Hapkin | Brouwerij Louwaege

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Brewed by:
Brouwerij Louwaege

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 49 | Ratings: 61
Photo of RBorsato
4.95/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hazy pale yellow with a full white head and good carbonation throughout. Flowery Saaz hop aroma. Fruity soft malt cahracter that is reminiscent of the style. Medium bodied with a smooth dry finish. Good effervescence (not as airy as Duvel).

Very much like Duvel; maybe a bit smoother - as close as it can get !

Best Before: 10/2002 Tasted 11/11/02 [11.2 oz bottle]

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Photo of jreitman
4.85/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My first thought when I tasted this beer was "wow". The beer presented itself with lot of thick, creamy head and an appealing gold color. Slightly sweet with a fair degree of carbonation. A well-balanced flavor profile that keeps me guessing. A wondefully drinkable beer.

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Photo of Beertracker
4.55/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Alken-Maes' Hapkin is best served at cellar temperatures (46-50°F) from a signature Hapkin axe embossed pear shaped, stemmed glass. This wicked Belgian Golden Ale pours up lively with a lacy, but short lived white head that sits craggily over a bright golden body. The enviting aroma is filled with a nice intermingling of earthy (catty, grassy/haylike, floral/perfumy), spicy (lemon pepper, turmeric, vanilla) & fruity (dried apricot, banana, peach pit) estery notes. There's just a hint of alcoholic warmth along with some delectable honeyish malt notes underlying the spicy, Noble Saaz hop accenuated aroma.The delicately balanced flavor starts off rather fruity with a soft, light graininess that carries into a slightly earthy, spicy hop influenced bitterness which takes over to deliver a harmonious finish with a devilish alcoholic warmth. Hapkin is a lovely elixir that shows just how devilishly drinkable this style can be. Michael Jackson refers to this one, as one of the "Wickedest beers in all of Belgium" and I couldn't agree more. Here's to the former Count of Flanders, Boudewijn Hapkin with the Axe and his namesake beer... don't lose your head!

CHEERS! Beertracker

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Photo of pbrian
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear deep yellow with a huge pillowy head. Steady stream of carbonation. Sweet perfumey aroma with lots of Saaz in the bouquet and the initial flavor profile. A nice malt character comes next followed by a dryish finish. Combine all of this with a little spicyness and a hint of its strength and you get a very complex and enjoyable beer.

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Photo of NearerMyBeerToMe
4.49/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a big white head about two fingers deep of small, even bubbles. Dense, soapy, sumptuous foam; a bit sticky. Color is a deep gold, very hazy with a few yeasties, with an orangey center and honey-colored highlights. Luminous. Raging carbonation, streamers everywhere are about to blow the head off the top of this beer! And the smell, by god it's like snorting a creamsicle. Nosefeel is beyond explanation; creamy, dense, and tactile; liquid cream in the nose! Fantastically mellow; soft yeast and alcohol; orange sherbet in the body; crisping finish of grass, pollen, and all that other good Saazy stuff... Flavor of oranges and lemons soaking in champagne, clementine rinds; a twang of hay; pear and a most delicate breadiness; a wee spike of coriander in the finish? eh? Sides of palate are dripping with lemon, rosewater, lavender. Ohhh my. Mouthfeel is literally sherbety and tingly with an intense carbonation lasting for the duration; finishes sweet and dry simultaneously with soothing alcohol; drool-inducing... A sort of sip after sip after sip drinkability.


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Photo of mickeymac
4.47/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presented in a slim brown bottle, with an interesting label: two workers in a field of barley with a large hatchet that appears to be hanging over their heads. It pours a hazy goldish-yellow with a big foamy white head. The smell of lemon mixes with a fruity sweetness that is reminiscent of tropical flowers to create a very appealing aroma. Despite the 8.5% abv, alcohol is not particularly noticeable in the flavor. This, combined with the somewhat light body and thoroughly enjoyable flavor, creates a beer that encourages big drinks.

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Photo of marburg
4.47/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this hanging around for a while in the back of my beer closet -- kind of forgotten. I got six of these litle while back and immediately sucked down 5. This is the sixth.

