T’Pakhuis is a huge, 370-seater brewpub in an old warehouse in the arty part of Antwerp to the south of the Grote Markt. At 2pm on a Friday afternoon morning, we had the place to ourselves.
They make three beers. The 5.1% beer was very light and refreshing, but with very upfront spicing. It was cloudy but had enough character to avoid being mistaken for a Boring German Brewpub Zwickl™.
The 5.5% bruin would probably be pretty dull out of a bottle, and certainly isn’t the most exciting beer in Belgium, but its freshness did it a lot of favours.
Finally, the main event: Nen Bangelijkes. It was a 9.5% triple and is dangerously drinkable, as the barman explained. “Guys come in and they think they’re pretty tough, they can handle their beer, but after a few… wow… I’m having to, like, throw them out in the street.” The name is Antwerp dialect and (so we were told) means both scary and fantastic. With this beer, Pakhuis have successfully pulled of the Duvel trick — it was strong and powerfully flavoured, but with a champagne-like fizz and body which meant it seeemed to slip over the tongue rather than coating it.
If we weren’t ready for our afternoon nap, and hadn’t needed to recover for an evening session, we’d have happily had another.