RateBeer Forums

Bornem Dubbel / Uilenspiegelbier


Picked up this beer recently:

It is aliased with this beer:

However Bornem Dubbel used to be 8% and it is now 7.2%. Whereas Uilenspiegelbier is 8%. So would it be a sensible assumption that Uilenspiegelbier is the original recipe dubbel and Bornem Dubbel is a lower-strength, slightly different recipe. Without having both to compare it’s hard to know for sure. I’m guessing there is an admin rule regarding strength variations and new entries. But I’m inclined to think in this case the alcohol difference is enough to warrant a new, seperate entry. Perhaps the Uilenspeigel bar in Bruges could clarify.


In Belgium, alcoholcontent can be 0.5 off. You can be very creative with it.

Bornem dubbel must be in between 6,7 and 7,7 .
uilenspiegel must be between 7,5 and 8,5 .

So there IS an overlap. It might even be the very same beer, just labeled creative.
Not saying this is the case, just saying, it might not be as different and litteral as you think.


Why? The beer is named after an age-old beer from Brewery Cruyl in Assenede, long taken over.


Because the entry for the Uilenspiegel IPA says it was brewed for them. If i hadnt read that i wouldve assumed it was named in honour of Till Eulenspiegel who seems to be the character on the label.

In England we also have a similar law regarding ABV. It emerged last year that Carlsberg were purposely brewing their 4.0% lager at precisely 3.5% to take advantage of it. They were taken to court but got away with it.


Sorry but it was actually Carling and not Carlsberg that did this, which was for tax reasons, they dodged a £50 million tax bill, the brewery quoted customers have not been mislead :joy: and it’s labelling, was, entirely consistent with the Law.


It’s an EU Regulation: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=celex:32011R1169

If you are below 5.5%, you can be off by 0.5%; above that, you can be off by 1%. If fruits or vegetables are in there, by 1.5%.


The original Uilenspiegel bier is named after the novel character (or even brewed for the city of Damme, I seem to vaguely remember) and has been in existence for years. Recipes get tweaked and even the regulars (Bornem, Piraat, etc…) just like all other big beers (Affligem, …) change abv regularly, if only with a few points. They do this without big announcement, so they are just considered small tweaks or even just change in communication (as they are indeed allowed some margin with reality), these small changes do not warrant a new entry. Especially if you know the size of the batches at Van Steenberge. No single bar can sell a whole batch of VSB beer, so all these “special beers” supposedly made for this or that bar, is all label beers. Most of them will admit to you if you confront them with it, and they notice you know a lot about beer. I’ve discovered quite a lot aliases this way.

Anyway, I see the Uilenspiegel IPA is a draft only, so I’m 100% sure it’s an alias. As VSB doesn’t really do ipa’s, I’d guess it’s just Piraat or something like that…