Earlier this week Mr Enthusiast and myself were lucky to be invited to celebrate Belgian Sinterklaas with Heverlee Beer and fellow Edinburgh bloggers. We were already aware of the brand since their extremely successful Glasgow Tontine Lane pop-up in summer 2015 and were very much looking forward to what they have planned for us.
The country I come from celebrate the 6th December as St Nicholas Day. I was quite pleased to learn that the Belgians also celebrate this day - they call it Sinterklaas. Belgian Sinterklaas comes from Spain to Belgium by steam boat and then rides around on his white horse to deliver presents through the chimneys.
The beer tasting was hosted by Heverlee's master brewer, Joris Brams who flew to Edinburgh especially for this event. Being a brewer, he was able to give us his expert insight into the world of Belgian beers and his enthusiasm was infectious. You don't often have the opportunity to meet your brewer in person! We tasted four very different types of beers which are described below.
Orval is a trappist beer. Trappist means it is brewed by one of the eleven Trappist breweries in the world (six of these in Belgium). Orval is also one of the few beers which ages well - try keeping a bottle of Orval for a year! Read more about ageing beer here.
Tongerlo is a Norbertine beer. We tasted the Christmas edition which I quite liked. Worth knowing that the Tongerlo Blond of the same brewery has won silver medal in the World Beer Awards in 2016.
Duvel was the strongest beer of the night in terms of alcohol content. Luckily the beer tasting was accompanied by some delicious food prepared by the Sygn Bar otherwise we would have been quickly knocked out by the Duvel. A personal favourite of Joris (apart from Heverlee), Duvel is a Belgian golden blond.
Finally we closed the evening with a glass of cool Heverlee accompanied by a Belgian style chocolate dessert. Did you know that the spiritual home of Heverlee, the Abbey of the Order of Premontre was founded in 1129? Heverlee beer as recreated by Joris was inspired by the beers first brewed by the monks in medieval times. It also comes with a cool abbey motto: Ne Quid Nimis which stands for 'Life in Balance'.
Thank you so much for the lovely evening, Joris & Heverlee!
Follow Heverlee on Instagram and on Twitter to keep up-to-date on cool events such as free pints and other gifts by #HeverleeSent.
Acknowledgement: Even though Mr Enthusiast and myself enjoyed the hospitality of Heverlee, the views and opinions expressed on this blog are honest and purely my own.