Category Archives: Strubbe

#43 – Dikke Mathile

#42 - Dikke Mathile

Size: 250 ml

ABV: 6.0 %

The beer Dikke Mathile is what one might call a beer of vanity. Two beer fanatics from Ostend decided that they should brew a beer to honour their fine (or not so fine for anyone that has actually pounded the promenade on a cold grey wet miserable November afternoon) town. Apologies Ostenders !

Once they had got the beer they needed the label, and so contacted Redgy van Troost, a renowned artist from of course the local town and he set about creating an illustration that reflected all that was fine about Ostend. I can only assume he did this in high summer as the label shows a fine atmospheric portrayal of a sprawling statue of a naked lady, against the backdrop of the regal Kursaal casino building. It isn’t exactly a true portrayal as the statue in the label has been doctored, and both landmarks are certainly not near each other – the casino sits by the sea, while the statue sits in the city park of Ostend. I once saw the statue several times in one day while painfully circling the city centre looking for a place to park.

This statue was sculpted by artist Georges Grard in 1954, which he named “The Sea” although almost all locals call it Dikke Mathile – or as it translates ‘Fat Matilda’. It was laid in the park in 1955 and has become one of the key icons of Ostend ever since. It was almost fitting then, that this should become the name of the beer of Ostend. I only wish it was fatter, as 250 ml just never seems enough !

Dikke Mathile is a hoppy amber with plenty of bite. Even half the hops are locally sourced in Poperinge, while the other half are of the German Hallertau variety. It looks the part served in its classic mini-tulip  (I couldn’t resist this purchase) but the final outcome was distinctly below par. Perhaps it, like the place, may seem better on a different day?

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