Reverence: Malteni

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Cyclists can (and usually do) go on for hours as to why they ride their bikes, and most of their reasons can sound, well, a bit flakey to anyone not enamored with shaved legs and being done up in lycra. “I do it to keep fit”, “It keeps me slim”, “I’m a competitor, I love to race”, “It’s the freedom it gives me, an escape from the day to day”. Ok, maybe a few of those are somewhat justifible, but we all know why we really ride; so we can drink beer. And if you are tutting and pffting at that statement, then you probably don’t belong here. Cycling and beer are kindred spirits, inseperable, like Moore and Cook, Hall and Oates, Fränk and Andy, Gunderson and lying.

You need look no further for proof than Belgium. It’s where both beer and cycling were invented (I don’t know if that’s actually true, but the Belgians do both better than most so I’m running with it). Any Cyclist or beer drinker worth their malt will always look to Belgium for the very best of their craft. We’re talking Merckx, Duvel, Van Looy, Leffe, Boonen, Chimay, Museeuw and Malteni. Try and tell me any of those names don’t conjur up greatness.

Malteni, you ask? Why yes… this has to be one of my favourite Belgian beers, and not only because there is an almost endless supply of it catered for on Keepers Tour. You could offer me all the Budweiser at the ToC or Vic Bitter at the TDU that I could drink, and I’d probably choose to go dry. But at the end of a day of being pummeled by pavé or crushed by kasseien and bergs, a cold Malteni is the proverbial icing on the cobbled cake. Got a long day of spectating ahead on the Oude Kwaremont? A backpack full of the malted goodness will keep you in fine fettle and make the frites even tastier. We tested it on real live Flandrians and all were suitably impressed (then suitably disappointed when we refused a chaser). The kicker? Its gluten-free, which means it will make you live longer the more of it you drink. And there’s no hangover. Believe me, we tried.

As cycling isn’t about just riding, beer isn’t about just drinking (or drinking to get drunk, a concept largely lost on anyone swilling Bud, VB or Tui). It is about the senses; the effects we get from both riding a finely tuned bicycle and imbibing a quality ale are quite similar. Bikes and beer both look good, they smell good, and they provide us a cerebral and physical euphoria that at once relaxes and stimulates us. Enjoying both activities, in tandem, in the motherland is like reaching the cyclists’ nirvana. Yes, I’m looking forward to meeting up with old and new friends and riding the storied roads of the Monuments with The Lion this April, but if there were no Malteni at the end of each day, then the Belgian experience just wouldn’t be completely and genuinely Belgian.

[dmalbum path=”/velominati.com/content/Photo Galleries/[email protected]/Malteni/”/]

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121 Replies to “Reverence: Malteni”

  1. Gunderson and lying” = brilliant.

     

    a timely post, as i’m off to CX worlds for the weekend to watch the belgians destroy it, while drinking copious amounts of beer.

  2. Belgium and Malteni – Scotland and Tennant’s – there’s my problem right there…

    Now where did I put that haggis?

  3. Timely article. Registration for the Ride for Nature, a Door County,  Wisconsin ride that ends at a beer festival opens today. Belgian immigrants (including my ancestors) came to Door County in the mid 1850s.
    Current local conditions: snow covered roads with -25 (F) windchill so it’s rollers (followed by beer) for me.

  4. Yep @Bretto, this is exactly why we ride. It’s amazing to me after having 4-5weeks off the bike recovering from the annual bout of ebola and TB, how if you don’t get out and spin around but keep enjoying brews, you (I) tack on Kg’s with a quickness. I love beer. The taste, the smell, the look. Like two peas in a pod.

  5. Timely article.  Registration for a Door County, Wisconsin  ride that ends at a beer festival opens today. Door County was settled by Belgian immigrants (including my ancestors) in the 1850s.

  6. Sorry for the duplicate post. I got a blank screen on the first submission and thought that there was a problem on my end so I sent it again. Need more patience.

  7. It is a marvel of the brewing world what they’ve manage to do with Matleni. Great Belgian taste, could be a session beer or drunk with dinner it’s so well balanced. It doesn’t over fill so we vane cyclists don’t feel self-conscious after drinking two, or eight. Great stuff.

  8. I move that The Keepers become the official US Distibutor of Malteni and that it be listed in The Gear for sale to thirsty Velominati located stateside.

  9. @chiasticon

    “Gunderson and lying” = brilliant.

    a timely post, as i’m off to CX worlds for the weekend to watch the belgians destroy it, while drinking copious amounts of beer.