Crystal clear untainted straw golden color. Big fluffy head that slowly fades. Big cantalope and honey dew aromas are very obvious -- especially at warmer temps. Just the most mild peppery hint. Soft banana cake is a most subtle accompaniment.

Similar feel continues on the palate, though the seemingly untempered sweetness is balanced nicely by a completely integrated hoppiness. This isn't merely balanced -- it simply IS. Bready, yeasty overtones swirl in and out here and there. But this is a brew that's dominated by Belgian-style fruit up front and a dry hoppy finish. A really stunning example of Belgian excellence.

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Photo of marc77
4.43/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Very clear golden hue topped by a formidably thick, creamy and persistent bumpy white head when decanted off the yeast. Thick, sticky, largely bubbled trails of foam is left. Soft, grainy malt and lemony esters upfront in aroma, ensued by mellow clove phenol and mildly tart and sweet, slightly unripe pear fruitiness. Trace rustic yeast must rounds the aroma out. Lightly cidery sweetness is perceived at first in flavor, then is ceded by an enjoyable combination of light clove and a herbal hop flavor. Sweetness is well countered by an assertive hop bitterness for style, lending an overall balance only slightly skewed towards residual sweetness. Fruity esters of a tart, lemony citrus nature surface mid palate and when combined with the persistent sweetness, an alcohol soaked lemon drop impression is left. Moderate in body for style, w/ a crisp, agreeable mouthfeel that lends excellent drinkability. Finishes dry and mostly clean with a dart of peppery alcohol and sweetness. Hapkin epitomizes the style. It has a superlative depth of malt flavor w/ judicious fruity esters and is light enough on the palate to be deceivingly drinkable. The hop profile is assertive yet well integrated. Delicious! Like other fine Belgians, the 11.2 oz bottle is a tease...

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Photo of Jason
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 11.2 oz brown slender bottle with a “best before” date notched on the back label. Front label depicts to brewers either praying to the gods for a good harvest or they are in fear of the man with the big axe.

Appearance: Bight golden with a near perfect clarity, rushing bubbles are champagne-like and easily hold the white bubbly lace all the way to the end.

Smell: Fruity all over, some rind of lime with hints of melon and apple skin. Tad phenolic with light medicinal and spicy aromas amongst the sweet grainy and alcoholic nose.

Taste: Just as smooth as it is crisp from the hard up front carbonation and undertow from the medium body that bring things together. Quick on the spicy flavour which is riding on the coattails of the carbonation, the spiciness come from not only the alcohol but a heavy hand of hop as well as some sharp phenolic activity and coarse grain. Hops are there just for bittering and do a stellar job at it. Rounded and sweet maltiness tries to fend off the bitter and sharp flavours with help from some noticeable fruitiness. Ripe apple, citric rind, melon (honeydew?), star fruit and some other vague tropical fruit are in the mix. Big on the esters and an obvious alcohol. Ends up that the bitter and dryness wins in the finish and cleans house for a tidy aftertaste.

Notes: This is one hell of a one-two punch for a Belgian Strong Pale Golden Ale, bit more flamboyant and rustic than Duvel and Lucifer. Highly recommend if you are wanting to get into this style of beer or have not tried it yet.

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Photo of jdhilt
4.41/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Here is a golden ale from Belgium that is excellent. Pours with a thick serious head that doesn't completely go away, at least in their glass. Good lace. Hazy yellow color but surprising little yeast. The ABV is high but you don't really taste it. Finish is a nice mix of malt and hops.

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Photo of Globetrotter
4.4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Found this gem at Moscow's biggest discount grocery store - they must have hired a closet BA to serve as beer purchaser. Comes in a brown long neck 33 cl bottle with a white and gold label featuring a couple of muscular field workers apparently threshing grain. The Russian import label lists nothing but purity law ingredients. Best before March 2006, I opened it on 9/23/05.

