Well yet another fantastic Bruges beer festival has come and gone, with many great beers sampled (yes the crowds were as large as ever) and also many great places visited.
Amongst them was our first ever visit to a beer shop located outside of Bruges, a trip organised by our ever obliging mate Filip (thanks once again for a great weekend) along with me and my wife on that beer buying spree was fellow Belgian Beer Board member (and lambic fanatic) Daniele.
The shop in question was the excellent Drankencentrale Rotsaert in Zedelgem - I now know what the term "tourist prices" means when referring to Bruges.
So a very happy half hour was spent buying many outstanding beers (some you don't pick up too easily in Bruges) I felt very fortunate to have bought beer........as the Belgians do.
Included in that fantastic haul were a few from farmhouse brewery Hof ten Dormaal - located in the rural farming region around Leuven, this is a brewery that is very much self sufficient.
The beer pours a hazy deep amber (for some reason I was expecting it to be golden???) and is topped by a large, white, bubbly head that slowly fades as you savour - a very nice looking beer.
Aroma again was a surprise, instead of sharp and bitter notes it was crammed with sweet caramel malts (nice) dig further and yes you do get bitter, grassy, hoppy elements - like I said a surprise BUT a very pleasant one.
Flavour follows with a honey sweetness, then yeasty bready malts, balanced out with bitter hops along with a banana fruitiness and a clove like spicy finish.
My first beer from Dormaal (with others to follow) and it's been a great introduction.