For those who have been to Bruges, I’m betting a fair percentage have enjoyed touring the De Halve Maan brewery, pretty close to the centre of the town. It has all the historical character of an olden day brewery, yet it keeps apace of innovation – it now pumps its beer underground from the brewery outside the walls of Bruges to save the trucks coming in to the city to collect it!
The brewery is well-known for the Brugse Zot beer – a Blonde and a Dubbel, but the Straffe Hendrik label targets a slightly different segment of the market with their 9% Tripel and 11% Quadrupel beers.
And then there is the Straffe Hendrik Wild, which is a once-a-year creation using the Tripel as the base and then refermenting with a wild yeast strain. This beer then conditions for at least three months – much longer than the standard beer – to allow the wild yeast sufficient time to take hold and evolve.
We end up with lovely tripel, with a strong yeast character which is also lightly funky. Cellaring this beer will pay dividends, but we won’t blame you for tasting it now.