Back at the tasting room we got our morning glass of gueuze. I think I was the only one not bemused by the concept of drinking beer before 9am. I mean, it was a Saturday. As the other tours went through we staked a claim in the tasting bar to soak in the atmos. Lots of atmos in Cantillon, and here it had just started to smell of wort. As it began to pour from the mashtun we went for a taste. Porridgey, funnily enough. I'd never really noticed the wheat character of Cantillon beer, but here it was -- very pronounced, and slightly steaming.
The clock was heading for 10. Time for another beer. I fetched us a bottle of Iris, served from an unmarked bottle in a basket. Even the bar is old school at Cantillon. As the beer was sunk, so the eyelids began to droop, and most of the group decided that a nap was the best way to make the most of the rest of the day. Not me though. It was a gorgeous bright morning in Brussels and I went for a walk, up to Beer Circus to find out if it opened for lunch (it doesn't on Saturdays) then watched the world go by in Parc du Bruxelles before it was time to see what the sleeping beauties were up to.
We reconvened in Grand Place and lunched in one of the many
We took a position by the stove, watching the old barrel staves being thrown in as fuel and realising too too late that swiping one for homebrewing purposes would be a nifty idea. Oh well. David was buying this time out, and fetched us a bottle of Rosé de Gambrinus -- the raspberry lambic. Yet again, I just don't rate the fruity Cantillons above the plain gueuze. Still, the acidic tartness delivers a short sharp shock to the tastebuds, and then a fresh fruit-flavoured juiciness finishes the whole thing off. A good beer, no question, but not good enough to claim a place in my 20kg of beery baggage. Plain, wonderful, Cantillon gueuze made up (almost) the sum total of my purchases.
At 4.30, our day's work was done. Saturday night on the town in Brussels was beckoning.