Size: 330 ml
ABV: 6 %
OK. I am only on my second beer, but I could have sworn Het Kapittel was a seminal piece of literature by Karl Marx. I stand corrected. Het Kapittel is actually a range of beers brewed by Van Eecke up in the Watou region of Belgium. They took over this brewery in 1862 from what was then the Gouden Leeuw (Golden Lion) brewery.
Het Kapittel roughly translates into English as ‘the Chapter’ and represents the hierarchy of priests in a monastery or abbey, emphasising the importance of monks, monasteries and the like in the history of Belgian beers. In fact throughout Europe, as far back as the 5th Century, monastic communities spread like wildfire, brewing beer, at first for their own consumption, and then for a wider market. Water supplies were often suspect, and so the brewing process meant a more tasty and wholesome drink for the local community. This desire to have ones thirst quenched sums up the Het Kapittel Pater rather aptly, as the Pater refers to the daily drink of choice for the monks while they work. Pater also translates as ‘father’ from Latin, and probably represents a lower rank in the hierarchy of a monastery after a Prior, and Abbot which are 9% and 10% respectively in the Het Kapittel hierarchy.
At 6% this particular beer is a little stronger than regular Paters, however perhaps in a region reknowned for its hop production, the monks preferred something a little more potent. In the case of this beer, those monks are said to have come from Mont des Cats across the French border. The appearance of the beer was dark and coppery – yet not at all unpleasant. In fact it becomes maltier and hoppier, and reminiscent of a good English ale as you continue to quaff. I remain convinced I wouldn’t buy this beer by the case, but it does sweeten near the end, albeit not quite enough to make you desperately want to open another.
(Post-Script) – The Het Kapittel Dubbel (#108) though is definitely one to try and stock up on !