Ordering Kwak for the first time is a great experience. It comes to your table complete with a monogrammed wooden stand. The long neck and round base makes a nice rich, frothy head. You can recognize a Kwak glass from across a crowded bar. Once you get over the over the novelty of the glass, Kwak is a very fine Belgian beer. The color is a deep amber, with a creamy colored head. Kwak has a mellow, fruity and malty aroma with very little hops small. There are some hints of fruit in the taste and aroma such as creamy banana and liquorice.
Kwak is the named after its original brewer Pauwel Kwak who first made it in 1791. It is now made in the family owned Brewery Bosteels in Buggenhout, Belgium. In Napoleon’s time Pauwel Kwak was a brewer and owner of the ‘De Hoorn’ inn in Dendermonde. Travellers would often stop at an inn for refreshment, however the coachmen were required to stay with the coach and horses. Standard handled mugs were impractical for gloved coachmen sitting high up, so one enterprising innkeeper, Pauwel Kwak, had a special glass created for his beer. Its the eye-catching round bottomed shape enabled it to be hung on the coach and be easily held in a thick glove.
Whatever the origins, historic or a modern unique selling proposition, drinking Kwak from its glass is a unique and novel experience. The unwary often try to gulp the beer, failing to notice that the shape dictates that a torrent can pour out when the air reaches the bowl.