How many times have you spotted the incredible and highly recognisable glass of a Kwak Beer? 

And how many times have you been tempted to try it, just to see what the esthetic was all about? 

Whether you’re already familiar with the characteristic taste of this amazing spicy Belgian beer or not, there’s a lot more to this delicious brew than a fancy glass. Like most beers from Belgium, this one has quite the tale behind it…

Why Is It Called Kwak Beer?

While it seems like a quirky and fun name, there is actually a very practical reason behind it. The recipe for Kwak beer was created in the 18th century by Belgian innkeeper and brewer Pauwel Kwak. He was first to come up with the winning formula for the spicy dark beer we are so fond of, and it took its name from him.

But Pauwel’s talent didn’t stop at crafting his namesake beer.

Back in his age and time, the Napoleonic code forbade coachmen from drinking beer when passengers were aboard their carriages, and they often had to come up with clever solutions to drink their pints without breaking the law.

That’s when Pauwel, whose inn, the De Hoorn, was located in a strategic area between Mechelen and Gent, came up with the idea of designing a glass -the koetsiersglas – that could be fitted in the carriage’s structure. And yes, that’s the very same design from which you are enjoying your Kwak beer today!

All About The Recipe…

Although Pauwel Kwak laid the solid foundation for the beer we know today, the recipe has changed throughout the years.

It wasn’t until 1980 when Brouwerij Bosteels acquired this beer, that Kwak became known to the general public and gained its distinctive taste and characteristics.

From the esteemed Bosteel Brewery, what makes a Pauwel Kwak what it is today is, of course, the recipe. Being a top-fermented beer, it has a surprisingly strong ABV (8.4%!) and it’s generally recognisable thanks to its notes of liquorice and spices. 

In order to get the perfect formula, every Kwak beer is fermented for five to six days and then matured for a further month. After the maturation process, it’s filtered and delivered right to your doorstep.

How To Drink A Kwak…

Although we find it to be extremely delicious under every possible circumstance, we advise you to serve it chilled at 5-6 degrees celsius.

And of course, why not go for the full Belgian experience and drink your beer directly out of the appropriate glass?

Make Mister Pauwel proud, and use a koetsiersglas!

What Does Kwak Taste Like?

Kwak beer is delicious, but it’s also recognisable for its taste. A Belgian Strong Pale Ale, Kwak is a sweet and aromatic brew with notes of demerara sugar and caramel malt, topped off with the twang of apricot and the deep flavour of prunes.

Upon taking a sip you’ll find yourself enjoying a delightful array of flavours. First, the caramel and sugar will mingle with the fruit to give you a fresh sip. Next you’ll notice the hints of licorice and banana playing through your palette, followed by the added zest of apple and orange, and rounded out by a warming hint of spicy Belgian yeast and the sweetness of cookie dough.

Everything is perfectly tied together by hopping, ensuring Kwak perfectly positions itself between sweetness and crispness. It manages to avoid the cloying aftertaste that a lot of sweeter beers possess. Impressively it also manages to achieve a nice, full-bodied taste without that nasty viscous, chewy sensation that often accompanies such brews.

All that delicate sweetness perfectly balances with the alcohol and keeps you hungry for more. Overall, the perfect way for the sophisticated beer aficionado to quench their thirst.

Give It A Whirl…

If you’re new to Kwak beer we highly recommend our Kwak Beer Gift Set, which gives you the statement glass and four bottles to give you a taste of the good stuff.