    Hopefully you saw that all the racing has been moved to Saturday.  I’ll be down there as well.  @Ron and I are planning on getting together for a beer (hopefully they have something Belgian available) and some frites.  We’d love to meet up with any other Velominati making the trip.

  10. I haven’t seen it around here, which is odd since I do have a LBS(the B stands for beer) that has a good stock of Belgian beers.  I’ll have to search for it next time I go to the big beer story in the next county.

    I kegged a strong golden Belgian ale last weekend.  Should be nicely carbonated next weekend when my son comes for a visit.

  11. I haven’t tried the Malteni yet but I can see a cross channel trip being arranged very shortly..!

  12. @seemunkee

    I haven’t seen it around here, which is odd since I do have a LBS(the B stands for beer) that has a good stock of Belgian beers. I’ll have to search for it next time I go to the big beer story in the next county.

    I kegged a strong golden Belgian ale last weekend. Should be nicely carbonated next weekend when my son comes for a visit.

    You may have to go to Belgium to find it. WIlliam and Alex drink so much of it they don’t have enough to export, yet. Rumors of overpriced chain Whole Foods carrying it  in the US because of the gluten-free angle. It would taste better in Belgium anyway.

  13. @Gianni

    @seemunkee

    I haven’t seen it around here, which is odd since I do have a LBS(the B stands for beer) that has a good stock of Belgian beers. I’ll have to search for it next time I go to the big beer story in the next county.

    I kegged a strong golden Belgian ale last weekend. Should be nicely carbonated next weekend when my son comes for a visit.

    You may have to go to Belgium to find it. WIlliam and Alex drink so much of it they don’t have enough to export, yet. Rumors of overpriced chain Whole Foods carrying it in the US because of the gluten-free angle. It would taste better in Belgium anyway.

    Gluten free and good beer are usually mutually exclusive.  I’m guessing that they can’t market it here as such because they use barley and use a process to remove gluten.  All the truly gluten free beers I’ve seen here in the states are made with sorghum.

  14. Another well timed post. I was about to neck a Miller or two after my commute home. A stiff northerly head wind and dropping temperature had me thinking I deserved more than an espresso. Now I’ve got to get back across to Belgium to try the Malteni, it must have been to only one I didn’t try there. No hangover? I like the idea of that being such a lightweight. I’ve blamed the cycling for that, clearly I have the proportions of each all wrong.

    Another nice review of it here

    http://www.the5thfloor.co.uk/2013/01/15/review-malteni-beer/

    @Babbs. Fancy setting yourself up as UK distributor?

  15. @seemunkee

    @Gianni

    @seemunkee

    I haven’t seen it around here, which is odd since I do have a LBS(the B stands for beer) that has a good stock of Belgian beers. I’ll have to search for it next time I go to the big beer story in the next county.

    I kegged a strong golden Belgian ale last weekend. Should be nicely carbonated next weekend when my son comes for a visit.

    You may have to go to Belgium to find it. WIlliam and Alex drink so much of it they don’t have enough to export, yet. Rumors of overpriced chain Whole Foods carrying it in the US because of the gluten-free angle. It would taste better in Belgium anyway.

    Gluten free and good beer are usually mutually exclusive. I’m guessing that they can’t market it here as such because they use barley and use a process to remove gluten. All the truly gluten free beers I’ve seen here in the states are made with sorghum.

    We got to hang out at the brewery last year. It’s not a big place so I just don’t think they have the volume to export too much.  It is definitely good old ale made with malted barley but somehow they are removing the gluten by cross-flow filtration or some other magic. As far as I know they have a corner on the process and could make a killing in the US by taking advantage of every panty-waist here who is concerned about their gluten intake yet needs good beer. Sorghum, faaack, that must be some weak horrible shiet.

  16. So is it appropriate to follow an interval laden, senses numbing, gut twisting, monotonously boring, sweat puddling, headset rusting,  indoor trainer session, with a Rochefort? Or should the achieved level of ride satisfaction be equal to the quality of your selection.

    Indoor training- Coors Light?

  17. Ummm, Coopers at the TDU thank you very much. VB is made almost 1000km away.

  18. It would be Coopers at the TDU, not VB. VB is made a long way away from Adelaide and is terrible. Coopers is significantly better.

  19. Hear hear! Weirdly, I spent nine months living and drinking in Brussels and never once tried Malteni. Two of my favorite beer anecdotes from that time: a comment by a Belgian friend that Stella Artois was farmers’ beer, something that appears to be lost on Americans who consider it to be oh so sophistique. And, the introduction of my English friend to Belgian beer, which acted as a gateway beer to the more pedestrian lagers we drank back then in England (up until then he rather suspiciously only drank Smirnnoff Ice).

