This Kwak beer is a nice and strong amber ale, with a dense and creamy head. It has a sweet and fruity aroma, a full flavor with hints of caramel and a slightly spicy aftertaste. This beer, whose full name is ‘Pauwels Kwak’, has an alcohol content of 8.4%.
Serving temperature: 8-10°C
Kwak beer is one of Belgium’s best known amber beers. This is partly due to the great taste of the beer itself, but even more so to the unique shape of its glass. The glass is bulb shaped and held up by a wooden frame. The wooden frame also serves as a handle to pick up the beer. This glass is unique in its kind and also quite costly. That is why barkeepers are a bit reluctant to serve Kwak in its original glass, because very often the glasses tend to ‘disappear’ afterwards. Some clever barkeepers however, have found a solution to this: they ask customers to give one of their shoes. Once they hand back the glass, they get their shoe back.
The particular shape of the glass was invented by an innkeeper in Dendermonde in the 19th Century, whose nickname was Pauwels Kwak. The glass is designed in such a way that when the drinker reaches the part where air can enter the bulb-part of the glass, a big gush of beer will be launched towards the drinker. Inexperienced drinkers might spill some of that beer the first time they try this. The sound the air makes when it reaches the vacuum in the bub resembles a little bit the sound ‘kwak’.
Kwak is brewed by Brewery Bosteels in Buggenhout. They only brew three beers, but every single one of them is very famous. Their beer Tripel Karmeliet is generally considered to be one of Belgium’s best triple ales, and their champagne beer Deus is a real successful innovation which combines the best of beer and champagne.