Brugge to Poperinge
28 August 2011 | Poperinge, Belgium
Today we rode south from Brugge, under leaden skies and often with headwinds. The roads have been smooth, flat, and scenic. Along the way we visited De Dolle Brouwers in Esen, and the public cafe "In de Vrede" associated with Westvleteren Trappist monastery. Our lunch stop was at a farm house where the family sets out picnic tables and offers homemade ice cream to tourists, and by special arrangement they also provided sandwiches for us. One of our cycling missions is to make contact with the locals, and offer a bright yellow Experience Plus! souvenir hat to commemorate the exchange. The young boy at our lunch stop was the recipient today.
It is interesting to compare the beers of De Dolle and Westvleteren, if I may dare to do so. To my tastes the De Dolle beers are far more complex and quirky, very much to my liking, due primarily to the microbiological diversity introduced by the brewer Kris. OTOH the Westvleteren beers are solid, malty and alcoholic, superbly brewed but of a simple yeast character from the single strain yeast culture employed. The cafe at De Dolle on a Sunday afternoon was quiet at noon, but expecting a few tour busses later. The sizable Westvleteren cafe was busting out the doors all afternoon with locals and tourists and churning a healthy business. Why the big business difference? .....