Last week I was reunited at last with my beer buddy Jamie. Attentive readers may recognize his name from various previous posts (here, here and here) in which we roamed the beer scene in the Low Countries together looking for Classically-themed tipples. Our latest adventure brought us to a relatively new craft beer bar in Amsterdam, Foeders, where I scouted out the subject of this week’s beer review, Tungri Dubbel!
When we entered Foeders, the bar was already packed with people. Piles of peanut shells accompanied the patrons seated at the bar, and it wasn’t for long before we spotted amazing plates of charcuterie (see image below) and cheese. We were immediately certain that we had come to the right place for an adventure. Foeders offered a wide selection of beautiful beers on tap, including not one, but two Classically-themed Belgian beers: Tungri Dubbel and Bitter by Amburon Belgian Craft Brewery. For this visit, I decided to go for the Dubbel and forego the Bitter so that I would have reason to return (do I sense a #futureblogpost here?). Tungri Dubbel has a nice amber to fox brown color. Its taste was very sweet, instantly reminding me of hard candy, rock candy, or the kind of caramel sugar known as ‘kandij’ in the Netherlands. The finish was slightly rusty. Overall, I enjoyed this Dubbel, but did find it to be on the sweet side.
The brewery behind Tungri Dubbel is based in the Belgian city of Tongeren. Tongeren was once the capital of the civitas Tungrorum – an administrative district in the Roman province of Gallia Belgica that encompassed parts of eastern Belgium and the southern Netherlands. The civitas was named after its inhabitants under the Empire, known as the Tungri. The Tungri do not represent the original inhabitants of the area. Before Caesar, the area around Tongeren was inhabited by a number of different tribes, including the Eburones. Led by their chief Ambiorix, the Eburones revolted against Caesar and were nearly wiped out completely by his armies in retaliation.
Under Augustus, Caesar’s successor and Rome’s first emperor, the Romans ordered tribes from Germany to repopulate the area devastated by the demise of the Eburones. As part of this process, those who survived the onslaught probably assimilated with the newcomers. Together, they formed the new tribe of the Tungri. This type of process, sometimes known as ethnogenesis, characterizes the origin of some of the native American tribes in North America as well. An example close to our hearts is the Seminole tribe of Florida, which is thought to have emerged from various native American groups who resettled in Florida following the pressure of colonists and the dominance of rival native groups elsewhere in what is now the United States.
Brewed by: Amburon Belgian Craft Brewery, Tongeren, Belgium