Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Where's the Pissour?

I feel so, so...free.
Because this boy, the Manneken Pis, needs one.  And after all the Belgian beer, I may as well. 

Lisa and I spent a long weekend in Belgium -- Brussels, Ghent, and Bruges were the cities we visited -- and although Belgium is a beautiful enough country, their beer, chocolate, and frites were the real draw.  Belgian beers, especially the Trappist ones brewed by Belgian monks, are unlike any other:  they are bold, relatively sweet, and have a dialed-up alcohol content.  There are six abbeys of the Cistercian order that still make their own beer -- Chimay, Orval, Westmalle, Rochefort, Achel, and Westvleteren -- and we tried four of them while in Belgium.  The first of the two we didn't drink, Chimay, is widely available (even in the US) and one we'd had in the past so we didn't drink it while in Belgium whereas the second beer, Westvleteren, is the most revered among the six and, apparently, the most difficult to find since the supply is kept deliberately low.  We wasted no time getting started...
Orval:  check!  Westmalle:  check!
And didn't let up until the long weekend ended...
Jupiler is a standard Belgian lager and Leffe is a white-beer
"This is a country I could love."
It gets hot in hell.  No wonder Satan makes his own beer.
Rochefort:  check!
Beer alone couldn't sustain us...
or god.  He needs to eat, too.  Even if it is a glazed waffle.
...although a dreary and wet afternoon made us want to try.
It's a wonder Belgians get anything done.  I know I wouldn't.
But somehow she is one of the most wildly productive partly-Belgian persons I know.  Must be the warm, crusted glaze of the waffle.
The weekend still isn't over...
Beware le Guillotine!
Achel:  check!  (along w/ a Delirium Tremens on the left)
The Belgians are as fanatical about fries -- frites -- as they are beer.  They claim they invented them, in fact, and with presentation like this, we can't disagree.
You wouldn't think it from this blog post but our diets are actually quite healthy.  Really
Even more so if this were the Middle Ages since beer was healthier than water.  Ya know, the plague.   
A brewery tour in Brugge. 
I ♥ Belgium!

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