight coffee tones. There is also a minimal fruitiness present in the aroma. The flavor is also dominated by the toasted and roasted malts, and these are joined by a herbal hoppiness, and a minerally and dry finish. The beer has a quite light body and a medium carbonation level. Overall, I was not really fond of this beer, as the flavors were a bit strange and the beer felt a little light. I couldn’t really detect any seaweed, but there was a saltiness present.

Next up was Lindemans Faro, a beer in a style that was new to me. Faro Lambics are lambic (i.e. spontaneously fermented sour beers) blends which have been sweetened with (usually brown) sugar. Bottled versions are usually pasteurized, to prevent bottle-fermentation of the added sugar. The beer poured slightly hazy, with an amber color, and almost no head. The aroma was sweet and sour, with a combination of candy, sugar, a cherry-like tartness, and some funkiness. The flavor featured sweet caramel blended with a citrusy and cherry-like tartness and acidity. The flavor reminded me of some kind of sweet and sour candies I’ve eaten as a kid. The finish was slightly dry, while the body was a light and the beer had a medium-high carbonation level. Overall, a very strange beer, that I found surprisingly enjoyable I must admit. I’m not a fan of sour beer at all, but this was surprisingly drinkable (probably thanks to the sweetness).

Dark Star’s Espresso Stout is also a beer I’ve had before, and it is a stout brewed with ground arabica coffee. The beer pours pitch-black, portraying slight red tones when held up against the light, and a tan-colored head is formed, that leaves lacing as it collapses. The aroma is dominated by coffee, but there are some roasted malt and caramel tones present as well. You can definitely tell coffee has been used when brewing this. The flavor featured tones of roasted malt, coffee, ash, and some chocolate. The finish is quite dry and astringent, and I’m left wishing for some more body to back up the roastiness. The beer has a light body and a medium carbonation level. Overall, a very coffee-dominated beer that is a little light on the body. Would really benefit from some more alcohol and rest sugars.

We finished off the evening with the hoppy beers, tasting through Green Flash Hop Head Red (left in the picture below), Alesmith X (center in the picture below) and Port Brewing Shark Attack (right in the picture below). I had tried two of the beers before, but Alesmith’s X was new to me. Green Flash Hop Head Red poured with a clear dark amber-copper color and a cream-colored head, that collapsed leaving drapes of lacing along the glass. The aroma has lots of hoppiness featuring floral, citrusy, fruity, and pineapple-like tones. There are also some tones of dark fruits and candy-like sweetness present. The flavor features tones of caramel, toasted malt, and a resiny and grapefruit-like hoppiness, that ends in a semi-dry and moderately bitter finish. The beer has a medium-full body and a medium carbonation level. Overall, a nice beer, featuring some nice hoppiness (especially the aroma) and balance.

The next beer was Alesmith X, which is an American Pale Ale by the infamous San Diego-based brewers. The beer poured with a clear golden-yellow color and a white head, that collapsed leaving some slight lacing along the glass. The aroma was hoppy, featuring floral, citrusy, and grassy tones. The aroma also featured some mild caramel tones. The flavor featured a light maltiness coupled with a citrusy hoppiness, that finished in a dry and bitter finish. The beer had a medium-light body and a medium carbonation level. Overall, a better-than-average pale ale, but nothing very special. The hop tones were nice, but felt like the beer was lacking something.

The final beer of the evening was Port Brewing’s Shark Attack, previously tasted here. The beer had a very similar appearance to Hop Head Red, with a dark amber color and a cream-colored head. The aroma featured tones of dark fruits, raisins, red fruits, floral and citrusy hoppiness, and slight alcohol. I definitely remembered this being a lot hoppier and the last bottle I had was even much older (this one was only 3 months old). The flavor featured tones of caramel, dark fruits, malts, and a grapefruit-like hoppiness. The flavor finishes semi-dry and quite bitter. The beer featured a medium-full body and a medium carbonation level. Overall, a nice imperial red, but this was a lot maltier and less hoppy than I remembered. Still very enjoyable and a nice end to the evening.

