Sunday, 23 June 2013

It looks better when it's full!

I’ve failed so far in my search for some ‘Kwak’.

a) It’s not a sound effect for a Manga movie.

b) It’s not what ducks do.

c) It’s not an unqualified Doctor.

Kwak (pronounced Kvack) is a Belgian beer, and a very special experience it is too.

There are about 800 different Belgian beers, each has their own unique glass, many of them have two – different ones for bottled and for draft beer.

With Kwak, I think the bottled glass is fairly ordinary, but the draft glass is special.

Apart from anything else it costs about £28 – luckily I found one in a charity shop for a pound! Here it is;


  It looks better when it’s full!

Legend has it the beer was made for coaching Inns in the 18th century, the problem being that the coachmen didn’t have anywhere to put their glass on a horse drawn coach without it falling over. So the Brewery commissioned one like a small yard of ale – basically a tube with a sphere on the bottom – it was intended that it would hook on a bracket at the driver’s side.

When you order a Kwak, it wouldn’t stand up on its own (unless you have a horse drawn carriage to hang it on) so the glass comes on a little wooden frame. You can either hold the wood or take out the glass and drink from it.

In the old days, if you ordered one, the barman would make you hand over a shoe as a hostage for giving the glass back when you had finished.

On the top of the wood it says;

                       “Op uw gezondheid”

                               Pawel Kwak

                            “A voire santé”

Of course, it may all just be marketing but the beer? It’s really special.

Quite strong, brown colour.

When you first taste it there is a definite hint of what I could only describe as a vomit flavour, then a really nice taste sets in.

Then you want another one.

And another.

Now, where on earth can I find one? And don’t say Belgium because, due to family problems, I can’t go.

Neil Harris

(a don’t stop till you drop production)

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