Monday, February 06, 2006

Mustard seeds, Linden blossoms, and the expressive world of Regenboog.

Wostyntje, a Belgian ale brewed with mustard seeds, is on tap at Rich O's.

The Brouwerij de Regenboog ("rainbow" in Dutch) is located in a suburb of Brugge, Belgium, and as many times as I've visited, I've yet to make contact with the owner, brewer, bee keeper and chief bottle washer, Johan Brandt. He's been making plans to move the brewery elsewhere, perhaps all the way to Oudenaarde (in East Flanders), so perhaps I'll find him there someday.

Wostyntje is brewed with 90 % pilsner and 10 % munich malts, and Kent Goldings and Challenger hops. Dark candi sugar and crushed "Torhout Mustaard" seeds are added late in the boil, and light candi sugar is used to prime the bottled version. Alcohol content is 5% by volume.

The ale is a tawny golden or soft brown in color, and while there's not really a mustard flavor, a hint of spice and a mild bitterness seemingly not derived from hops serve notice of the not-so-secret ingredient's presence.

I'm dreaming of how Wostyntje complements food, and in particular, I'm imagining a pairing with the Waterzooi served at the Hotel Erasmus in Brugge.

Regenboog's 't Smisje Blond Ale (6% abv) also is on tap. The recipe is not at all complex: Pilsner malt, Challenger hops and spiced with lime (Linden) blossoms.

Look for Johan's 't Smisje Dubbel (9% abv) and 't Smisje Kerst (Christmas ale; 11% abv) during Gravity Head.


Ash said...
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edward parish said...

Roger as you know I had one of these at your fine pub last night and wished that two would have been had instead. Very flavorful ale with more bitter taste on the pallet after 3 or 4 quaffs, but yet still had that fine Belgian ale sweetness all the way through.
Good beer!