All in all it was a good evening, with some really nice beers. The last three beers were among my favorites of the night, and something really surprising was that Lovecats had the most hoppy aroma of the lot.

Trip to Amsterdam

I’m just back home from a great and relaxing trip in Amsterdam with my girlfriend. Had some great beers during the trip, and even managed to bring back home 10 bottles. I really fell in love with De Bierkoning, a small beer shop featuring some very nice brews from around the world (they even recently got some 1 month old bottles of Pliny The Elder, which I didn’t buy since I’ve tried it before and didn’t want to pay the 15€ for the bottle). The prices were mostly nice, but the American beers were predictably quite pricey. They had a large selection of Dutch microbrews, which was really nice.

The first beer of the trip was ‘t IJ Zatte, an Abbey Tripel by Amsterdam-based craft brewers ‘t IJ.

Zatte poured with a hazy orange color and a small off-white head. It featured some caramel and some nice spicy and fruity yeast tones in the aroma. Flavor is similar with tones of yeast, citrus and coriander. The finish was quite dry, with a slight bitterness. A nice attempt on a Tripel. I had the beer while we were at blue°, a cafeteria/bar at the top of a shopping center in the middle of the town.

Next, I tried a couple of bottles I bought from Bierkoning at the hotel. First up was Cigar City’s Jai Alai IPA.

This IPA was bottled 23.06.2011, so it was around 7 months old. It poured with a slightly hazy golden-orange color and a fluffy white head, which collapsed leaving some nice lacing along the glass. The aroma featured tones of caramel, resin, grass, citrus, and flowers, and was mostly hop-dominated. The flavor begins with slightly sweet caramel tones, that were joined by piney, resiny, and grapefruit tones from the hops. The beer ended with a quite dry and biting bitter finish. The beer features lots of hop flavor. This was a really crisp and smooth IPA. Overall a very nice American IPA, with some huge resiny hop flavors with a bitter finish. Would really like to try this one fresh. Score: 4/5

Next up in the hotel was The Kernel’s India Pale Ale Simcoe Centennial. The Kernel are a London-based microbrewery, that I’ve been hearing some great things about.

This IPA had a BBE of 27.07.2013, so guessing it was bottled 27.07.2011, making it about 6 months old. The beer poured with a slightly hazy golden-orange color (very similar to Jai Alai) and a slight white-colored head, that collapsed leaving minimal lacing along the glass. The aroma was very hoppy, with fruity, resiny and citrusy tones. Really liked the aroma. The flavor begins with a minimally sweet and caramelly maltiness, that is overtaken by hop tones of grapefruit, tangerine, resin and grass. The flavor ends quite dry and a nice bitterness. I thought the flavors were nicely balanced, and the hop flavors were especially nice. The beer had a smooth and medium-full body, making it easy to drink. A great American IPA, that in my opinion was slightly better than Jai Alai. Great hop flavors in a better balanced package. Simcoe and Centennial are amongst my favorites hops as well. Score 4-4.5/5


Next, it was time to head to Beer Temple, a quite small and cozy bar focusing on American craft brews, located right next to De Bierkoning. They had 30 beers on tap, with the majority being from the US (e.g. Great Divide Titan IPA, Rogue OREgasmic Ale, and Flying Dog Kujo Coffee Stout), the rest being from different European craft breweries (E.g. Mikkeller and Brewdog). They had an awesome list of bottled beer as well, and the first beer I ordered was Founders Breakfast Stout (since I brewed something similar a couple of weeks ago):

The Breakfast Stout was fantastic, and poured thick and black, with tones of coffee, chocolate and roasted malts in the aroma and flavor. Hopefully my latest homebrew inspired by this tastes at least half as good. After the stout, it was time for both an Imperial IPA and an Imperial Red Ale: Weyerbacher’s Double Simcoe IPA and Rogue’s Imperial Red Ale (from tap):

