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Amsterdam & Belgium - Part 10 - Ieper, Hellakapella & Poperinge

Posted by Rich Link on 11/30/2003 12:10:28 PM

May 25 – Ieper, Hellekapella, and Poperinge

We got an early start, and after listening to the stories of others at the inn, we decided to see some of the World War I sites. We went to Hill 62 and saw the trenches and amazing pictures of the area in and around Ieper during the war. Unbelievable. It makes you wonder why Men can’t just get along with each other.

We then decided to head into nearby France to look up a local brewery. We found out that it did not open until 3 PM. So we stepped into a local pub in Bailleul (Belle). In my perfect French (hmm), I asked one of the several men behind the bar for a list of the bottled beers. They looked at me as if they had no idea what I was saying. Maybe my French was little off, but I know I said the right words. Anyway, after a few awkward moments, I spotted the beer list on the wall. I did not recognize most of the beer’s names, so I ordered up a Wilfort Brun and a Pelforth Brune. Both were 6.5% alcohol, malty, and some hops. The Pelforth had a bit more hoppiness.

Not overly impressed, we headed back toward Loker, and D’Hellekapella brewery/restaurant. I’ve enjoyed many of the beers from this brewery for quite some time, and I looked forward to trying a load of them all at once.

We started out with Helleketelbier at 7%, It was very lively, sweet, with a slight tang (corn?). Teresa liked it better than I did. Then Plokkersbier, also 7%, with flavors of wintergreen, root beer, and anise. Then Hellekapelle 5%, very lively, low PH, bitter, very tangy, and essence of ear wax, as in when you are snuggling the ear of a very close friend. Finally, Zatte Bie, at 9%, the beer with honey. It was flavored of dark malts and honey, very smooth, and very nice. I could have had more, but I was driving, and the day was still young.

After we finished our excellent plates of rabbit and pig knuckle (and great smashed potatoes) (four beers and two meals for 30.90 Euro), we headed toward Poperinge. The town was nearly deserted on a Sunday. Most shops were closed, and there were very few people about. We parked in the main square and walked a few blocks to the Hop Museum. It was a nice tour. WUPT!, we made our way to Café de la Paix, where we had a couple Hommelbiers on tap. They were a bit sweet, but with a nice hop flavor, but surprisingly little bitterness. I was a bit disappointed. I remembered this beer being much more hoppy in the bottle.

We headed back to Ieper, which was a little more lively, and walked around for a couple of hours looking at memorials and such. As we were preparing to leave, we saw a group of bagpipers assembling near the church in the square. We stood by and watched and listened for a bit, and found out that they were going to be playing at the nightly memorial at Menin Gate. We stuck around for that, and went to experience the playing of taps, the singing of songs, and the pipes at the Last Post. This has been going on nightly since 1928, except during the years of WWII.

It was a well-rounded day. We retired early, 10 PM, with the sun just starting to set.

Tomorrow, St. Sixtus & Watou.

Amsterdam & Belgium - Part 10 - Ieper, Hellakapella & Poperinge - Rich Link, 11/30/03 12:10:28 PM
        Essence of earwax (aka cerumen) very nice, lol nfm - DrBill, 12/02/03 11:47:03 AM
        Re: Amsterdam & Belgium - Part 10 - Ieper, Hellakapella & Poperinge - Jeremy Gray, 11/30/03 01:23:08 PM
                Re: Amsterdam & Belgium - Part 10 - Ieper, Hellakapella & Poperinge - Rich Link, 12/01/03 10:41:20 AM
                        Re: Amsterdam & Belgium - Part 10 - Ieper, Hellakapella & Poperinge - Jeremy Gray, 12/01/03 04:07:39 PM

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