Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Belgian Beer no.3: Kwak, and the interesting glass

Imagine drinking 1 meter of beer. Never heard of something like this? Then a visit to Belgium (or Germany) is in order. Other countries might serve beer by the meter as well, but I know for sure Belgium is no stranger to the meter beer.

Being on the Grote Markt in Brugge, and in line with all the tourists who were having the same, we ordered a 1m Kwak. I have to admit the experience was a first for me. I knew the beer from before, but never saw it super-sized.

Kwak has a deep bright amber color, a fruity and malty aroma, a slightly spicy character with hints of caramelized bananas, and a pleasant bitterness to it. However, what I find fascinating about the Kwak, is the glass it comes with.

History places Paul Kwak as a brewer and bar owner in Dendermonde. A regular stop for mail coaches, coachmen were not allowed to leave the carriage and horses. Therefore not able to enjoy the Kwak beer. As a result, Paul Kwak invented a glass which could be easily hung on the coach and ordered the shape of the glass we know today. Problem solved.
Today no longer hung on the side of coaches, but served in a specially designed glass, Kwak brings with it a small piece of history to the present.

Lamb Ragout with Kwak (serves 4)

1 leg of lamb (1 kg)
half a green cabbage
4 carrots
4 turnips
half a celeriac
1 onion
250gr mushrooms
1 bottle Kwak
butter, clove of garlic, tyme, bay, s&p

A golden rule - above all sweat the onion in the butter and add the vegetables in the following order: carrots, green cabbage, celeriac, turnips, potatoes. Allow to braise moistening with the Kwak beer.
Add the thyme, bay and sliced garlic. Cover and allow to cook for 20min at low heat.
In the meantime brown the meat in butter, seasoning it with s&p.
Add meat to vegetable mélange.
Put the pan in the oven at 200C (gas mark 6) and let it cook uncovered for 20min. if you like the meat well done, leave it in the oven a little longer. If rare, then take it out sooner.
Serve with a Kwak.


Anonymous said...

The real creator of the meter of beer is not Belgian but... Iranian. His name is Nasser and he owns a shop with a small beer pub inside in Brussels called Beermania, 174 Chaussée de Wavre. This guy is really kind, too much kind maybe, because he never took out the patent... Anyway, his shop is really worth a visit !
Godsavethebeer !


Andreea said...

Oh wow, I had no idea. Thanks for this. Really interesting.
Will check out the Beermania as well asap. Heard about it but so far only got to go to the 'usual suspects', Moeder Lambic, Atelier, Delirium etc ...

Anonymous said...

In the meantime, you can have a look at his website :
Cheers !