Monday, 4 June 2012

Schieve Tabarnak

“Hmmm... that’s yummy”, says Fiona, finding happiness in bitterness.

Schieve Tabarnak is a joint venture ale, a product of the breweries of Trou du Diable in Quebec and Brasserie de la Senne in Brussels. I hadn’t heard of it before our friend Benoît enthusiastically handed us a bottle a while back, singing its praises.

The name is apparently some kind of take on the infamous "crooked architect" of Brussels, about whom we've written before. Joseph Poelaert designed the giant blot on the cityscape known as the Palace of Justice, destroying half of the Marolles district in the process and insuring that the word “architect” would be an insult in Brussels for years to come.

Exactly how they get “Schieve Tabarnak” from “schieven architekt” eludes me. There’s something crooked there in any case.

But crooked or not, Fiona’s right: it’s yummy. Bitter blonde with hints of lavender and fruit, leading into a pithy astringent aftertaste. At 5.3%, it’s just about light enough to make it a session beer, but unfortunately, I haven’t seen it in the shops anywhere, so this one bottle from our friend is all that’s left here. And it's not left anymore...

Thanks, Benoît, for finding this one for us!


  1. Hi Andrew!

    The explanation for the name is the following : as it is a collaborative brew between a brewery from Brussels and one from Quebec, the name is a juxtaposition of two specific 'dialect' words : "Schieve", as you explain is the 'Brusseleir' term for 'crooked'; whereas "Tabarnak" is a classic 'swearword' in Quebec (derived from the french word 'tabernacle', which I think is the same in English?)...

    Hope this clears it up for you ;-)



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