Friday Night beer review: Bolleke De Konick

Tonight I will be reviewing the "Bolleke De Konick"


This beer is a great example of the classical Belgian Beer style "Special Belge"

It comes in a 25cl bottle.

When pouring, it has a nice clear amber colour, and a nice head of foam:



The aroma is malt: more specifically crystal (or caramel) malt. THere is also some aroma hop present

When tasting the beer, it immediately becomes apparent that this is a beer which was made for drinking, not for sipping. At 5.2ABV, it is meant as a thirst quencher, originally, this style was designed to compete with pilsner, more on that later.

The taste carries on where the aroma left off: crystalmalts, grain. After swallowing, some hops remain.


Belgian beers today and historically are predominantly top-fermentng beers. In the early 20th century however, the beer landscape is swept away by a new style of beer invading from the east: the Pilsner, originating from Czechia.

Pilsners are bottom-fermenting beers. They ferment at a lower temperature than top-fermenting beers, and during fermentation, the yeast lies at the bottom of the fermenting vessel, rather than floating on top of the beer.

This style is very popular, yet beer brewers is Belgium are worried that it would kill off their tradition of top-fermenting beers. Therefore: coinciding with the world's fair of Liege, in 1905, a competition is organised to find a worthy, Belgian, top-fermented, competitor for this foreign style.

Different beers were sent in, but the winner of the competition took the name of the prize for it's brandname: "PALM".

The style at this time was unnamed, yet in a bout of chauvinism, it was decided to call this style "Spécial Belge" (Special Belgian).

The style never really managed to rival with pilsner in terms of volumes consumed, but it remains a tasty and thirstquenching beer, which more than 100 years later is still as delicious as it once was.

Bolleke De Konick is another representative of this style, and is actually the home beer of the port city of Antwerp. Brewed in the city to this day. In this city, every bar will have this beer on tap.

If you ever make it to Antwerp: walk into a bar and call "a bolleke" and taste a part of Belgian beer history!

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