  20. @The Potato Man

    It would be Coopers at the TDU, not VB. VB is made a long way away from Adelaide and is terrible. Coopers is significantly better.

    This…you could threaten to take a sledgehammer to #1 & I’d still not let that Victorian swill touch my lips!

  21. @The Potato Man

    It would be Coopers at the TDU, not VB. VB is made a long way away from Adelaide and is terrible. Coopers is significantly better.

    Yes, that was the point; I’d drink Coopers Sparkling no problem (and have done a lot when in Aus), but you’d have to force a VB down my gullet.

  22. VB is alright, in the right circumstances and always better than Fosters.

    We used to consume large quantities of it, often with lime, when I lived in Darwin. I couldn’t imagine doing the same with Coopers.

  23. @ChrisO

    You put lime in VB, in Darwin, and lived to tell the tale?

    Lime has no place in any beer, except obviously Corona because water tastes better with some citrus added.

  24. Not even real lime – lime cordial. It’s pretty common, or was when I was there 20 years ago.

    In those days the houses didn’t have air conditioning so anything conducive to sinking more beer, faster, was perfectly acceptable. Mind you we were also stoned most of the time so it didn’t seem very odd.

    Those were the days when people in the Territory would measure a trip by the number of beers you would need to take with you in the car, and the roads outside of the main towns had no speed limits (because they were basically straight lines about 500km long). God knows how I survived.

  25. @ChrisO

    Not even real lime – lime cordial. It’s pretty common, or was when I was there 20 years ago.

    In those days the houses didn’t have air conditioning so anything conducive to sinking more beer, faster, was perfectly acceptable. Mind you we were also stoned most of the time so it didn’t seem very odd.

    Those were the days when people in the Territory would measure a trip by the number of beers you would need to take with you in the car, and the roads outside of the main towns had no speed limits (because they were basically straight lines about 500km long). God knows how I survived.

    fuck yeah!

  26. Belgium? OK I do quite like the place, but the bicycle was invented in Scotland (or that’s Schkottland if you are an ex-Bond actor) and I live 5 miles away from Stonehaven ,birthplace of Robert Thomson who invented the pneumatic tyre, with banknotes (another Scottish invention) giving me the ability to indulge my carbone on Battaglin goodness. Being a winter rider in Scotland invokes Rule #5 just by definition. Scotland has 40% of the wind resource of the EU and still packs in leg sapping lungbuster mountains to boot. Surely after downing some “Bitter and Twisted” and maybe a “Trashy Blonde” a dram is the finest embodiment of the spirit of the V. 

  27. Great article, but…
    Belgium? OK I do quite like the place, but the bicycle was invented in Scotland (or that’s Schkottland if you are an ex-Bond actor) and I live 5 miles away from Stonehaven, birthplace of Robert Thomson who invented the pneumatic tyre, with banknotes (another Scottish invention) giving me the ability to indulge my carbone on Battaglin goodness. Being a winter rider in Scotland invokes Rule #5 just by definition. Scotland has 40% of the wind resource of the EU and still packs in leg sapping lungbuster mountains to boot. Surely after downing some “Bitter and Twisted” and maybe a “Trashy Blonde” a dram is the finest embodiment of the spirit of the V. 

  28. @Torc

    Great article, but…
    Belgium? OK I do quite like the place, but the bicycle was invented in Scotland (or that’s Schkottland if you are an ex-Bond actor) and I live 5 miles away from Stonehaven, birthplace of Robert Thomson who invented the pneumatic tyre, with banknotes (another Scottish invention) giving me the ability to indulge my Carbone on Battaglin goodness. Being a winter rider in Scotland invokes Rule #5 just by definition. Scotland has 40% of the wind resource of the EU and still packs in leg sapping lungbuster mountains to boot. Surely after downing some “Bitter and Twisted” and maybe a “Trashy Blonde” a dram is the finest embodiment of the spirit of The V.

    So good we said it twice…

  29. A quick net search revealed that Brunehaut is available mail order from  Beautiful Beers

    http://www.beautifulbeers.co.uk/brunehaut-ambree-gluten-free-organic-65-33cl.ir?cName=beers-belgian-other-belgian

    The owner Rene van den Oort tells me “Malteni is a re-branded beer brewed by Brunehaut in Belgium. This beer is generally issued under the Brunehaut Ambrée name but in Belgium is also available under the Malteni brand, named after the cycling team Molteni, for which the invincible Eddy Merckx used to ride” Result.

    Order placed.

