De Garre, a stone’s-throw from the market square in Bruges, comes across nonetheless as being aimed more at locals than tourists. The menu is in ‘Nederlandse’ only, for one thing. That’s not to say it’s unwelcoming for English speakers or tourists, though.
De Garre tripel is the house brew. It’s a very spicy, alcohol-fuming beer which was almost too boozy and raw, but very welcome on a stormy night.
We also took the opportunity to complete the Struise cannon with Rosse which was, sadly, a bit of a dud — sweet rather than spicy and with a vaguely cardboard-y off flavour.
Round three included Deugniet, which tasted like lemon barley, and Hopus from Lefebvre. Hopus is advertised widely and comes with a very elaborate presentation — the beer is in a tall stem glass, the dregs in a shot glass, with a stern warning from the waiter that the yeast is ‘powerful’ and might ‘mess you up’. It tasted a lot like a cask ale, maybe because of the bottle-conditioning and the earthy yeast flavours. From something at 7.5%, however, you expect more than to be reminded of a 4% British session ale.