No.1 travel guide for Belgium; dedicated to Belgian beer and food culture.

Gouden Carolus Classic

Email  •  Print
Gouden Carolus Classic beer Gouden Carolus Classic

The Brewery

Brouwerij Het Anker
Guido Gezellelaan 49

Email Website Telephone+32 (0) 15 28 71 41 Googleplus Twitter Facebook

Beer Style

Strong Dark Beer

The Beer

Het Anker has been brewing the Gouden Carolus Classic since 1962 and it is still based on the recipe used in that year. The roots of this beer go all the way back to the Mechelsen Bruynen, the city beer brewed when the 16th-century Emperor Charles V was in power.

The local brewers’ guild introduced the Groot Keizersbier – the beer of the Great Emperor. It was popular when the fox hunt was in full swing and contributed to the convivial atmosphere of local celebrations.

The latter still applies today. The beer’s name is a reference to the golden coins of the imperial reign.

This classic brewed by Het Anker is a strong, dark, top-fermented beer. Gouden Carolus Classic is brewed with caramel malts, aromatic malts and Belgian hops. It is a complex degustation beer that can be laid down for a few years at least.

1999 saw the introduction of the strong dark Cuvée van de Keizer Blauw (blue) which is based on the Gouden Carolus Classic.

In addition, the Gouden Carolus range includes a triple, an amber beer (Ambrio), an Imperial IPA (Hopsinjoor), a Christmas beer (Christmas) and the strong blonde Cuvée van de Keizer Rood (red).

An experimental beer range under the name of Gouden Carolus Indulgence was introduced in 2015. The concept: to add one specific, different ingredient to each annual edition.

The first beer in the range is infused with whisky. In 2013 a Single Malt whisky was launched under the Gouden Carolus name. It is produced in the brewery’s own distillery, De Molenberg, just a few kilometres down the road from the main site.


8.5% ABV


Top-fermented beer.


Brewed with natural ingredients: Water, yeast, caramel malts, aromatic malts and Belgian hops.

Colour & Transparency

Gouden Carolus Classic has a ruby-red colour in the glass and shows a delicate pearlisation underneath a cloud of froth.

Serving Temperature

7 - 10 °C / 44°F - 50 °F

Serving Glass

Gouden Carolus Classic is served in its elegant chalice on a tall stem. This glass preserves the aromas beautifully and ensures that the frothy head remains in place.

Character, Tastes & Aromas

Raisins, plums, toffee and caramel are found among the aromas of this beer. Its taste is dominated by candy sugar and raisins, complemented with touches of orange and passion fruit.

The beer gains in complexity thanks to the roast malts, the yeast esters responsible for the fruity touches and the warm alcohol glow. This full-mouthed beer has a long finish with a hint of sweetness and a slightly sour touch.


Gouden Carolus Classic makes a great pairing with a variety of foods, as an ingredient and served with finished dishes.

We are thinking of stews – made with the local “Mechelen cuckoo” chicken, for example - with game, patés and pig cheeks. It goes down well with a sabayon and we also recommend it in combination with a bittersweet blue-veined cheese of the Roquefort type.

Finally, it makes for an excellent dessert beer when enjoyed with chocolate, for example.

Keeping and Storage

The beer can be stored in the bottle for three years. On tap it keeps for eight months.

Always store your bottles upright, in a dark, dry and cool place..


Bottle ✔       On Tap

Available in bottles (33cl, 75cl, 3 litres) and on tap (20 or 30 litres).

Gouden Carolus can be found almost everywhere in its hometown of Mechelen, from restaurants and cafés to supermarkets and specialised beer shops.

Brewery Het Ankers distributes its beers throughout Belgium and exports abroad are increasing due to the popularity of their brews. This means that no matter where you are you should be able to find their beers.


You must be logged in to leave a comment



Brewery Het Anker holds annual open brewing day

MECHELEN - It is an open secret that Mechelen brewery of Het Anker has connections with royalty – none-other than the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V. The Emperor, born in [ more ]

Showcasing the Belgian art of living, Horecatel 2018

MARCHE-EN-FAMENNE - “Their cuisine is on a par with that of the French and the portions are generous...” When people discuss the Belgian art of living, it won’t be long before the term ‘Burgundian’ ... [ more ]

Bruges Beer Festival 2018: your window on the Belgian beer world

BRUGES - Eleven years ago it all started off on quite a modest scale in the medieval town hall of Bruges, under the imposing gaze of the Belfry. Now, in 2018, the Bruges Beer Festival has spread its wings and encompasses... [ more ]

Anthony Martin, a Belgian brewer with British roots

GENVAL - It’s 1909 when John Martin, a Brit, makes his home in Antwerp, earning his living by provisioning sailing vessels. Before long John’s deliveries are heading onto the ships of the Red Star Line, ... [ more ]

Brussels Beer Challenge 2017, the results are in!

NAMUR - At the 6th edition of the Brussels Beer Challenge, hosted this year by the city of Namur, Belgium once again lived up to its cast-iron reputation as one of the most important beer countries in the world. ... [ more ]


More Beer

A Kasteel Donker is preferably poured into and experienced from the appropriate Kasteel glass with the golden rim.... [ more ]

Beer Tourism Newsletter Signup

Enter your name and email address on the right and click "SignUp" to join.