Easter Bunnies, Bricks, Triple Hops & Pink Elephants
Belgian Easter Beers (in case you were wondering) are brewed by monks or farmers to welcome spring & celebrate Easter (no surprise there then!). They were also created to ward off any evil spirits that may endanger that year’s harvest or bring bad luck to the community. This time of year also marked the end of the brewing season in the days when a lack of refrigeration limited production to the colder months. Brewers made a special effort to make stronger beers with fresh flavours to reward themselves for the early mornings & late nights spent brewing in the cold (any excuse!).
Some examples to try are Bos Keun (Easter Bunny) by De Dolle Brouwers, Gouden Carolus Easter from Het Anker & Grimbergen’s Optimo Bruno.
While on my travels, your favourite Squirrel Detective discovered that the famously mysterious Abbey of Westvleteren has begun to export their hugely desirable beer for the first time in their history. Rather than negotiate the “cloak & dagger” methods of obtaining this much-prized brew, 6 packs of Westvleteren XII with 2 glasses are becoming available in select venues worldwide. These packs, otherwise known as Bricks, are helping to fund a new dormitory for the monks, each pack representing an actual brick for the Abbey of Saint Sixtus.
Belgian supermarket chain Colruyt in collaboration with several local newspapers had 93,000 Bricks on offer, the remaining 70,000 packs being distributed across the world. 6 European countries (sadly not including the UK), the US & Canada were lucky enough to have some. E-bay, here I come!
Meanwhile, over at the Duvel Moortgat brewery in Breendonk, Duvel Tripel Hop 2012 Selection has been launched. Following the success of the 2007 & 2010 editions, Duvel have produced the 2012 version with the addition of Citra hops from the Yakima Valley in Washington State. The brewers select a different hop each time to add to the two already used, creating a unique flavour – this time with “notes of grapefruit & tropical fruit”. The third hop is added to the brewing process & also later, using a “dry hopping” method, which ensures that the flavour is maintained in the finished product. Yum, all we need to do now is find out where to get some.
Finalement, if you are short of ideas for the weekend, why not find your pink elephant costume & head over to the Huyghe Brewery near Ghent on Sunday at 10.00am for the Delirium Tremens Open Doors Day?
To celebrate the opening of their new brewery, they are offering a year’s worth of beer to the first 25 people to appear at the gates dressed as pink elephants in honour of their logo. Runners-up will receive a Delirium gift pack, so come on, what have you got to lose? A word of warning from the sponsors though: “Simply putting on a trunk hat is not sufficient. We want a full transformation, including the necessary Delirium accessories”. If you see a squirrel there disguised as an elephant, you know who that is . . . who said the Begians are boring?!
Bon weekend Babar!
Ps. Maybe if you ask nicely, maybe someone will let you borrow this costume? (See YouTube link above or below)