Hold the sausage, pass the beer

wostyntje-bottle

photo courtesy of B. United International

I tried a mustard beer last night with my dinner at JoeDoe.  It hails from the Regenboog Brewery in Belgium (Brouwerij De Regenboog or Brouwerij ‘t Smisje in Dutch).  Specifically, the brewery’s located in the West Flanders municipality of Assebroek, a suberb of Bruges.  For a native English speaker, there’s a lot of unfortunate sounding words here. 

Regenboog means rainbow in Flemish and they’ve been brewing beer since 1995.  Despite its small production of less than 800 gallons per year (making it Belgium’s smallest craft brewery), Regenboog puts out six beers as part of its regular production as well as many seasonal brews, featuring both traditional Belgian styles as well as some more funky stuff – raisins, honey, vanilla.  I’m happy to report that Wostyntje is part of their regular production. 

Clocking in at 7% abv, it’s a strong, spicy golden ale with munich and pilsner malts, Kent Goldings and Challenger hops, candy sugar and mustard seeds from a nearby village called Tourhout.  This beer undergoes a secondary fermentation in the bottle, adding to its complexity.  The beer is surprisingly versatile – I enjoyed it with fried chickpeas, pickled onion rings, a salad of radish and spring garlic, duck egg and farro, Tasmanian trout and more – hey, there were 2 of us.  It has the full-bodied, citrus-y, spicy and floral qualities often associated with Belgian beer with a unique bitter finish from the crushed mustard seeds.

For a list of bars in NYC that carry it, click here.

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