There are beers.. and then there’s Gulden Draak, a dark brown triple ale that’s been brewed since the 1700s and is steeped in legacy and tradition. My first experience with this heavenly brew was years ago at a Belgian restaurant in Philadelphia called Monk’s Café, and it really blew me away.
For those of you unfamiliar with Gulden Draak, allow me to give you a brief history lesson. The beer first saw the day of light as a one-off brew commissioned to the brewery by the mayor of Evergem. But it was added to the brewery’s regular range due to its popularity with Italian guests of the brewery.
In 1998, Gulden Draak was awarded the best-tasting beer in the world by the American Tasting Institute (now ChefsBest), and today it’s considered one of the most well-known Belgian beers. Thanks to it’s 10.5% ABV (nearly 3X as potent as a regular beer), it’s also regarded as one of the most dangerous. Needless to say, it packs quite a punch, so be careful with this one.
As for the name, Gulden Draak (Golden Dragon) refers to the gilded statue that sits atop the Belfry in Ghent. Legend says the gilded dragon first featured on the prow of the ship with which the Norwegian king Sigrid Magnusson left on a crusade in 1111. He offered the statue to the emperor of Constantinople to put it on the cupola of the Aya Sophia. Some hundred years later, the Flemish count Baldwin IX had it transported to Bruges in Belgium. After Ghent defeated Bruges on the field of Beverhout in 1382, the inhabitants of Ghent took the dragon as war booty and placed it on top of their Belfry, where it’s lasted for over 6 centuries and has served as the symbol of freedom and might of the city.
Like the other special beers of the Brewery Van Steenberge, Gulden Draak and Gulden Draak 9000 are top fermented ales which are second fermented in both the bottle and the keg! For the secondary fermentation, the brewer uses a Bordeaux yeast, because a mere beer yeast cannot support the high levels of malt used in the brew. The wine yeast gives this ale an amazing, easy drinking finish for a beer of 10.5% ABV.
While I haven’t enjoyed a Gulden Draak in years, just the sight of that unique white bottle, the black banner, the golden dragon and the red lettering instantly brought me back to that fateful night at Monk’s, and I found my mouth watering in anticipation of that first sip.
Pouring the Gulden Draak into the specially designed glass (which represents a dragon’s egg perched on a rock), I was greeted by a beautiful dark copper color that lets me know I was in for something special, as most Belgian tripels are of a lighter golden color.
As for the taste, it was surprisingly rich and smooth, with hints of caramel, toffee, roasted malt and coffee in combination with a creamy hazel head. The alcohol starts giving you a glow from the moment you swallow that first taste, so this is one beer you’ll want to sip and enjoy slowly. Its sweet flavor makes it easy to forget that its high alcohol content, so be forewarned.
If this sounds like your kind of beer, pick up some Gulden Draak and get ready to #ConquerTheDragon. And if you’d like to be entered into a drawing to win some Gulden Draak swag, make sure you share your photos on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the #GuldenDraak hashtag and tagging @GuysGab.
Disclosure: This post brought to you by Gulden Draak, but all opinions are 100% mine.
Bud Light Kicks Off The Football Season With Two New ‘Dilly Dilly’ Spots
I don’t know about you, but I just cannot get enough of those hilarious Bud Light Dilly Dilly commercials. And lucky for us, Bud Light is back with two new “Dilly Dilly” ads to celebrate the long-awaited return of the NFL football season.
Bud Lights For Everyone:
During the college football kickoff weekend, Bud Light previewed this spot, which depicts our regal King gifting his kingdom’s loyal habitants with his favorite light lager, Bud Light, when one of the pub patrons asks for a mead. The ad highlights the one friend in every group who tries to show off their sophisticated palette, even when it contradicts the group’s preference.
This commercial introduces two new characters from the neighboring kingdom, Count and Countess Pamplemousse. The Pamplemousse’s represent the snobby friends you always seem to invite to a party. Royal Affair celebrates Bud Light as the light lager of choice for a large group of friends (and foes).
Here’s hoping that these two are just the first in a long line of Dilly Dilly commercials that run throughout the season!
Busch Light Gets In On The Pumpkin Spice Latte Craze With ‘Busch Latte’
Last week, Starbucks announced that they were bringing back their Pumpkin Spice Latte, and Busch Light wasted no time in getting in on the action by temporarily rebranding Busch Light as Busch Latte, and sharing a photo of the new can on Twitter.
As expected, Twitter lost their collective minds, with people rushing out to score some Busch Latte of their very own. The only problem? It’s not real. No, it’s just a clever marketing stunt that pokes fun at the PSL craze. Well played Busch Light!
But they didn’t stop there. In addition to the photoshopped Busch Latte cans on Twitter, they also rolled out a series of mobile #BuschLatte billboards in St Louis, Los Angeles, New York and Chicago, parking outside of various Starbucks for the ultimate in trolling.
While you can’t get your hands on any physical Busch Latte cans, you can snag some sweet Busch Latte merch here, with a selection of shirts and coozies to choose from.
Here’s hoping that AB actually released some Busch Latte cans, as I’d definitely buy them! 🙂
Bud Light Victory Fridges To Reward Fans Upon Cleveland Browns’ First Win
To say that the Cleveland Browns have been on a losing streak would be putting it mildly. The team has only won a single game in the past two seasons. In fact, Johnny Manziel was the last quarterback to win a game for the Browns. Pretty crazy, right?
Bud Light believes in the Browns though, and to show their support they’ve rolled out a bunch of Victory Fridges across various Cleveland watering holes, filled with ice-cold Bud Light. The only catch? These fridges are currently locked.
Featuring a smart-technology, all of the Victory Fridges will simultaneously unlock after the Browns capture their first regular-season victory and snap their winless streak, giving fans 21 and over the chance to enjoy the sweet taste of victory together. Dilly Dilly!
“The Bud Light Browns ‘Victory Fridge’ is a fun way to celebrate and reward a fanbase that has never wavered in enthusiasm or dedication for their team no matter what happens. We’re proud to show our support for Cleveland, and we’re always looking to bring NFL fans and friends together for memorable experiences. It’s going to be fun to be part of the celebration when the team earns their first victory of the season,” said Andy Goeler, Vice-President of Marketing, Bud Light.
Here’s hoping that Bud Light has a good shelf life, because I just don’t see the Browns’ losing streak ending anytime soon. 🙂