Sunday, November 1, 2015

Brewery Het Anker (Mechelen)

Here are some pictures from two recent visits to brewery het Anker in Mechelen.
Certainly worth a visit!

One entrance of the brewery is in the historic beguinage of Mechelen (an UNESCO world heritage site, worth a vistit too) 

Here we got a talk about the roots of the brewery and the place of beer in the history of Mechelen.  "Gouden Carolus" refers to Charles V (aka Charles Quint).  He was considered the mightiest man of that age. The emperor grew up in Mechelen, visited it often and liked the beer so much he let it transport to Spain.

The rest of the tour focuses more on the brewing process itself.  There's a moment where you can taste the raw ingredients.

The guided tour also leads you to the roof,  where you can see these amazing sights of Mechelen

Old beer crates

Container deposit was 11 Belgian franks at that time, ~20 eurocents

The brewing process explained...

From 2009 on, het Anker also produces Whisky (Molenberg, Blaasveld).  The first attempt immediately had succes:  they got a silver medal at the International Wine and Spirit Competition in London. In

The big lock is from the Belgian government, to ensure excise duties ...

At the end, a selection of some of their delicious beers awaits you!

A few days before I went to a concert over there 

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Greatest switch - STUBRU

Belgians, before voting for the Greatest switch, please consider following tracks. Thanks!

Push * Universal nation -

Reflect * Need to feel loved -

Binary Finary * 1998 -

Drax Ltd * Amphetamine -

Emmanuel Top * Acid Phase -

Aqua Contact * La Sirena -

Jones & Stephenson * The First Rebirth -

Jens Lissat * Energy Flow -

Jens * Loops & Tings Fruit Loops Remix  -

The Age Of Love (Watch Out For Stella Club Mix) -

Yves Deruyter * The Rebel -

LSG * Netherworld -

Three Drives * Greece 2000 -

Energy 52 * Café Del Mar (Original Three 'N One Edit) -

Humate * Love Stimulation (Lovemix) by Paul van Dyk -

Robert Armani * Hit Hard -

Metro Dade * The Andor Voyage -

Dr. Phibes * Acid Story -

Castle Trancelott * Indoctrinate -

BBE * Seven Days And One Week -

Nikolai * Ready To Flow -

Commander Tom * Are Am Eye -

Sven Vath * L' Esperanza -

The Thrillseekers - Synaesthesia (Paul van Dyk Remix)

Marco Bailey - Sniff

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Beertasting 5 feb 2015

Olivier, a  colleague of mine organized a beertasting for us (off working hours of course :-) ).
He did a 2y course "biersommelier" so he obviously knows a lot about the subject.

This was his selection:
As I had never tasted Chimay Dorée it was quite interesting.  Most of the other beers are well known but the tasting was aimed at beginners.

Chimay Dorée 

  • Alcohol: 4.8 % ABV
  • origin: Brewery Abby Notre-Dame de Scourmont - Route Charlemagne, 8, 6464 Baileux (CHIMAY)  BELGIUM

Troubadour Blond

  • Alcohol: 6.5 % ABV
  • origin: Brewery The Musketeers BVBA, Tramstraat 8, B-9910 Ursel Belgium

St Feuillien Tripel

  • Alcohol: 8.5 % ABV
  • origin: Brewery St-Feuillien SA , Rue d'Houdeng 20 - 7070 Le Rœulx - Belgium

Gouden Carolus Ambrio

  • Alcohol: 8.0 % ABV
  • origin: Brewery Het Anker,  Guido Gezellelaan 49, B-2800 Mechelen, Belgium

Rochefort 8

  • Alcohol: 9.2  % ABV
  • origin: Abbaye Notre-Dame de Saint-Remy, B-5580 Rochefort

Sint Bernardus ABT 12 

  • alcohol: 10% ABV
  • brewing type: quadrupel, dark
  • origin:  Brewery Sint Bernardus,  Trappistenweg 23, 8978 Watou, Belgium
  • price: € 1.90/ bottle incl deposit (qualidrinks, prices 2 jan 2015)

Did you know every 1000th bottle,  the abbot at the label winks at you? (thanks for the info, Harri)

Friday, January 2, 2015

Xmas beershopping

Went beer shopping this afternoon.

I'm going to organize a blind beer tasting Rochefort 10 - Sint Bernardus 12 - Westvleteren 12 for my beer loving friends. I'm really curious how they will perform :-)

Because a beer tasting with 3 (although very respected) beers is a bit shallow,  I'm going to throw in the Sint Bernardus x-mas, and the La Trappe quadrupel.

