Slaapmutske is the first in a series of beers from Flemish Flanders that will be named by fiddling with the different typewriter keys randomly. The next one will be Bqergjhqeo’rhvb. That sounds like Flemish to us.
OK, enough with the jokes already. This is business.
Slaapmutske literally means ‘Sleeping Cap,’ (and, as an extension, 'nightcap') in Flemish. The name came about a few years ago when brewer Dany de Smet and his lovely wife, Marleen, were trying to soothe their crying baby, Jonas. When all else failed, Dany hit on the idea of giving the lad a short lick of a finger dipped into a glass of one of Dany's beers. And with that, young Jonas was out like a light. Marleen declared the beer to be a real 'slaapmutske,' and thus, a brewery was born.
In fact, all the Slaapmutske beers tend to be of the strong, beddy-bye variety. The first to come to the US is Slaapmutske Triple Nightcap, originally intended to re-create the benchmark Belgian tripel, but with an extra flourish of finishing hops to give the beer an appealing fresh, flowery note. Dany uses whole hops, which give the beer an advantage over the prototype, which is made using only hop extract now. The result is a strong, pale beer with a considerable alcoholic kick and a nice bitter aftertaste of hops, overlaid with entrancing aromas that only come from fresh hops added at the very end of the boil. This is clearly an improvement on the classic, we think.
Dany is currently making his beers at the De Proef brewery (where Flemish Primitive and K.O. are also made), but hopes to have his own brewery someday.