Friday, June 15, 2007

DE KONINCK – A FRIENDLY BELGIAN

I bought up a raft of Belgian beers a few months ago and if I’m not mistaken, this one I quaffed with a salmon salad on Wednesday the last of ‘em before I need to make my next beer run. DE KONINCK, a Belgian Pale Ale, has been around pretty much since the dawn of time. My great-grandfather’s great-grandfather may have been around when they started brewing this one, but only just. We’re talking 1833. Anyway, the beer is a golden/amber, somewhat light on the tongue with some lager characteristics (I had to check the bottle and then Beer Advocate to make sure it was what I thought it was). Bready, watery, and very filling. Maybe a little “off”, but in a pleasing way, where you’re sort of guessing at what they brewer was trying to conjure up. Nothing mystical or otherworldly, but distinctly Belgian if you know what I mean. You know how some beers improve as they warm? This was one of those. I’m going with a 7/10 – not the one I’d grab first out of the cooler for sure, but one to put on your list.

3 comments:

Jonathan said...

Drinking a Belgian with a salad... Which do you think gave you the most sustenance?

Loren said...

A sort of local brewery to you, Black Diamond Brewing, has a Belgian Blonde using this same yeast. Which is very distinctive. Give it a whirl sometime. Refreshing, like a lager as you noted, but with notable nut and cherry accents. A great, highly underused yeast.

Brooklyn's Antwerpen Ale also recently used this fine yeast. FYI.

Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Thx Jay for your continued observations, I have been enjoying your blog for some time now. Wanted to share my De Koninck / Antwerp story.
Occasionally I travel to Europe for work. A couple years back, the guys I was working with realized my affinity for beer and suggested I visit Belgium. Went to Antwerp for the weekend. And man, they were not kidding, everyone drinks beer there, and they drink it anytime of day. (Great city, great people).
Went to a pretty simple cafe for dinner and asked for a De Koninck, the city's beer. The waiter looked inquisitively at me and asked, "ball licker?" This was a bit disconcerting. But, stranger in a strange land, I shrugged my shoulders. He poised again, "ball licker?" I told him I did not understand, a little uneasy. It turns out the locals refer to the glass De Koninck is served in as "Bolleke," referring to it's bowl shape. With the local inflection, it sure sounds a lot like Ball-licka' to me. Pretty funny, remember to order a ball licker next time in Antwerp.