the night tel drank the kwak


My entry for Illustration Friday (I haven’t done one in a while), theme: Foggy. Yes, I had all these ideas of San Francisco or Prague or Strasbourg, of buildings half-immersed in grey, but I’ve been drawing so many buildings in grey lately that I wanted a change, and came across an old pic from an interesting evening in Belgium in late 1999.

This is my oldest friend, visiting me when I lived in Charleroi. We went, as always, to my local, La Cuve a Biere (an excellent and warm little place), and I got one of my favourite beers, Kwak (it comes in that funny shaped glass and is pretty strong, and tastes incredible). Tel did too. He liked it so much he downed it and ordered another. The Belgians on our table were surprised (and possibly nervous), for these sort of beers you have to enjoy, not chug down – for a beer like Kwak can be a bitch.

The room went foggy, the walls started spinning, the speaker above us started changing shape – at least that’s what Tel told me at the time. He suddenly got up, went into the bathroom, and pretty much didn’t come out for almost an hour. From what I heard, it was not pretty. When he emerged, we wisely decided not to get another, and walked home in the snow, not even stopping for a kebab. He has not so much as sipped a Kwak since. I can’t say I blame him.

This is faber-castell warm grey pen, with pilot varsity ink as the wash, on bristol paper. Yes, I’m trying something new for a change. I might illustrate other chapters of my life in strip form, if I get around to it.

7 thoughts on “the night tel drank the kwak

  1. laputain says:

    mmm, i like Kwak. Although our local ‘beer pub’ in edinburgh doesn’t serve it in the proper glasses cos too many of them were getting nicked. Boo.

  2. petescully says:

    What, that’s shocking! In Belgium (in charleroi at least) they won’t serve you the beer if they don’t have the glass, or if all the glasses are being used. It just doesn’t taste the same from a bottle.
    Kwak is gooood. But my favourite is Charles Quint. Best beer in Belgium. Introduced to me by a huge sailor from Antwerp in this self-same pub, who told me even he wouldn’t drink more than a couple without a bit of caution. And always have it with some spiced cheese.

  3. Olha says:

    Hi!! Thank you for your last comment – it’s so timely particularly becuase I am just reading it in Belgium – as well as revisiting all your Belgium related posts for inspiration. Last night I had the Kwak -with less dramatic effect, but I really did not know wheather I should take the glass flute out of its wooden base to take a sip or hold it together – like you have it here. Great insight ;)

  4. petescully says:

    Cheers Olha; hope you are enjoying la belgique! As for the kwak, i think it’s really drunk without picking up the stand, i’ve seen people do both but even after many many kwaks i never really figured it out..!

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