De Halve Maan Braurei Bruges Zot Dubbel - 7.5% ABV
"Hey, let's head over to Bruges and pound through all of the breweries there"!
"Sounds like a plan, load up".
Those of you who are smarter than I am....and there are many....would probably do your research before you hopped in your car to road trip to the breweries. Me? No man, I was an idiot....kind of. Apparently there is only one brewery left in Bruges, but lucky for us it is fantastic. As breweries in this part of the world go, this one is relatively new, having begun their operation in 1856. They are still family owned and operated with the 6th generation of Maes family now in charge of De Halve Maan (the half moon).
The brand is Bruges Zot and if you have been lucky enough to try one of their beers it was likely the blonde, which is also a damned fine beer, but the dubbel is newish and as you may have noticed I usually lean toward dark beers if given a choice, and I was. The Dubbel is brewed with 6 different malts and is one full flavored malty mouthfull of fun. The beer did, however, have a surprisingly bitter aftertaste which is provided by Tcheque Saas hops. This beer is much more complex than the typical dubbel and worth seeking out.
SPECIAL BONUS REVIEW!!!
You have read enough of my crappy reviews that I will throw in a double secret bonus review. Thank you for not falling asleep.
De Halve Maan has a special line of artisan beers called Straffe Hendrik (strong Henry) named for the founder of the brewery. Incidentally, every first son of each generation is named after the founder. In 1981 the city of Bruges created a new statue of Saint Bernardus (no, not our St. Bernardus, the real one....the patron saint of beer brewers) and the mayor wanted a special beer to consecrate the statue. Thus, De Halve Maan created this true Belgian triple with the same 6 malts as their other brews, the same Saaz hops and additionally Styrian Golden hops for a huge face full of magnificence. It also pack in 9% ABV which bitch slapped me across the room. Mother Goose what a great beer. I have no idea if this is available in the U.S. but for goodness sake if you happen to find it grab it. Better yet, come to the brewery and take the tour and then eat at the superior fare from their restaurant.
The Restaurant serves Belgian Classics like Carbonade Flammande and Quiche....with all dishes chosen for their pairability with the brews.
Huisbrouwerij De Halve Maan
B - 8000 Bruges