Unfortunately I only took a picture of the Weyerbacher brew. Both beers were very nice, with the Double Simcoe IPA being my favorite of the whole trip, and probably one of my favorite IPAs ever. Fantastically balanced Imperial IPA, with truckloads of resinous and tropical fruity hop flavor and aroma, and a pleasant bitter bite. The Imperial Red offered a nice combination of caramelly maltiness and citrusy hoppiness. Great beers and a great bar. Definitely worth the visit if you are after tasty beers in Amsterdam. The place got quite crowded when we visited it again on a Saturday, so come early. On the second visit I had some Brewdog/Mikkeller I Hardcore You from tap, which tasted very similar to what I remembered, but with even more hop aroma. After our first Beer Temple visit, we headed to ‘t Arendsnest, a bar serving only Dutch (craft) beer. They had tons of De Molen and Emelisse beer, and of course other beers from other nice breweries such as SNAB, ‘t IJ, and La Trappe. I played it safe and ordered a bottle of De Molen’s Tsarina Esra (Imperial Porter) and some Emelisse Triple IPA from the tap (note the fantastic drapes of lacing along the glasses):

The Tsarina Esra was a very Imperial Porter, with sweet roasted malt tones, chocolate, licorice and hops in the aroma and flavor. Really nice beer to sip on. The Triple IPA had a sweet caramelly maltiness, combined with grapefruit and resin tones. A nice Imperial IPA, but there are better beers in the style available. ‘t Arendsnest was also a cozy bar, with a great selection, and definitely worth a visit if you’re after some great local brews.


The beer selection in the largest (?) supermarket chain in Netherlands, Albert Heijn, was quite bad, but at least they had something else than bulk lagers. La Trappe Dubbel and Tripel 6-packs were available for 6 euros (which is fantastically cheap for Trappist beer), as well as Duvel, La Chouffe and Mc Chouffe for around 1.40€. I had a La Trappe Dubbel, La Trappe Tripel (sorry no picture) and La Chouffe in the hotel:


I liked the La Chouffe best of the trio, with it’s spicy and lightly hoppy finish, and really disliked the Dubbel, which in my opinion had too much alcohol presence, and an unpleasant estery fruitiness with tones of banana and raisins. The La Chouffe has recently become available at Alko as well, so you can try it out at home.


I managed to bring home some really nice beer I bought at De Bierkoning to Finland. A nice blend of Pilsner, IPA, Imperial IPA, Imperial Stouts and of course a bottle of the famed Westvletern 12:

Back row, left to right: Alesmith Yulesmith (Summer), Port Brewing 3rd Anniversary Ale, Great Divide Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti, Hoppin Frog DORIS the Destroyer, and De Molen Hel & Verdoemenis 666
Front row, left to right: De Molen Hel & Verdoemenis, De Molen Vuur & Vlam, De Molen Winterhop, ‘t IJ Plzen, and Westvleteren 12


Overall, it was a nice and relaxing trip. One week was a bit too long for a small city as Amsterdam, as we ran out of things to see and do after a couple of days (we were not interested in the coffee shops), but my travel companion was great, so we were never bored. For a shorter weekend trip, I would definitely recommend the city though, especially if you want to see canals, crooked houses, windmills, or want to try some nice beers.

Below are some random photos taken during the trip:

Guest Review: St. Louis Framboise


  • Brewery: Van Honsebrouck
  • Country: Belgium
  • Style: Fruit Lambic
  • ABV: 2.8%
  • Size: 250 ml
  • Bought from: Aufsturz, Berlin, 2.8€
  • Beer Advocate
  • RateBeer

    Here is a guest review from Pia that I’ve forgotten to post. This is another of the beers she had during our recent Berlin trip: St. Louis Framboise. This spontaneously fermented beer is matured with fresh raspberry juice, and should be available to buy in most major supermarkets here in Finland. Let’s see what she thinks about it!

