Beer Blotter Belgium 2010: One Week Line Pops Up; The Gang Views In Bruges and Bottleworks 11th Anniversary
We leave in 7 days from the time this article goes to post. Wow. Its been quite a preparation and we are all ready to head out. Belgium – here we come.
With so much on the horizon, this past week kind of got the shaft. Traditionally we have celebrated the Belgium trip countdown with a bounty of posts about get togethers where we celebrate Belgian grub and grog in the Seattle area (mostly at home). But last week, we were sidetracked by our paying jobs and other wondrous beer celebrations. So, Belgian week took a hit.
First, Bottleworks hit the nail on the head. Its newest release, 11th Anniversary was an explosion of the full gamut of bottle aged flavor.
Bottleworks had a nice size supply of about a dozen cases of the 750 ml bottles of the new ale when we arrived at 4:30. By the time we had left at 6:00 – they were down to two cases. I’m fairly certain that supply was kicked by the end of the evening.
Matt Long presented the beer while standing atop the Bottleworks bartop. Long informed the crowd that he instructed to grab as many bottle age beers that he had laying around the brewery to blend this masterpeice. He did not disappoint Bottleworks’ owners, and certainly not their drinkers.
Bottleworks 11th Anniversary pours incredibly thick and oily. The immediate scent is that of cooked butter and crushed pretzels. The beer has an immense amount of flavor in its initial sip, including a surprising tartness that likely comes from the wine barrels that produced some of the ales blended into this monster.
While drank, the beer transforms several times. Its main ingredient, Big Sky’s Ivan the Terrible Imperial Stout is prevalent but it comes and goes, hidden at times by the other flavors blended into the finished product.
Each of our three samplers would give the beer a big thumbs up – kudos to you Matt Long.
The next evening, Beer Blotter grabbed a nice meal and dug in to dive back into a little Belgium culture for the evening. Now, we understand that In Bruges is probably the furthest thing from an actual Belgium experience, but there is little on the market that roundly succeeds at both entertainment and education – we’ll stick with this tale of assassins hiding out in Bruges.
In Bruges stars Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson and Ralph Fiennes. The movie begins as Farrell, a young assassin, kills a minor while attaching a priest. A big no-no in the assassin trade, Farrell is told to get out of dodge and is sent to Bruges to blow off some steam. Unfortunately, Farrell is not so much a fan.
This movie reminds me of how much I love Brendan Gleeson. Ever since he showed up in Braveheart, and then mastered the role of “Monk” in one of my favorites of all time – Gangs of New York – I had hoped for more in depth roles from Gleeson. In Bruges is his film.
I tend to believe that both Gleeson and Farrell were asked to be themselves in this film. Farrell’s intolerance and humorous disrespect for all things makes him quite the counter to the old wise, sensible and caring Gleeson.
Gleeson also gives us our only shot at real culture in the film. His desire to visit the historical landmarks of this amazing town gives you a reason to watch if planning a trip on your own.
During the stay in Bruges, the two visit the Basilica of the Holy Blood, to view the blood of Jesus Christ; the Groeningmuseum (art history) to view Hieronymus Bosch’s The Last Judgment; the Belfry Tower to have a gun fight; and the meticulous canal system of the city’s center.
Of yes – and they drink the beer. Gleeson’s clamoring for the “gay beer” of Belgium, as Farrell so eloquently puts it, allows us to get a view of some of the taverns of the town. Now, we do not expect that the two visited ‘t Brugs Beertje (Beer Advocate and Rate Beer’s Top Bar in Bruges) or Bierbrasserie Cambrinus (Ratebeer 93), but the venues certainly had the feel of a bar on the square in Bruges.
In any event, regardless of the drama, it got our hearts pumping for a little time off in Bruges. The movie has a great finish and we do not want to deprive you of that glory.
We are thinking about some flemish art, a westy at ‘t Brugs Beertje and a ride along the canals. That ought to do us right.
If you have anything to share about Bruges – or about Matt Long’s amazing 11th Anniversary beer – please shoot a comment below.