Founded in 1791 in the historic village of Buggenhout, Belgium, Brouwerij Bosteels has been located at the same site since the brewery’s inception. It specializes in unique beers that don’t necessarily align with typical Belgian beer styles. A deep-rooted passion for the brewing process allows Bosteels to create a variety of unusual styles that feature fascinating flavor profiles. Constantly looking to innovate and improve, it is one of the best-known specialty brewers in Belgium.
Bosteels’ beer offerings are headlined by the brewery’s three core brands of Pauwel Kwak, Tripel Karmeliet and DeuS Brut Des Flandres, which are considered to be some of the world’s finest Belgian beers. These brands have been highly decorated at judging competitions over the years, including 6 medals at the World Beer Cup: 3 for Pauwel Kwak, 2 for Tripel Karmeliet and 1 for DeuS Brut Des Flandres.
As Bosteels says on its website, “our greatest recognition is your love of our beers, but naturally, international honors and awards highlight and support our daily efforts to ensure that every bottle of beer embodies the famous quality – and that is where we are perhaps a little proud.”
A full outline of the brewery’s history can be appreciated through these world-class beers:
Pauwel Kwak – 8.4% ABV – Belgian Golden Strong Ale
Perhaps the most recognizable of the three core brands is Pauwel Kwak. Debuting in the 1980s and named after an 18th-century innkeeper and brewer, the beer showcases a rich amber color with a slightly sweet, generously malty character throughout the aroma and flavor. Hops are subdued, but they present a well-rounded balance with the juicy ripeness from grain and a fruity, meringue-like softness within each sip.
The most notable attribute of Kwak has nothing to do with the liquid itself, as the beer’s glassware is instantly recognizable for its wooden holster as well as the curvaceous and attractive bulb-like glass – called a koetsiersglas – in which it is poured.
Pauwel Kwak is available in 11.2-oz bottles, 750-ml bottles and 1/6-bbl Microstar kegs. On draft, a drinker will be greeted to an iconic pour of the beer in its singular koetsiersglas.
Tripel Karmeliet – 8.4% ABV – Belgian Tripel
Another of the brewery’s popular brews is Tripel Karmeliet, which features a far more historic recipe than its Kwak brother.
Karmeliet is a bottle-conditioned Belgian Tripel based on a recipe that dates back to a Carmelite convent in Dendermonde, Belgium from the 17th century, where the beer was first brewed in 1679.
First brewed in its modern iteration in 1996, Tripel Karmeliet is rapidly gaining attention as one of the newest classics of the Belgian brewing scene.
After being awarded the prestigious World’s Best Ale Award at the 2008 World Beer Awards, Bosteels had a hard time keeping up with demand for Tripel Karmeliet, forcing the brewery to increase capacity just to provide more brewing space for it alone, and it’s easy to see why.
Brewed with oats, barley and wheat, Tripel Karmeliet has a soft, full and rich grain character with hints of banana and vanilla as well as a subtly pleasant bubblegum aroma. The perfect balance in this beer is achieved through restrained hop bitterness and substantial maltiness.
Tripel Karmeliet is available in the following containers: 11.2-oz bottle, 750-mL bottle, 1/6-bbl Microstar keg and 1/2-bbl Microstar keg.
DeuS Brut Des Flandres – 11.5% ABV – Belgian Golden Strong Ale
The final offering from Brouwerij Bosteels is DeuS Brut Des Flandres, a fascinating champagne-like beer that’s loaded with complexity.
Featuring the most interesting brewing techniques of any of Bosteels’ beers, DeuS undergoes two separate fermentation methods, including a lengthy, costly maturation in the Champagne caves of France. The elegant and labor-intensive “methode Champenoise” produces the best sparkling beverages in the world – of which DeuS is a member.
After nine months of refermentation near Épernay in Champagne, France, DeuS is ready to be imbibed by discerning beer drinkers, who are treated to a divine combination of champagne-like subtlety and the hefty malt backbone of a Belgian Strong Ale.
DeuS has characteristics of both sparkling wine (fine, velvety carbonation) and specialty Belgian beers (rich maltiness) but also exhibits a fragrant and herbal spiciness that is quite unique. Flavors of mint, malt, lavender and a barely perceptible hop character make DeuS a sophisticated, complex treat.
DeuS Brut Des Flandres is only available in large-format 750-mL bottles, making it even more of a singular treat for special occasions.
Visiting the Brewery
Located in the historic Flemish city of Buggenhout, Brouwerij Bosteels offers tours for small groups on weekdays by appointment only and for a small fee. With such a history and stable of complex and delicious Belgian brews, it is an experience that any beer enthusiast should not miss.
Kerkstraat 96, 9255 Buggenhout, Belgium
+32 (0)52 33 23 23