Thursday, February 14, 2013

De Halve Maan (Bruges, Belgium)

Quadruple on a summer day

We didn't spend a lot of time in Bruges, but did everything that we wanted after seeing the movie In Bruges, including climbing the tower and taking a canal tour.  Easily could have spent another day there to take advantage of the museums more, but still a fun, touristy visit.

As they were rolling up the streets (we accidentally hit a holiday, but I didn't understand what), we headed to attempt an unplanned brewery tour at De Halve Maan.  Unfortunately, when we arrived, the tours were long done and we had less than an hour to sample their beers.  Not too disappointed missing the tour since my guess is that the on-the-hour tours would tell us beer is made of four ingredients.

Bruges Zot Blonde and Dubbel beers were very good, but the Straffe Hendrick beers, Tripel and Quad, were a clear notch above.  Very Dutch/Flemish style of beers that have a strong balance with an assertive yeast influence, especially the Quad which tasted like Hertog Jan that we brought back from Amsterdam on our first trip there in 2003.  Talking to the bartender and complimenting the beer while running out of time before bar close at 6 pm, I asked if I could buy more than one beer.  With a slightly astonished look, he said yes.  I explained that in the US that a beer in hand had to be more than half finished before buying another.  Again, astonished look.  I bought our Straffe Hendrick beers to close the bar, turning in our empty glasses to the waitress as we were the last ones to stroll out of the patio.

Brouwerij Straffe Hendrik
A relaxing stop at the end of a touristy day.  The historic nature of the brewery alone might be worth another stop in the future, especially since the beer is a good enough to warrant it.
View from outside garden towards restaurant door.
Tour sign up inside

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