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Welcome to Amazing Tap Handles - The Tap Handle Museum. Here you will find photos of the Museum's collection of beer taps, along with brewery info. Have a look around the Museum, and use the contact form in sidebar to leave me feedback about the site, talk about taps, or if you have a rare tap handle you'd like to sell to the Museum. I'd love to hear from you! Please, no inquires about buying taps - they're not for sale.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tap Handle #149: Brewery Van Steenberge - Augustijn Ale

Another rare European tap that I felt I had to acquire because they just don't appear very often. This one has some great detail, from the deer on the shield attached to the brick base, to the friar with his foamy mug, and to the scroll bearing the name of the brew while being held by two cherub-like angels. This piece would be gorgeous with a matte finish instead of high gloss, but it is still a great tap.

In 1295, the Augustijner abbey of Ghent was created with the help of the ruling Borluut family. The abbey was the first of the Augustine order in the Netherlands, and became one of the most important religious, political and cultural centers of Europe in the 14th and the 15th century. In 1582, the abbey was completely ruined by the Calvinists. But shortly after that revolution, the abbey was rebuilt and again became an important religious and cultural center, until the French revolution, when the monks were expelled and the abbey was sold to the highest bidder. Napoleon, the French dictator or Emperor, needed the money to pay for all his wars and he found and stole the money from the wealthiest power at that time: the Catholic Church. After the revolution, the abbey was reestablished but it never gained its importance back (only a handful of monks remain today). In 1978 the monks, who had previously licensed the Augustijn recipe, were looking for a new partner. They chose Brewery Van Steenberge, who in 1982 added a secondary fermentation to the process. Augustijn has enjoyed steady growth ever since, adding two other varieties, Augustijn Grand Cru and Augustijn Dark.

Augustijn Ale is blond Belgian Ale, and is sometimes referred to as Augustijn Blond. It has a malty, fruity aroma and flavor, with a touch of vanilla. Recommended food pairings are semi-hard cheeses, pate, mussels, and  spicy foods. Weighted average on is 3.38 out of 5.

For more about Brewery Van Steenberge, see this post.

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