Good grief, Team Spain had been partying for the better part of a week already!
Explains a thing or two…
On Friday October 17th, de Struise opened the doors of ’t Oude Schooltje to welcome friends old and new for a special occasion.
Three years ago, Gabriel decided to start importing Struise brews into the Iberic peninsula, turning a fun pastime into a fulltime job. That day, Zombier was born.
It should come as no great surprise that when Gabriel called Urbain and mentioned his upcoming anniversary, both agreed that the brewing of a festive beer was in order.
A bit of malt, a bit of hops.
The rest, as they say, is beer.
“A beer which I can drink in 10 years and think of this day”, mused Gabriel.
“A badass beer, brewed with our friends attending”, grinned Urbain.
Between themselves, they hatched a plan. A plan which would take the shape of a monstrous 17% ABV imperial stout, boosted by local ingredients from across Europe, aged in barrels various and multifarious.
The parallels with Black Damnation were easily recognizable, and so the beer was dubbed Zombination.
The plan became a party, like the best-laid plans should.
Invitations were sent, and along with Gabriel and his gang of crazy Iberians came some of Europe’s finest brewers, to aid and supervise the brewing of Zombination.
Each visiting brewer brought a jar of local honey (*) to add to the slowly developing Zombination, and each took home the recipe of this collaborative brew.
*) actually, some of them brought something else which had a tangential relationship with honey by I digress and besides, rest assured it will add to the brew’s complexity.
From Spain came Gabriel himself and his crew.
Honey blend for a to-be-blended beer.
From the Netherlands came Menno (De Molen) and Kees (Kees!).
Coincidence has it that not a single pic was taken that day with Kees and Menno together, so I nicked one off the interwebs. Because yay journalism.
From Norway came Jens and Joan(*) (Haandbryggeriet).
…who actually look a lot less skeptical in real life.
*) and also, actually, Joan comes from Spain but…ah, it’s a long story.
From the UK came a handsome trio of upstarts: Stuart (Magic Rock), Logan (Beavertown) and another birthday boy: Jonnie (Brodies).
Brewing’s a serious business, y’know?
And from Belgium, of course, Urbain himself.
Who else could we trust to stir this badass brew?
Gabriel, who is sitting on the best of barrels if we’re to believe Urbain (and really, why should be not?) will provide barrels of Oporto, Málaga, Jerez, Caol Ila, Woodford Reserve and (this is where we really get stoked about the whole thing) others.
Oh and maybe a few other secret ingredients we can’t tell you about. Complexity, remember?
Brewing’s a patient craft, so in between bouts of brewing activities, all assembled took part of quite a few beers, had lunch, and dinner, and more beers, and more lunch, and fun was had by all.
Except, perhaps, by the three- legged pig.
Plans were made to evaluate the slumbering monster we’d come to know as Zombination, and to think of the various ways in which it will be set loose upon the world. Current plans involve seven different versions, but just like we’ve come to expect from de Struise, all plans are subject Urbain’s the watchful eye and his ruthless pursuit of quality.
The beers will be ready when they’re ready.
A large part of this picture is NOT Zombination, freshly drafted from the fermentor.
When they are, you will be able to enjoy them, as Gabriel requested, in ten years.