When beer is more than just beer

Gulden Draak

Every once in a while I head down to our local Belgium-influenced restaurant Stella’s on Commercial Drive. Usually it’s because I’m craving mussels and frites and a pint of Stella Artois. However, they have an amazing selection of imported beer you could go insane trying to choose from. Recently the server, sensing our indecision that day, suggested we try a Gulden Draak. Not on the menu she said, but possibly, “the best beer in the world”.

She actually had me at “not on the menu”. Indeed it is a darker amber colour and suitably robust, but not heavy. Very drinkable and a wonderfully balanced, slightly sweet yet a perfect companion for almost anything on the menu. They must have since tapped into a regular supply because it’s now on the menu:

Tasting Notes: The Golden Dragon is possibly the best beer in the world. This multi award winner is a strong dark ale with coffee and chocolate overtones. Aroma of sugary yeast, caramel malt, some fruit and alcohol. A special treat…order it and share with your friends while you can!

It’s now difficult for me to order anything else. On occasions when I’ve had more than one, oh and that’s rare, I’ve forced myself into trying something else and inevitably gravitate back to the Golden Dragon.

The brewer, VanSteenberge, says it “smells of triumph” in reference to the battle fought during the First Crusades over the statue of its namesake. Um, must be a translation thing because that doesn’t exactly inspire. Regardless, go. try one. You won’t likely regret it.


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