Leiden Leeds the Kriek

Glutenvrijemarkt

One of Ginger Tipple’s regular clients, Glutenvrijemarkt.com in Leiden, Holland, recently ordered the last few boxes of the Ginger Kriek 2017 vintage. This online store is the major player in the gluten free market in the Netherlands and sells gluten free beers including Ginger Tipple.

The Ginger Kriek

Ginger Kriek
Courtesy Wikipedia

We make this particular beverage with regular Ginger Tipple, without hops, into which we add fresh morello cherries known as noordkrieken. These sour cherries are only available for about two weeks  each July and we have to be quick.

We wash each cherry and check it for mold and holes, which could mean worms or other undesirable extras.

The whole cherries with their pits then sit in the Ginger Tipple vat for six to seven weeks while the yeast ferments their sugars and their flavours, aromas and colours impart into the brew.

The 2nd Fermentation

Before we bottle the Ginger Kriek we add some organic honey and then leave the Ginger Kriek to second ferment for two months. During this period the flavours meld and the remaining sugars ferment out to give it a natural carbonation.

The Pour

Ginger Beer
Click on the picture to see the GIF of the Pour

When you pour the cold Ginger Kriek into a tulip shaped glassed, you will be impressed by the synthesis of the ginger and cherries wafting past your nostrils. These aromas can only emanate from fresh natural gingers and fruits.

Most kriek beers are either sour lambics or sweet ones. Ginger Kriek is in between, very mildly sweet and a tiny bit sour.

I know I am biased when I talk about it, but it is really very good.

 

Buy Now

If you want to grab one of the few bottles, click on this link at Glutenvrijemarket.

Remember to drink it by the end of June 2018.

And thanks to my friends at Studio Rauw for designing the label.

One last note, it is also Kosher for Passover.

Drank 30 Beers in an Afternoon

Billie’s Craft Beer Fest

Ginger Tipple

Before you jump to conclusions, I did not drink 30 full glasses of beer. It was 30 tasters and  quite a lot of them I sipped and then about half of them I poured away.

It is not often one has the opportunity to drink quality craft beers – unlimited – and Antwerp’ first craft beer festival two weeks ago was a wonderful occasion to imbibe. In fact, it was absolutely amazing, not just because of the wonderful beers, but I now truly believe that Ginger Tipple is a tremendous brew.

Selection of Breweries

There were 50 breweries from all around Europe and North America, most of which had eight beers on tap, two at a time. As I was there for two hours on Sunday afternoon, this meant that there were about 100 beers available. Which is tremendous.

IPAs

As to be expected, there were a lot of IPAs. To be honest, some of them were average ales with a lot of hops, very few had that magic word, body. For the first time I experienced a range of different IPAs, West Coast IPAs which are very hoppy, often with very fresh hops from Yakima, Washington. Then there were the black IPAs which are made with toasted malt, the skill here is not to either the hops or the toasted malt to overpower the other. The German IPA used German hops etc.

Quads & Stouts

Ginger Tipple
Milk Stout

There was a varied selection of quads and stouts, matured with all sorts of flavours, although the bourbon barrels were the most common. Coffee, vanilla and cocoa were the popular tastes. Particularly enjoyed the Fantastic Voyage, a milk stout from Penrenial Artisan Ales which was infused with coconut flakes while whirpooling.

I missed the Kentucky Breakfast Stout, from Founders Brewing, which is one of the best on the market, and which commands a premium price of $20 per bottle. I had tasted a bottle six months ago, and it is very good.

Voodoo Brewery had a special brew for the show, which was a refreshing old style ale matured in bourbon barrels.

Estonia’a Pohjala brewery delivered an Imperial Coffee Stout called Cocobänger which uses high quality Costa Rican coffee, coconut and Magnum hops. At 12.5% ABV it was seductive.

Different Beers

Tempel from Sweden had a great sour beer with mango called Manu. With an ABV of only 3.5% it must be great to drink on a hot day, although I am not sure how often that happens in Sweden.

My favourite was Norway’s Nogne O‘s Tripel X Farmhouse Ale which is not boiled before fermentation which occurs at a temperature of 39 celsius.

The meads were not my cup of tea.

Sour Beers

You can travel the world and find sour beers with or without fruit. At this event there were quite a few, but the best were from Belgium. For me, the stars in this category were the Rodenbach Grand Cru Flemish and Caractere Rouge red-brown ales.  Nor can you omit Alvinne‘s Gentleman Sour Ale.

Summation

Stéfan Cauwenbergs and his colleagues deserve full praise for arranging the craft beer festival and by setting the entry price quite high it meant that you did not have to by tokens all the time to taste different beers.

Looking forward to next year’s festival.

Stuttgart Flemish Beer Tasting

The German Approach

When the Flanders Investment and Trade Agency advertised the Flemish beer tasting event in Stuttgart a few months ago, I jumped at the opportunity. Breaking into a new market takes time, and every country is different, especially Germany. The timing was difficult, to travel 550km each way a week after returning from Kosherfest in America was tough but manageable.

Flanders Investment and Trade

This agency is efficient and we had to submit our list of invitees and descriptions of our products in German about two months before the event. The agenda included a dinner the night before the event with the Belgium ambassador to Germany. Fortunately, they were able to arrange a kosher meal for me from the local Jewish restaurant.

Ginger Beer

The tasting was held in the Stuttgart Cultural center, and I was proud to be among the 16 brewers there, especially since Ginger Tipple was placed above Duvel  and Westmalle in the program!

The time before the event opened was a wonderful opportunity to meet with some the top brewers and salesmen in the Belgian brewing world.

When they came to taste this newcomer to such an event, I really appreciated their feedback.

The Ambassador

The ambassador really surprised me, first of all he liked both the regular Ginger Tipple and the Ginger Kriek which immediately makes him a good man. He looked at the label and said, “OKp, it’s pareve?” When I told him it was for Passover the replied that he will buy some bottles to take to his friends in Cleveland with whom he will be celebrating the Seder.

Ginger Beer

The Presentation & Tasting

The Agency invited a German beer specialist, Irina Zimmerman, to present all of the breweries. At least she could pronounce my family name properly.

I did not make any secret of being Jewish etc.  and Mrs Zimmerman was very interested in the kosher aspect. However, there were some guests who did not come to the Ginger Tipple stand, even though the trade attaché and Mrs Zimmerman strongly recommended that they do.

Perhaps they don’t like ginger 🙂

As I had to drive back that evening, I was unable to really enjoy the beers on presentation, although I was given a few complimentary bottles.

Ginger Beer

In Conclusion

Unfortunately, only about one third of the people came and there were not many importers and distributors who are the gateway to the German market. However, most of the guests enjoyed tasting Ginger Tipple and Ginger Kriek, and the restaurants, bars and shops were all interested in ordering. One very hip bar wants Ginger Tipple at its annual craft beer festival in March.