    [easyreview title=”St. Louis Framboise” cat1title=”Appearance” cat1detail=”The beer has a dark ruby red color (darker than the Kriek from the same brewery) and a slightly baby pink head that quickly collapses, leaving a little lacing along the glass.” cat1rating=”4″ cat2title=”Smell” cat2detail=”The beer has a strong raspberry aroma, that is slightly tart and juicy.” cat2rating=”5″ cat3title=”Taste” cat3detail=”The flavor is both sweet and acidic, with tones of raspberry. Reminds me of molten popsicles.” cat3rating=”4″ cat4title=”Mouthfeel” cat4detail=”The beer is crisp, tart and has a moderately high carbonation level.” cat4rating=”4″ summary=”Overall a fresh, yummy fruit beer that I would buy again!”]

    Thanks Pia for the review!

    Guest Review: St. Louis Kriek Lambic


  • Brewery: Van Honsebrouck
  • Country: Belgium
  • Style: Fruit Lambic
  • ABV: 4%
  • Size: 250 ml
  • Bought from: Aufsturz, Berlin, 2.8€
  • Beer Advocate
  • RateBeer

    Here is another guest review from Pia, who will be reviewing another cherry lambic, St. Louis Kriek, that she had in Berlin. This spontaneously fermented beer is matured with the pulp of morello cherries, and should be available to buy in most major supermarkets here in Finland. Let’s see what she thinks about it!

    [easyreview title=”St. Louis Kriek” cat1title=”Appearance” cat1detail=”The beer has a dark ruby red color and a slightly pink head that quickly collapses, leaving a little lacing along the glass.” cat1rating=”4″ cat2title=”Smell” cat2detail=”Strong, at first sour then sweet, essence-like cherry aroma.” cat2rating=”2″ cat3title=”Taste” cat3detail=”Watery taste with a mild taste of cherry, not very sweet nor sour, slight aftertaste of alcohol.” cat3rating=”2″ cat4title=”Mouthfeel” cat4detail=”The beer is light, dry and has a moderately high carbonation level.” cat4rating=”4″ summary=”Fresh and strong taste, that was a bit too artificial for my taste. Would possibly buy again because of pleasant feel and taste that gets better (stronger cherry taste) as you drink it. Maybe mine was slightly too cold?”]

    Thanks Pia for the review!

    Guest Review: Lindemans Pecheresse


  • Brewery: Lindemans
  • Country: Belgium
  • Style: Fruit Lambic
  • ABV: 3.5%
  • Size: 375 ml
  • Bought from: Cracked Kettle, 3.36€
  • Beer Advocate
  • RateBeer

    Today it’s time for a second guest review, as my girlfriend Pia will be reviewing a peach lambic. This spontaneously fermented beer is brewed with real peaches and contains a minimum of 30% peach juice, and has been sweetened with both sugar and artificial sweeteners. Let’s see what she thinks about it!

    [easyreview title=”Lindemans Pecheresse” cat1title=”Appearance” cat1detail=”The beer has a golden-yellow color, and a slight fluffy white head, that leaves no lacing along the glass.” cat1rating=”4″ cat2title=”Smell” cat2detail=”Aroma is sweet with a hint of peach.” cat2rating=”3″ cat3title=”Taste” cat3detail=”The flavour is also very sweet with peachy tones, a mild acidic aftertaste and some sort of slight grassy taste.” cat3rating=”2.5″ cat4title=”Mouthfeel” cat4detail=”The beer is light and has a moderate carbonation level. It also leaves a sweet and thick taste in mouth.” cat4rating=”3″ summary=”Very sweet, almost too sweet for my taste. Leaves a syrupy feel in mouth which isn’t very pleasant. Would probably not buy again because of price.”]

    The topless lady on the label.

    Thanks Pia for the review!

