For the 13th successive year, the Belgian beer consumers association Zythos awarded the Zythos Consumers’ Trophy to the most popular beer at the recent Zythos Beer Festival. Visitors’ votes were counted and one beer emerged as the winner. For the first time in the history of the festival, the coveted trophy went to the same beer for the second time: Gouden Carolus Whisky Infused.
Visitors choose their favourite beer
The Zythos Beer Festival has been held since 2006 and soon became Belgium’s biggest beer event. During the recent festival in the Brabanthal in Leuven, over 12,500 visitors were able to taste more than 500 beers from around a hundred Belgian brewers on 28 and 29 April. For the first time, every continent was represented, indicating that the festival increasingly seems to be developing into a global meeting place for everyone interested in Belgian beer. Every year, Zythos asks visitors which beers they prefer. They fill in their personal top three on a voting form. When the votes were counted, it became clear that Gouden Carolus Whisky Infused won again.
Special victory for Het Anker Brewery
For the second consecutive year, the ‘Whisky Infused’ version of Gouden Carolus was elected best beer at the festival. That is a first in the history of Belgium’s biggest beer festival: never before has the consumers’ trophy gone to the same beer twice.
And so Het Anker Brewery won the Zythos Consumers’ Trophy for the third time, after an initial victory in 2008 with ‘Gouden Carolus Hopsinjoor’.
Beer with an infusion of whisky
‘Whisky Infused’ is a unique brewing technique which involves blending a small quantity of whisky with a dark special beer to produce a balanced, full-bodied end result. For this beer, Gouden Carolus Imperial Dark is enhanced with an infusion of Gouden Carolus Single Malt whisky. This yields a powerful, full-bodied beer with subtle hints of vanilla, oak and chocolate.
In 2015, Mechelen-based Het Anker Brewery introduced this beer style as the first taste expression in the 'Gouden Carolus Indulgence’ range. This is a limited series brought out annually with variable content. At the end of 2016, ‘Whisky Infused’ was named ‘World's Best Spirit Flavoured Beer’ at the World Beer Awards. Het Anker Brewery relaunched ‘Whisky Infused’ by popular demand during the 2017 Zythos Beer Festival. Since then, the beer has been part of the permanent range.
At the request of consumers
“We are delighted that consumers appreciate our beers and whisky,” the brewery says in response. “At the request of consumers, in 2017 we brought our Whisky Infused onto the market permanently as part of the ‘Cuvée van de Keizer’ series. These beers are supplied in large 75 cl bottles: ideal for sharing in company. But the horeca sector asked us to find a solution for enthusiasts who want to order by the glass. After last year’s triumph, a limited quantity of our Whisky Infused was supplied in casks. Following positive reactions and as a result of this second victory, the beer is now also permanently available in 33 cl bottles. So enthusiasts can enjoy their favourite beer even more easily.”