Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Bosteels brewery

I can't say the name "Bosteels" meant anything to me when I heard it was the next brewery we were heading to. But I had heard of all three of the beers they make: Kwak, Tripel Karmelite and Deus.

The brewery was founded in 1791 and has been owned by the same family ever since. Here's the latest heir welcoming us:

Kwak is the beer that comes in glasses shaped like a mini yard of ale. Apparently it comes from a Napoleonic anti-drink driving law that stopped coach drivers going off drinking with their passengers, so instead they drank from strange glasses they could hang on the side of their coach.

Like many beer and brewery creation myths it's not entirely convincing but who can say. As it's a small brewery steeped in history I was gobsmacked when we say the brewhouse: next to an old copper vessel was a mash filter.

For those of you not familiar with brewing equipment it's a bit like seeing a Ford Model T next to the latest Formula One car. We heard the mash filter fitted well in the brew, whereas an equivalent sized lauter tun would not. I'm sure the extract efficiency of the mash filter helped too.

I suspect they're also handy for making strong beers, and the liquor to grist ratio (2.4:1) was certainly lower than what you'd have if using a lauter tun. The kettle takes 170 hectolitres at 17.5° Plato (or about a hundred barrels at 1.070 in old money).

They'd crammed quite a lot into the brewery.

Including their own bottling line.

The tripel is bottle conditioned, but I don't think the Kwak is.

Deus is made using the Champagne method but sadly as it makes up less than one percent of their production so they didn't have any for us to try. Which is a shame as I've heard it good but it's bleedin' pricey so I was looking forward to a freebie.

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