    @Torc I’m just down the coast from you. It goes without saying that I will follow a fine beer or two by a wee dram.

  30. @Kyle

    Timely article. Registration for the Ride for Nature, a Door County, Wisconsin ride that ends at a beer festival opens today. Belgian immigrants (including my ancestors) came to Door County in the mid 1850s.
    Current local conditions: snow covered roads with -25 (F) windchill so it’s rollers (followed by beer) for me.

    same conditions in Minnesota…indoor trainer followed by a recovery beer

  31. @DrewG

    Great article, any chance a Malteni fits perfectly in a bottle cage?

    If not, decant it into a bidon, and be sure to report back your field test results.

    Also, assuming @joshua is incommunicato, I will gladly volunteer to perform official an official field test.  If Malteni has already undergone such testing, it’s a glaring omission from an otherwise brilliant article.

  32. @Gianni

    @seemunkee

    I haven’t seen it around here, which is odd since I do have a LBS(the B stands for beer) that has a good stock of Belgian beers. I’ll have to search for it next time I go to the big beer story in the next county.

    I kegged a strong golden Belgian ale last weekend. Should be nicely carbonated next weekend when my son comes for a visit.

    You may have to go to Belgium to find it. WIlliam and Alex drink so much of it they don’t have enough to export, yet. Rumors of overpriced chain Whole Foods carrying it in the US because of the gluten-free angle. It would taste better in Belgium anyway.

    Guinness is like that. After the VMH and myself spent a couple weeks on the Emerald Isle, drinking up all of it we could get our hands on, we realized that sometimes it’s better to have beer where it’s made.

    The shit they ship to the US is pasteurized, has been warm, cold warm cold again after making the journey. I flat refuse to drink my favorite nectar in the States ever again.

  33. All beer ** tastes best when consumed in its location of origin, and in the company of at least one local.  Sure – Coopers in Adelaide.  XXXX in SEQ.  (Locals will know).  Iwate Kura in Japan.  Kingfisher in India.  (Yeah – who knew??) Sam Adams.  Any local lager on tap on any bench table outside any pub on any B-road in England in summer.   Birra del Borgo at the Giro.  And IMO – the Grolsch.

    (** Bud Lite and its ilk is not beer.)

  34. @GT

    All beer ** tastes best when consumed in its location of origin, and in the company of at least one local.

    I had a Heineken and a tap water in Amsterdam and I couldn’t tell the difference.

    I was drinking with Belgians, so that may have had an effect on my experience.

  35. Hmm, Brunehaut is available locally here.  I might have to put a temporary hold on the resolve to not drink my calories this winter.

  36. Why do you fucking persist in talking about Aussie beer? It’s wall to wall shit in a can, and is the cruelest irony about moving to a hot, sunbeaten country. None of the breweries here make anything that isn’t godawful piss, and is actually improved by drinking it warm, out of a can, on the beach covered in sand and ants. Imported beer means importing more of the same, I’ve yet to find a decent brew pub here or even a pub that imports decent beer.

  37. @GT FFS Kingfisher isn’t even beer.  They don’t make beer in India, i don’t know what that crap is but it’s why IPA had to be invented, to import it across several oceans.

  38. @minion What about Little Creatures or Mountain Goat or some of those other microbreweries? I’m going to be in Melbourne in a few weeks so I need to do some research here!

  39. @G’rilla Little Creatures is about it; nice beer but that’s damning it with faint praise. I was all excited about exploring a new geographical area’s breweries and have been met with a soulcrushing void. I have friends ho make better beer in their bathrooms than most of the stuff you can buy over the bar here. Pale lagers that are served too cold seem to be about it round here.

    BTW Coopers sell home brew kits, the product of which is identical to their bottled on the shelf products. That about says it all.

  40. @Nate Surely such a fine beverage requires an equally fine vessel – perhaps this?

    Or something larger?

  41. @DrewG

    @Nate Surely such a fine beverage requires an equally fine vessel – perhaps this?

    Or something larger?

    That’s for whisk(e)y and how can you pour frothy beer in such a small opening?

  42. @minion

    @G’rilla Little Creatures is about it; nice beer but that’s damning it with faint praise. I was all excited about exploring a new geographical area’s breweries and have been met with a soulcrushing void. I have friends ho make better beer in their bathrooms than most of the stuff you can buy over the bar here. Pale lagers that are served too cold seem to be about it round here.

    BTW Coopers sell home brew kits, the product of which is identical to their bottled on the shelf products. That about says it all.

    These guys make some nice simple kits, it may be your only salvation http://brooklynbrewshop.com/

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