    Guest Review: Lindemans Kriek


  • Brewery: Lindemans
  • Country: Belgium
  • Style: Fruit Lambic
  • ABV: 3.5%
  • Size: 250 ml
  • Bought from: K-Citymarket, 2.60€
  • Beer Advocate
  • RateBeer

    Today it’s time for this blog’s first guest review, as my girlfriend Pia will be reviewing a kriek (cherry lambic). I’m not a great fan of fruit beers myself, so she will be reviewing this one. This spontaneously fermented beer is brewed with malt, wheat, hops, yeast, cherries, cherry juice, sugar, and cherry aroma. Let’s see what she thinks about it!

    [easyreview title=”Lindemans Kriek” cat1title=”Appearance” cat1detail=”The beer has a nice ruby red color and a pink-colored head, that collapses quickly, leaving some lacing on the glass.” cat1rating=”4″ cat2title=”Smell” cat2detail=”Aroma is acidic with tones of cherries (slightly artificial cherry tones).” cat2rating=”3″ cat3title=”Taste” cat3detail=”The flavour is similar to the aroma, with a tart cherry flavour (quite natural-tasting) dominating. The beer leaves a strange aftertaste, that is difficult to describe.” cat3rating=”3″ cat4title=”Mouthfeel” cat4detail=”The beer has light body with a moderate level of carbonation, and it leaves a dry and sour finish.” cat4rating=”3″ summary=”Not the best Kriek I’ve tasted but nice and fresh on a hot day. I like the authentic cherry flavor, even though the beer contains artificial flavouring. Not too sweet but slightly too acidic for my personal taste. Would buy again because of its natural taste and inexpensive price.”]

    Pia and Mimi reviewing the beer.

    Thanks Pia for the review!

    Around the World in 1 day

    Last Saturday my girlfriend had organized an ‘Around the World’-themed date for me. The day included trips to a lot of bars, and I was to have a ‘local’ beer in each one. The day began with some breakfast in France at home, and after that the first stop was Belge, a Belgian-styled bar. Here I had a Poperings Hommelbier (from tap; Beer Advocate; Ratebeer), while my girlfriend had a Lindemans Cassis (bottle; Beer Advocate; Ratebeer). The Hommelbier was OK, with both fruity hop tones and spicy Belgian yeast tones, but it is not amongst my favorites. Belge is a cozy place, but a little on the expensive side. They have a (average) selection of Belgian beers on bottle and tap. We also had a waffle there that was tasty, though service was a little slow (we were one of the only customers in the bar, and it took them almost 30 minutes to prepare the waffle).


    Lindemans Cassis to the left and Poperings Hommelbier to the right


    After Belge, we travelled to (Bierhuis) Rotterdam, where I had a Dutch beer: Tilburg’s Dutch Brown Ale (bottle; Beer Advocate; Ratebeer). I was thinking about having a La Trappe, but since I knew it would be a long day and many beers I opted for the lower ABV beers in the first bars. My girlfriend a Magners Pear Cider, since she didn’t really find any beers she liked. The brown ale was also OK, with a taste that was malty, caramelly and slightly chocolately and roasty. Some Belgian yeast tones were detectable as well. It didn’t fit so well with the warm weather though. The label on the bottle featured a painting from “Garden of Earthly Delights” by Hieronymus Bosch. Rotterdam has a nice selection, a cozy interior, and great location, which makes it worth a visit (if you can fit in).


    Tilburg’s Dutch Brown Ale in the front, Magners Pear Cider in the back.


