In the 18th century there was a very well-known brewer in the Dendermonde area; his name was Pauwel Kwak. He brewed his own beer, which was dark and heavy. He also has had a coaching inn on the road between Mechelen and Gent, where the mail coaches used to stop for a break.
In those days, the Napoleonic Code ruled that coach drivers were forbidden to drink beer with their passengers and so they were not allowed to leave the coach to quench their thirst. Pauwel Kwak invented an efficient solution to this problem by offering the famous Kwak beer in a special glass that could be fixed to the carriage, so the drivers could also enjoy one.
This story inspired a brewer from nearby Buggenhout and since the 1980s the Pauwel Kwak is brewed by Brouwerij Bosteels, which also produces the popular Tripel Karmeliet and the DeuS Brut des Flandres.
Top-fermentation, filtered and pasteurised.
In common with all Bosteels beers, it is brewed with natural basic ingredients: barley malts, mineral water, wheat, hops and white candy sugar.
Colour & Transparency
The Pauwel Kwak has a deep amber colour. When poured correctly it forms a lovely firm head.
6 - 7 °C / 42 ° F- 44 °F
Served in the distinctive Kwak 'Koetsiersglas' with its convex bottom, which sits in a wooden stand. It is very likely the most distinctive beer glass in Belgium. There really is no alternative to this glass.
Character, Tastes & Aromas
Pauwel Kwak has earthy aromas, a malty character with touches of liquorice, a nougat-like robustness and a warm finish not unlike caramelised banana. Yeast and red fruits are the strongest aromas, but you will also find a few herbs.
The caramel is quite noticeable, together with the herbs and orange zest. The aftertaste is slightly bitter and herbal.
This beer is a worthy dining partner and also has its uses in the kitchen. It will make a perfect pairing with, for example, pigeon or pickles. You can have both at the same time thanks to the Kwak’s fine caramel.
This complements the zesty taste of the pickles and softens it slightly so it will not overpower the pigeon.
Keeping and Storage
Just like the other beers in the Bosteels range, the bottle states a storage life of two years. We strongly recommend that you follow this guideline. The taste of this beer will not improve with longer storage, in fact it could deteriorate.
Bottle ✔ On Tap ✔
The Pauwel Kwak, like the Tripel Karmeliet, is available in bottles (33cl, 75cl) and on tap (30 l barrels). Like the Karmeliet, this beer is widely distributed throughout Belgium.
It is easy to find in cafés, specialised off-licences and supermarkets. In common with the other Bosteels beers, Pauwel Kwak is exported far and wide so can be found outside Belgium’s borders.
Other Brouwerij Bosteels Beers
You must be logged in to leave a comment
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 - 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 ]
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 ]
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 ]
STEENHUFFEL - The annual hop harvest at Palm Belgian Craft Brewers is truly a festival of and for the people. We survey the busy crowds on the last Sunday in August in the hop field in the shadow of the ... [ more ]
The brewers at Bosteels pay a lot of attention to using the right glasses to complement their beers. The Kwak glass could well be one of the most iconic drinking vessels in Belgium... [ more ]
Beer Tourism Newsletter Signup
Enter your name and email address on the right and click "SignUp" to join.