Saturday 2 February 2008


This was a surprise entry into the 40b40. After hiking about through town for a few hours, we were all hungry and stopped at a restaurant on Grand Place. We’ve been there before and find it quite reasonable for its location -- with pleasant and even child-friendly staff, too. They always seem to give us the same table, which not only seats six or eight, but also has a nice view of the square. And they have a good selection of beers...

Looking through the list, I realised many of my first 25 were already there, apart from some lambics and wheat beers, which given the cold weather, I just didn’t feel like. Then I spotted Hapkin on the menu and decided to try one of those.

My initial fear when I saw this strong blond ale in its Duvel-like glass was that it would be yet another Duvel-like strong blond ale. I’ve tried too many of those already.

But the alcohol level is lower than most of those -- 8.5% -- and that really mellows it out a lot. Not overpowered by the fumes like some others. It also has good floral essences and a hoppy dry finish. It’s smooth and well balanced. Of all the “strong blond ales” I’ve had so far, I like Hapkin the best. It went down very well with my moules frites.

Fiona also pointed out the great socialist-realist artwork on label. Gotta love socrealismus, eh?

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