Bosteels Brewery – Pauwel Kwak 8.4%
This Belgian Ale, normally simply called Kwak, is a chestnut coloured ale with warming malt and sharp plum aroma and cream coloured head. The taste is strong malty sweet and orange marmalade sweet-bitter notes, with a deep warming taste and hints of spices, similar to traditional strong barley wine style ales.
The Bosteels Brewery was founded in 1791 and was sold to the conglomerate AB Inbev in 2016, having been run by the same family to that point. The ale is supposedly named after an 18th century brewer and innkeeper. The beer is filtered before bottling.
Kwak, like all Belgian beers, is served in a branded glass shaped like a ‘quarter yard of ale’, as can be seen on the bottle label. Because of the round bottom, the glass is held upright in a wooden stand.
The glass was, again supposedly, designed by Pauwel Kwak, the 18c innkeeper at his tavern and brewery ‘De Hoorn’ for the coachmen to carry, as the coaches did not stop. The real fact is this ale and its distinctive glass were not launched by the brewery until 1980. Pauwel Kwak’s loss is our gain.
This is a good warming ale, which should be drunk with caution, like many good Belgian ales, because of its very high strength.