Initial pour comes out clear gold under a huge 3+ finger white head that is very sticky and firm, receding slowly but perceptibly, leaving mountains and craters as the liquid goes down. Very nice lacing clings to the glass. The secondary pour clouds things up considerably, leaving an almost banana colored fuzzy sheen. The nose is sumptuous - very flowery, slightly spicey, with just a hint of cabbage. The mouth is very prickly and fairly light. The taste? Wow, a hoppy Belgian. A touch of grainy malt opens, quickly overwhelmed by dry espresso bitterness, with a bit of carnation to sweeten things up. This is not the standard francophone sweetness of raisins, but much more flowery. A nice dry bitter aftertaste really inspires to another sip. Very, very nice.

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4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle served into an Snifter glass.Enjoyed on may´11.
Light pale straw in color.Cloudy but transparent to the light.Rocky white snow crown,thick & lasting wide lacing rings.Mildy floral & perfumed hoppy aroma.Fruity mouthfeel,spicy hints too.Smooth & very kind bitterness on the aftertaste.Outstanding drinkability.ABV well hidden gives a full but very refreshing body.Very well balanced flavors.Among many others Belgian Strong Ales this is an essential one.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 33ml bottle brown glass bottle. White and gold colored label has a rather strange design to it.

Appearance: Clear golden pour if you are careful, my second bottle was rushed and created a fused hazy yellow body. Massive white head, mountainous peaks and crevice troughs as it settles, classic Belgium looks. Sprightly carbonation and a superb presentation in the Hapkin goblet used at the bar.

Nose: Light peppers, crisp hops, toasted malts and yeast. Freshly baked bread odors and Saaz hops.

Taste: Shy start, but the soft sweet malts are soon invaded by a Saaz like crisp hoppy character. Hints of yeast and a breaded dough middle with a finish big in fruits with black peppers and some yeast to boot. Spicy at times.

Mouthfeel: Firm body, clean crisp conditioning. Big feel but a nicely balanced drinker.

Drinkability: Dangerously quaffable, the wheaty nature of the brew imparts a thirst quenching character whilst the clean crisp aspects make for a brew that is very hard to put down.

Overall: Sampled many of these during my recent Easter Trip to Belgium and found them to be great nightcaps. A lovely brew that seems to have a captivating spell, Duvelian in nature, but with some gorgeous spiced fruity aspects that add to the quaffability and your dehydration the next day!! Recommended.

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Photo of hooligan
4.28/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful golden beer, rather clear for the style with a lacy stark white foam. Peppery hops are up front in the smell, with some yeasty characters. The taste is crisp, slight esters from the yeast, quite saaz-peppery, and considerably drier than other beers in this catagory. A really good beer, really easy to drink, and a nice change from other strong goldens...

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Photo of pio
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours the color of the sun with a huge cloud of head shading it's cornea-burning rays. that pillow stays on top like an impressive crown, clinging pornographically to the glass.

lilly of the valley and light honey played up my nose. there was a quite alluring aroma of freshly cut apple, green apple. i could almost hear the crunch of the knife slicing that green sucker down the middle. a foamy mouthfeel that absolutely fills the mouth. and it's sour turning bitter not without hint notes of sweetness and somehow light malty or woody tones abiding with fruitiness concerning apples, lemons and tomato. this little wow is followed by a great hop development on the palate. this is also a moment of alcoholic revelation, a warm salute to 8.5% indeed! a very high drinkability permitted i could handle it alcohol-wise.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – Light orange in color with heavy carbonation and a big, fluffy BSPA head that went down slowly and covered the inside of my Chimay glass.

Smell – Big Belgian yeast aroma with strong spicing. The fruits are heavy as well. I can pick up a nice mix of oranges and bananas along with lush, juicy cantaloupe.

Taste – Wow! The pepper and alcohol really step it up at the taste. The yeast lays back a bit, but just a bit. The fruits are there as well. This is a real heavy hitting Belgian Pale.

Mouthfeel – Medium to full in the body and very fluffy. The alcohol is enough to take note. There’s also a bit of refreshing dryness at the end.

Drinkability – If I would have drank this cold it would have lasted a bit longer. But I popped it a little below room temperature so it went pretty quick. I will definitely buy again.

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Photo of ncbrewerbun
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried this one with a buddy who got a 6-pack from a Belgian beer club he was in.

