Kwak by Brouwerij Bosteels
Strong Ale, 8.4%
Pouring a rich amber with a slightly sweet and generously malty character. Subdued but pleasant hops present an excellent balance with the ripe juiciness from the grain.
The live tasting of this beer was on 29th October 2020 #BeerBods
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Bosteels brewery is older than the Belgian state itself. Based in the leafy town of Buggenhout, Brouwerij Bosteels have brewing for well over 200 years. Founded in 1791 by John Baptist Bosteels, this family-owned brewery in the heart of Flanders has been brewing without interruption in the same location ever since and is currently under the leadership of the 7th generation, Mr Antoine Bosteels.
In terms of the actual brewery, the historic facility stands at the centre of the village, the brewhouse was built to the specific designs of the architect Minnaert, famous for the Minnaert Theatre in Ghent, Belgium and has remained relatively unchanged since construction.
When it comes to the beers, Bosteels produce a range of just three, each considered world-class in their own right. That’s why when it came to tonight’s tasting we wanted to share two of the breweries most coveted beers with you.
In your case, you will find either Pauwel Kwak or Tripel Karmeliet, both of which have their own fascinating backstories. Whichever you have, we’re sure you won’t be disappointed.
In Napoleon’s time Pauwel Kwak was a brewer and owner of the ‘De Hoorn’ inn in Dendermonde. Mail coaches stopped there every day. But at that time coachmen were not allowed to leave their coach in order to have their thirst quenched. As a result, the inventive innkeeper had a special Kwak glass blown that could be hung on the coach. In this way, the coachman had his Kwak beer safely at hand.
Bosteel’s re-launched Kwak in the 1970s. Pouring a rich amber with a slightly sweet and generously malty character. Subdued but pleasant hops present an excellent balance with the ripe juiciness from the grain.
Tripel Karmeliet, on the other hand, was Bosteel’s labour of love, taking decades to perfect. The beer was born when Antoine Bosteels happened to browse through a publication from the local Dendermonde historical society on the subject of breweries that had disappeared from the area.
His eye fell on an ancient recipe, dated 1679, from the former Carmelite abbey in Dendermonde. In their own interpretation, Bosteels use more or less the same historic proportions of barley, wheat and oats to perfect their ‘three grains’ beer. Tripel Karmeliet is a multi-layered tripel, refined yet balanced, with soft fruity notes and a surprisingly delicate taste.
Just this year, both beers bought home gold medals at the World Beer Awards and the Asia Beer Challenge in their respective categories. The fact that two beers that have remained relatively unchanged for fifty-plus years still continue to top the charts is testament to what the Bosteels family have built.