The Mad Brewer Explores the Low Countries
Heikant Beer Festival Day 2

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San Francisco

Beer Festival 1
Beer Festival 2



November 1, 1998

An important point to consider if you should ever contemplate becoming a beer trekker, professional or otherwise, is that it is a tough job.  But hey, somebody has to do it, we can't leave all the fun to Michael, now can we?  Rolling out of bed at 2 PM didn't seem like such a good idea at the time, but it was a beautiful day out, and there were still some beers left untouched at the festival.  It kind of reminds me of having a paper route as a kid.  It was tough getting up knowing that you would be slogging through the snow, with the wind howling at your ears at 5 in the morning.  Maybe this beer trekking is not so bad after all...

Paul took as to his local Fruiter, a cross between a bar and chip shop.  They served up amazing platters of belgian fries, covered with meat and cheese sauses, and heaven knows what else.  I hope to go back there someday when I'm hungry, and the stomach is more willing.  But I digress, as it was time to sample some more brews at the festival.  Being Sunday afternoon, it was still very crowded, but were very happy to not have to stand.

They have a very civilized method of ordering a beer at the festival.  You simply raise your sign, as Paul is doing in the picture, and you server shows up, and gets your beer.  And if you really try, you might get to actually pay for it, but don't count on it, as it's always somebody else's turn.

Rochefort 8, 33 cl, 70 Bfr.
Not your basic breakfast beer, but it will do.

Iris, 1996 Cantillon.
We sampled this beer at Paul's house.  It's a lambic made with fresh hops.  The one we tasted with Paul had a very definite hop component.  The one at the festival had virtually no hop character.  Both had the Cantillon characteristically dry, and sour flavors.

Whitel ale, astringent aroma.  Dry finish, very light color, wheat flavor, honey?

Witkap Dubbel
Dark, astringent, minty.

Rodenback Grand Cru.
I just can't get enough of this stuff.  Appearently, the formulation is changing to water it down, which would be a major shame.

Lamoral Trippel, Degmont.
Sweetish finish, well made, spicy aroma, reddish amber color.

Cantillon Kriek
Candy for the Real Lambic drinker.  Sour, dry, red, it will make you pucker.

Duvel, 33 cl, 70 Bfr.
Trippel style, pale, slight sweetness in the finish, but otherwise highly attenuated, and high alcohol.  Peppermint aroma.

Aerts, vat (draught).  Free!
Reddish copper, astringent flavor and aroma.

The Sunday night entertainment was a cross between a lounge lizard act, and Karioke from hell.  Kim Comments: "Heard way too many American Rat Pack songs.  The song by the organizers was a hoot.  Harry promised to teach 3 american songs next year.   Yeah sure."

As we bade a final sad farewell to Heikant at 4 AM, we were once again lucky enough to get a ride back to Lier.

Remember folks, don't try this at home, leave it to the professionals.

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Cover page from the program

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A Picture of her drinking the beer, by request.

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Polle is thirsty again.

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Festival Organizers

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Yet another satisfied customer

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The end must be near

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Let no man thirst for Belgian Ale.

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Thanks for the ride