In April of 2011, Upright Brewing and writer/mixologist Jacob Grier helped resurrect the Kopstootje, or at least introduced it to American audiences. Today, Monday, October 12th, they bring the successful experiment back to life with a special tapping celebrating the release of a new batch at new Portland Belgian beer and Mussels bar La Moule. Kopstootje is a special spiced beer designed to be paired with Dutch spirit Bols Genever and served and drank in a special presentation. More details below.
This event at 5pm tonight is worth going to just to check out La Moule, a new spot we rated highly for Belgian-style food and a great beer list of both Belgian classics and local interpretations. Also, Alex Ganum of Upright Brewing and Jacob Grier, a former product rep for Bols Genver, will be on hand to demonstrate how to do a Kopstootje right. And if you cannot make it tonight, fresh kegs of Upright’s Kopstootje are now available from Point Blank Distributing and should be popping up on tap around town.
Monday October 12th 5pm
2500 SE Clinton St
So what is a Kopstootje? Rather than repeat what I have already written, I have instead just copied and pasted the contents from my March of 2011 article and interview with Alex Ganum on the Kopstootje below the jump.
As originally posted https://www.newschoolbeer.com/2011/03/a-new-class-of-beer.html
Upright Brewing’sKopstootje Biere, a lager/ale hybrid based on forgotten French brewing traditions that use a variety of herbs and spices. This beer is designed to be drunk as a beer back to the classic spirit Bols Genever in a one-two punch combination called a Kopstootje, or “little headbutt”.
|Photo from PDX Plate|
Ah, I can already hear the cries of purists everywhere, but before you leap to conclusions, I know what you’re thinking. ‘If I wanted hard liquor or a cocktail I would go out and buy one.’ Sure, but aren’t you already enjoying the effects that spirits can have on beer? After all, what is it that makes that Full Sail Black Gold so good? Isn’t it the charred oak and that whiskey spice? Same goes for that Flanders red aged in pinot barrels, or numerous other examples. So, open your minds for a second and hear about the latest crush between a spirit and a beer in the Kopstootje.
“It’s made with a grain distillate called malt wine and flavored with juniper and other botanicals. Though English gin made from neutral spirits evolved from genever, genever is very distinct. It’s less assertive with the juniper and the maltiness of the spirit gives it whiskey-like properties, making it good both in cocktails and sipped neat.”
|Dutch men drinking Kopstootje – Art by Joe McKendry|
“This being ale-loving Portland, we wanted to try something a little different. We approached Alex Ganum of Upright Brewing to see if he would be interested in brewing a beer specifically made to pair with Bols Genever. Upright is one of my favorite breweries, so I was thrilled when he said yes.” – said Grier
“(when Jacob Grier) suggested the idea, I just couldn’t pass it up, as that sort of thing is right up my alley. I love using herbs and spices in beer and this immediately struck me as a fun opportunity to do so. Because the brewery is focused on farmhouse style beers, I though it would be appropriate to stick with that and do a Biere de Garde base for the Kopstootje.” – Alex Ganum
|Kopstootje glass’ photo by David Lanthan Reamer|
“It’s literally a halfway modern take on a style that goes back roughly 100 years,” said Ganum.
|Jacob Grier examines an Upright beer cocktail|
“After Jacob divulged the main botanicals used in Bols Genever, I was excited to incorporate them into the recipe, especially angelica, which I had never used before and seemed to play into the Biere de Garde profile nicely, simulating the “cellar” or musty flavor often associated with the style. Overall, the intention was to make something gentle and balanced, to not overpower the spirit but still unique and interesting like the Genever itself.”
|Drinkers enjoying Koopstootje out of proper glassware|
“Does trend imply that it will come and go? I think it’s here to stay, but will be mostly enjoyed by the minority of people who are both craft beer and spirit enthusiasts, that’s all.”
Monday October 12th 5pm
2500 SE Clinton St