    After Holland it was time to travel to Italy. This time it wasn’t a bar, but we went to Cafe Java to have an espresso and ice latte. With some caffeine in the body we traveled to Africa, and went to Kiasma, where they had an African art exhibition. After some interesting art, we had lunch in Japan (Daruma Sushi in Kamppi). They had some tasty and reasonably priced sushi, so I can recommend the place! It is a little hidden in Kamppi, but worth the search. After Japan we traveled to China and with Nomads, when we visited Kulttuurien museo in Tennispalatsi. They had two exhibitions Värimatka Kiinaan (Colorful Travels in China) and Liikkuva Koti (Movable Home). The visit was free, and certainly interesting. After China it was time for another beer, so we traveled to nearby Australia, which meant a visit to Aussie Bar of course. Here I had a Coopers Sparkling Ale (bottle; Beer Advocate; Ratebeer). This is an Australian Pale/Golden Ale, featuring some honey and fruit tones in the aroma and flavour. Unfortunately I don’t recall anymore details on the beer (this was not because I was drunk, just because this beer wasn’t anything special). It was a good thirst quencher in the heat though.


    Coopers Sparkling Ale


    After Australia, it was time for a trip over the Pacific Ocean to the United States. It was a long visit in this country, as we first went to Chico’s, where we had some snacks and I had a Sierra Nevada Torpedo (you can read a review here). After this we went to William K Tennispalatsi, where I had a Victory HopDevil (taste notes here) and we played Kimble while waiting for our US comedy (Bad Teacher) to start at Finnkino Tennispalatsi.


    Sierra Nevada Torpedo

    Victory HopDevil


    After the movie, we headed towards Spain and Bar Celona to have some Tapas, Cava and San Miguel. The beer was unfortunately, as I remembered, a quite typical and tasteless bulk-lager. Then it was time for the final destination of the journey: Siberia/North Pole/Some goddamn cold place. We ended the day with a visit to Arctic Icebar, a bar made out of ice and with an interior temperature of -5 degrees C. They had a very limited cocktail range, and it was expensive, but it certainly was a fantastic experience and a perfect end to a great ‘trip around the world’ here in Helsinki. I had a Screwdriver and a shot of Minttu Black (they had no beer, and only Absolut products), which helped warm the body up in the cold bar.





    Thanks to Pia for arranging this fantastic day!

    Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel


  • Brewery: Brasserie d’Achouffe
  • Country: Belgium
  • Style: Belgian IPA/Tripel
  • ABV: 9%
  • Size: 330 ml
  • Bought from: Germany, 1.99€
  • Beer Advocate
  • RateBeer

    The Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel is a blend of two different ale styles, Tripel and India Pale Ale, and is available in both small (33cl) and large bottles (75cl). The beer is hopped with Saaz, CTZ (Columbus/Tomahawk/Zeus) and Amarillo, and features an IBU of around 59 (varies with source).

    [easyreview title=”Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel” cat1title=”Appearance” cat1detail=”The beer has a yellow-golden color, and is slightly hazy, with a foamy white-colored head, that quite quickly collapses leaving loads of lacing along the glass.” cat1rating=”4″ cat2title=”Smell” cat2detail=”The aroma is mostly belgian yeast, with tones of fruit, grass and slight maltiness. The yeast tones definitely dominate over the hops. I would say the aroma is much more a Tripel than a IPA.” cat2rating=”3″ cat3title=”Taste” cat3detail=”Slightly roasted malty tones, that are quickly overtaken by some flavours of citrus and spice, ending in a dry and slightly bitter finish. There are also some tones of earthy hops as well as alcohol in the flavour. The yeast aroma present in the aroma, was not at all as present in the flavour, contributing just slightly to the fruitiness and spiciness. The hop flavour seems a little on the low side.” cat3rating=”3.5″ cat4title=”Mouthfeel” cat4detail=”The beer has a light body, with moderate-high carbonation, which makes the beer a little difficult to drink. Alcohol is detectable, but otherwise quite well balanced.” cat4rating=”3″ summary=”An OK beer, that I am a little disappointed with. Was expecting more IPA and less Tripel. Don’t know if this was a bit old (BBD 06/2012), or if it just wasn’t my type of beer, but probably won’t be buying again. The price wasn’t bad though when bought from Germany, but it is way more expensive from Alko.”]