PRINCIPALE: AUTHENTIC BRASSERIE BEER
At Pakhuis in Ghent, La Quincaillerie in Brussels and Dock's Café in Antwerp they breed their own chickens and pigs. Now they've added their very own house beer to their menu, Principale, a “living” blonde triple with a high fermentation and second fermentation, both in barrels and in a stylish 75 cl champagne bottle. The house beer of the three brasseries has an alcohol content of 8.3%. Daniël Termont, mayor of Ghent, had the honor of pouring the first Principale straight from the tap. The guests who tasted the new beer, which is brewed by the Van Steenberge brewery in Ertvelde, were very enthusiastic. (JV)
How it all began...
“At our three brasseries we've always served both draft lager and a variety of other beers,” says owner Dimitri De Cuyper. “We also offer a vast assortment of carefully selected authentic wines, many of which are also served by the glass. Two years ago we got the idea to take our approach one step further by joining forces with a brewery to develop our own exclusive beer. After careful consideration we decided to work with the Van Steenberge brewery in Ertvelde, East Flanders. This brewery is specialized in high-fermentation brewing and out of all the breweries we approached, it proved not only to have a great expertise, but also to be very keen on brewing our brasserie beer with us.”
Character and flavor description
Our house beer, Principale, is a “living” blonde triple with a high fermentation and second fermentation, both in barrels and in a stylish 75 cl champagne bottle. The second fermentation guarantees a shelf life of several years and an ever-evolving flavor.
The alcohol content of 8.3% and the fine but full, white foam layer give this subtle beer an extra dimension.
Three fine types of hops create a delightful hoppy, subtly spicy and enticing initial aroma. The round, creamy flavor, which is accompanied by bittersweet barley and grain varieties, creates a full-bodied and flavorful tasting beer, which is accentuated even more by the additional fermentation.
Fresh hints of hops create a long, delicate and bitter after-taste and, especially, a well-balanced, symphonic overall flavor, making this the ideal beer before, during and after your meal. Needless to say this noble blend is also particularly suited for a drink outdoors or any other moment of relaxation.
By creating its very own beer, the brasserie group Pakhuis, Dock's Café, La Quincaillerie has restored its ties with the past. Brasseries - the catering establishments as we know them today - date back to the 16th-century breweries in Bavaria. There you could literally drink a beer at the source. Transport tended to spoil the flavor of beer and therefore beer lovers would enjoy one or more pints at the “Brauhaus”. Just like today, these drinks would whet the appetite, so to feed not only the soul, but also the body, an accompanying snack would be served, which also provided an additional source of income. Over the years similar breweries opened their doors in the territory that was later merged into Germany.
Meanwhile, this phenomenon had also become popular in the Alsace. During and after the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871) many people from that region fled to Paris and introduced the successful brasserie trend in the French capital, where catering activities soon became more popular than beer brewing. Brasseries were still proud of the fact that they brewed their own beer, but with time that typical aspect disappeared from their DNA. Today brasseries are readily accessible, informal catering establishments where, unlike restaurants, you can enjoy a single dish. Purists expect a brasserie to have a bar and serve draft beer as well, preferably its own.
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