Effervesence is the word to describe this beer. It is almost a champagne kind of feel.

Color is a pale straw yellow. Deceivingly light color, but the bubbles are there, with a creamy white head.

Aroma is fruity with some spiciness (a hint of pepper).

Flavor is complex yet balanced.

A great beer.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly foggy yellow with a nice thick white head. Nose is not overpowering, but brings some dough, spices, and funkyness. Flavor is nice. Smooth sweet tones, good mixture of spicyness, minor dough. Very minor alcohol tones on the backside, but it doesn't interfere with the flavor ride at all. Feel is smooth and slightly slick on the liquid aspect. Carbonation is full enough and bites a bit on the tongue. This is a very tasty pale ale. I would never mind having this around to drink.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a pale golden straw color and crystal clear until I disturbed the sediment in the bottle. The head forms quickly and lasts. The aroma is fruity and spicy. Sweet malt aroma and Belgian yeast aromas. The flavor is crisp and quite dry. The first impression of flavor is fruity and alcoholic. There is some spicy hop flavor and a complex citrus flavor in the background. The finish is peppery and dry. The body is med-light and the carbonation is pretty high.

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Photo of downes51
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A serendipitous accident led me to sample this beer. I asked for a Duvel, and it was served in a Hapkin glass. So the next beer I ordered was a Hapkin just to see. Good move. Close your eyes, and it's a reisling. Dry, refreshing more-ish. Highly reccommended.

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Photo of fdrich29
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 fl. oz. bottle from a gift pack of 4 bottles and one Hapkin glass. Best before May 04 (It's not September). "Hapkin Anno 1877 Belgian Golden Ale"

Liquid gold safely buried beneath a mountain of white, frothy bubbles. Smells fruity, with traces of hops and alcohol.

Tastes sweet, with hints of hops and malts in there. Goes down smooth with a some lingering bitterness in the back of the mouth on the end.

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Photo of chaduvel
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Last of a 4 pack. Thanks to Kluk for the recommendation. Poured into a Hapkin glass. Large pure white head, golden color of a sunset below. Head is gigantic. Head fades around the edges but holds a bulbous center nearly to the end, nice lacing around the sides of the glass. The shape of the glass directs the scent right to me and wow. Very aromatic. Smells intensely flowery with some hints of sour. Taste: Saaz hops up front in a big way. Middle has a distinct perfume flavor, and then a dry alcohol finish, can definitely taste/feel the 8.5%. Nicely done.

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Photo of amatuerbeerguy
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out a dark golden. Had a medium head dissipated quickly. Head color is sightly tan. Aroma of malt, hops, citrus, fruitiness. Flavors of hops, malt, citrus, tartness, with a slight yeast/bready character. Mouth feel of medium body, moderate carbonation. Overall one of the best of the style. Had a Duvel before this one this one is a lot better. A must if in to belgian pale strong, or just belgians in general.

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Photo of thierrynantes
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer bottle (33cl.), tasted in 2003.

Appearance: abundant white foam head but average duration, slightly cloudy beer (yeast).
Taste : has a good bitterness and a slight fruity yeast.
Drinkability: close to the level of taste Duvel red : therefore, very good and strong-bodied beer to be discovered.

You can read on the bottle : The great Beers of Belgium Michael Jackson said : "Hapkin has a very good, fresh, flouvery, Saaz hop aroma, a very big, creamy head, a soft malt character, and a spritzy, perfumy, fruitiness, drying toward the finish."

Review translated from french 5-25-2008.

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Photo of Filosoof
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a nice balanced blond. Nowadays brewed by Alken-Maes. Postel Blond is also brewed by Alken-Maes. It looks like there are parallels.

L: the head is disappointing; I have never seen so many big bubbles; a fluffy head thus, though my glass was really clean.
S: nice, hops, flowers;
T: a nice balance of the hops and the sweetness; alcohol is mentionable; a bit methylated spirit;
O: a littlelittlelittle bit to sweet for my taste, but nevertheless this beer is okay!

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Hapkin from Brouwerij Louwaege
Beer rating: 3.97 out of 5 with 61 ratings