The Open Gate Brewery Tap Room has been on the go for quite a while now but I visited it for the first time on Thursday evening. Padraig Fox had mentioned that something a little bit special was going to be happening with some Belgian beers and invited me along. My knowledgeable friend Séan Lightholder also happened to be over from America at a work conference in Dublin. Séan has been known to enjoy the odd pint of Guinness but is no fan of Belgian beers, something to do with the taste of the yeast…I on the other hand am a bit of a Belgian brew enthusiast. We started off with a paddle of Open Gate Belgian Style beers, a Saison, a Dubbel, a Tripel and a Belgian IPA. Surprisingly Séan enjoyed most of them. We agreed that they were all very good with the exception of the IPA, we found it too bitter, astringent and a bit lacking in aroma.
Then it was time for the main event. Peter from Open Gate and Thomas from Timmermans introduced their beer. It is a blend of West Indies Porter, Oude Kriek and Special Export Stout. We got a brief history lesson too, apparently Timmermans is the oldest Guinness distributor in the world and they were also instrumental in formulating the recipe for Special Export Stout.
Samples of the blend were given out in very elegant Timmermans glasses. I have to say we felt very classy indeed. The beer itself was darn tasty. It clocked in at 6% and was quite light, I think I was expecting something more viscous. Still, the cherry chocolate combination worked well. A real dessert beer. There were some delicious Belgian chocolates on offer and they complimented the beer excellently.
I finished off the evening with a glass of the Tripel and some frites. It was a very enjoyable event, the vibe was cool and the company was good. Sláinte!
*I was an invited guest. But as unbiased as ever.