Brouwerij Kerkom - Bink Blond

Brouwerij Kerkom - Bink Blond

Beer Club featured in U.S. & International Variety Beer Club International Beer Club

Country:

Belgium

Alcohol by Volume:

5.50%

Brouwerij Kerkom - Bink Blond

  • Alcohol by Volume: 5.50%
  • Bottle Size: No
  • Serving Temperature: 45-50° F
  • Suggested Glassware: Tulip or Snifter
The product of a man driven to bring the hops back to Belgian beers, Bink Blond is a dry-hopped salute to the old beers of the region. As Marc puts it “this is just the way most Belgian beers used to be.” The first of the Bink beers (more on the name “Bink” below), this unfiltered brew is created using only water, malted barley, hops and Belgian yeast. A secondary fermentation in the bottle enhances the complexity of this beer (you may notice thick pieces of sediment in your glass if you rouse the layer of yeast at the bottom of the glass when pouring. If you prefer not to have this, pour your beer very gently, and leave about the last ½ inch in the bottle). On the nose, look for a subtle creaminess that mingles with noticeable malt grains (akin to freshly-baked bread) and a characteristic earthy mustiness derived from the Belgian yeast. Also expect un-spiced, floral hop tones in the aroma, resulting from Marc’s heavy-handed use of hops both in the boil and the fermenting tank. Flavor-wise, look for notes of pear that dive in and out among the caramel malts, with a fruitiness like tropical punch that develops quite early. A perfumy quality ensues as floral- and citrus-toned hops mix. Despite the prevalence of the hops, their spiciness is minimal. The flavors are balanced and delicately rounded out by a firm hop-bitterness, and a final yeasty mustiness comes in at the finish. Enjoy with moderately-spiced Thai noodles or grilled whitefish, or tangy Edam cheese.
This month’s featured beers come from the countryside of East Flanders, Belgium, from a small family farm amidst Belgium’s best pear and cherry orchards. But within this pastoral setting there stirs the unrest of a man who has committed himself to a brave and noble mission to enact change in his country. Saddened by the decreasing interest in traditional, hoppy Belgium beers, Marc Limet decided to do something about it. Like a number of other small farmhouse brewers in Belgium, Marc felt compelled to move from amateur brewing to a more commercial operation to counter the disturbing trend of dumbing down in Belgian brewing. Unlike larger Belgian breweries, Marc can commit the time required to create true-brew works of art without the use of corn sugar, artificial fruit flavors, or other cheap ingredients. In so doing, he keeps alive the great brewing spirit and traditions of this beer-loving nation. Marc Limet’s brewery, known as Brouwerij Kerkom, is essentially an extension of the home he has made with his wife Marina. Their on-site pub feels like a welcoming nook of their home; a place where folks from all over Belgium will gather throughout the year to enjoy these acclaimed farmhouse beers. The Kerkom tradition is not new, however. Brewing has been going on under this name since 1878, when the original Kerkom Brewery was founded after Evarist Clerinx left his studies of medicine to become a brewer. He purchased an old café known as “La Rennaissance” and rebuilt it as a brewery. In 1932, 12 years after the brewery reopened (German occupiers claimed the brewery during the First World War), Evarist’s son Paul took up the craft. Having survived the Second World War, brewing continued as a family affair when Jean Clerinx joined the brewery, but times were tough. During WWI there were 127 breweries in the region. By 1965, there were only 13 left. Tastes had changed, and local breweries had closed in droves. Today, only 6 of the original 127 pre-WWI-era breweries are still active—the Kerkom Brewery is one of them. In 1968, Jean Clerinx too decided to cease brewing operations at Kerkom. After his retirement in 1988, he started up a small brewery that created beers using old-world, traditional methods. In 1999, Marc Limet, masterbrewer and hop-hero took up as Kerkom’s owner and brewer. He has since put 100% of his efforts into bringing the character and flare back to Belgium’s locally-brewed beers by creating new beers with old-world composition. For more information about the brewery, check out their website at www.brouwerijkerkom.be. You’ll also find information there about bicycling routes through this beautiful region—where you can ride roads that cut between orchards and fruit plantations in the famed region of Haspengouw. Just follow the “appelroute” to get to the brewery. What a great way to recharge after a bike ride through the Flemish countryside!
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