De Halve Maan

Another town, another brewery. De Halve Maan has been brewing in Bruges since 1856, and only recently introduced their fourth beer. The brewing scene in Europe is a bit less fast-paced than in the U.S., apparently. De Halve Maan is a popular place — the 45 minute tour was packed. Unfortunately, they only had two of their beers on tap, and after those I really needed to get other things done. Maybe I can find the Straffe Hendriks in bottles elsewhere before I’m done with this trip.

The tour was really enjoyable. We scrambled around throughout the entire building, even getting on the roof at one point. The guide (Andrew?) was funny and energetic and imparted a whole lot of information in a very entertaining way. I was impressed.

Update! – I did find one of the Straffe Hendriks beers, at one particular restaurant in Maastricht, which solved the problem of deciding where to eat dinner that night. 4/20/11: Thought I wouldn’t be updating this again until my next trip to Europe, but the Quad showed up on tap at Pine Box in Seattle a couple months ago.

moon logo

Moon logo by the brewery entrance — Bruges, Belgium

    Rob’s Picks

  • Brusge Zot – 6% – Their blond ale. Good golden color and cloudiness. Lovely bready taste with sour edge. Fairly complex taste but very drinkable.
  • Straffe Hendrik Tripel – Good strong-tasting tripel. Sweetness balanced by the alcohol taste. Pretty light on the tongue, actually.
  • Straffe Hendrik Quadruple – 11% – Floral aroma. Floral hop flavor mixed with strong caramel and a bit of alcohol flavor. A touch of anise, too. Fairly light on the tongue, and very drinkable.
    The Rest

  • Brusge Zot Dubbel – 7.5% – Very different from the blond. Darker, sweeter, less sour tasting. Sort of a Belgian bock. Good, but a bit too sweet for my tastes — this gentleman prefers the blond…
brusge zot

A glass of Brusge Zot — Bruges, Belgium

De Halve Maan also had logo glassware for sale. Argh! All these cool glasses just slipping through my fingers. I’m hoping to bring home some sort of glass from Europe. Maybe from Switzerland…

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