Westvleteren 12 

  • alcohol: 10.2% ABV (alcohol by volume)
  • brewing type: quadrupel, dark
  • origin:  Abby Sint Sixtus, Donkerstraat 12, B -8640 Westvleteren (Belgium)
  • price: € 52/crate incl Deposit for empty bottles and crate,  1.76 /bottle, incl. deposit (prices 2 jan 2015)
  • serving temperature according to brewer: between 12° and 16° C

Rochefort 10

  • alcohol: 11.3% ABV
  • brewing type: quadrupel, dark
  • origin:  abby Notre-Dame de Saint-Remy, B-5580 Rochefort (Belgium)
  • serving temperature according to brewer: between 12° and 14° C
  • price: € 2.50/ bottle incl deposit (qualidrinks, prices 2 jan 2015)

La Trappe quadrupel

  • alcohol: 10% ABV
  • brewing type: quadrupel, amber
  • origin: abby Onze Lieve Vrouw van Koningshoeven, Eindhovenseweg 3, 5056 RP Berkel-Enschot (Tilburg, NL)
  • serving temperature according to brewer: between 12° and 14° C
  • price: € 1.75/ bottle incl deposit (qualidrinks, prices 2 jan 2015)

Sint Bernardus ABT 12 

  • alcohol: 10% ABV
  • brewing type: quadrupel, dark
  • origin:  Brewery Sint Bernardus,  Trappistenweg 23, 8978 Watou, Belgium
  • price: € 1.90/ bottle incl deposit (qualidrinks, prices 2 jan 2015)

Sint Bernardus Christmas ale 

  • alcohol: 10% ABV
  • brewing type: quadrupel, dark
  • origin:  Brewery Sint Bernardus,  Trappistenweg 23, 8978 Watou, Belgium
  • price: € 2.10/ bottle incl deposit (qualidrinks, prices 2 jan 2015)

Q: Why "Rochefort 10" while the alcohol percentage is 11.3?  Or why "Westvleteren 12" while the alcohol percentage is 10.2?   
A: Well... "10" and "12" in the name refers to the old Belgian system to measure beer density.  This value was used to determine the taxation.  The wort was measured at 17,5°C, before the fermentation process.   Of course there is a correlation between this density and the alcohol percentage of the beer, but there are other factors in the brewing process.  It was abolished in 1993 and replaced by the plato scale.  Wikipedia has an excellent article.

In a previous post I told you about the very nice Christmas Beer tasting @ het Anker (Mechelen).  
For me, one beer clearly stood out,  St Feuillien Cuvée de Noël (9% ABV) so I couldn't resist ...
I also bought some  St Feuillien bruin (8.5% ABV)  and Brasserie LeFort (Omer Vander Ghinste, 8.5% ABV).   Very interesting beers!

(sorry for the bad quality, took this in my cellar ;-))

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Christmas beer tasting het Anker

Christmas beer night @ brewery het Anker (Mechelen) presented by Luc De Raedemaeker (

Christmas beers are special beers brewed around this time.  
It was a very interesting evening.  Luc is a great host.  The tasting covered things like the ingredients of beer and the effect on the product, a brief history of beer,  basics of beer tasting and the differences with with wine -tasting and of course the practical beer tasting on this selection.

Presented beers by Luc:

Dobbel Palm (5,7%)

This was given as an introduction / "warming up"

St-Feuillien Christmas (9%)

For me the best beer in this selection.  You should really try this one!

Delirium Chirstmas (10%)

N’Ice Chouffe (10%)

Sint-Bernadus X-mas (10,5%)

Gouden Carolus Christmas (10,5%)

A nice ending of the Ankeravonden in 2014,  curious what 2015 will have in store for us :-)

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Westvleteren, Ploegsteert and Westhoek in Belgium

I often make visits to the Westhoek region to resupply my stash of Westvleteren.

It's the ideal moment to visit this beautiful region and its war memorials.   In WW1 this area was drained in blood.  Almost 450 000 people lost their lives in the trenches during the first industrialized conflict.  For the first time things like gas and tanks were used.
There are lots of interesting things to see like the Menin gate  in Ypres,  and the Tyne Cot Cemetery in Zonnebeke.
This time we went a little bit further to Ploegsteert.  Technically it's not Westhoek anymore, as it is situated in the Walloon part of the country.  

In 1990 the English band The Farm released a song 'All together now' about the extraordinary events that took place on Christmas 1914 in this little town. 

People from both sides came to a 'truce' and played a football match in 'no mans land'.   There's now  a memorial.  They even constructed some trenches next to the monument.


 Next to it is a cemetery.  Such a waste of young lives.  

In Ploegsteert we also vistited the Hyde Park Memorial.

A few km's from this memorial (back in Flanders) we also stopped at the Island of Ireland Peace Park.  Definitely worth a visit.