We visited the delightful city of Bruges last week for a two night, pre Borefts warm up (Borefts report to come soon). As you’d expect we took time out to visit some of our old favourite bars and a couple of new ones too.
One of those bars was the wonderful Staminee De Garre.
We’d tried a few months back in July but found locked doors due to holiday. No such horror this time, we slipped down that dark cobbled alley, stepped into a packed house and found a scarce empty table upstairs. Before too long the barman appeared and we ordered two house triples, the creamy thick-headed speciality which draws in the crowds and one which gave us so much pleasure the last time we’d visited.
After a short time the same chap danced up those old stairs which must have graced a million footsteps once again, balancing a tray with two beers and the usual bowl of cheese. He sheepishly placed the two glasses, Gulden Draak glasses, on the table and explained that they had almost none of the De Garre items left and hoped we understood. Only then, as I looked around the room did I notice that almost every other table too had the same Gulden Draak glassware, a sad sight in this lovely Bruges gem.
The less glass pedantic of you reading this may say “so what”, but in here of all places, with this beer it’s a really important part of the experience. The house triple itself is pleasant enough, no award winner, but watching that goldfish bowl of foam recede and the golden liquid rise makes it what it is, for me at least.
As we left the barman (without any prompting or complaint from us) again apologised, so I took my chance to ask him why, as apart from the disappointment I was on a mission to buy one for a friend. He said “at the start of the season we had four hundred glasses, today we have thirteen, mainly due to theft, some sales and breakages”.
Thirteen from four hundred glasses…
So why am I writing this seemingly small negative point up out of a great few days of beer in Bruges?
Well, because glassware is important to me and it should be to you. When you get a beer served in the correct, or at least a glass specially designed to match the contents, cherish it. Embrace the added enjoyment that the fine, caring detail a bar manager has taken to enhance your drinking experience, remember that place and go back, hopeful it will still be there…