New Frank Boon Brewing Hall Officially Opened
LEMBEEK - When you pass Lembeek on the Thalys from Brussels to Paris you probably won’t realise that not far from th ... [ more ]
A Review of 'Bij de Brouwer' by Erik Verdonck
ANTWERP - Erik Verdonck likes a good story. From time to time, our paths cross in brilliant Burgundian Belgiu ... [ more ]
A Hops Story, Brewery De Ranke
DOTTIGNIES - Brouwerij De Ranke is located in Dottignies, Wallonia. It produces robust beers with rich aromas a ... [ more ]
De Struise Brouwers, Brewing with Attitude
OOSTVLETEREN - In 2008, a group of men from Woesten were voted the world’s best brewers by ratebeer.com. They have rec ... [ more ]
Bush, Beer Not To Be Taken Lightly
PIPAIX-LEUZE - In 1933, just after launching Bush, Alfred Dubuisson thought up an original slogan: “The life ex ... [ more ]
Oerbier is the Dolle Brouwers flagship beer. It was their first commercialized beer and has been in production since 1980. The name refers to the pure origin of the beer as well as its authenticity. It’s a dark beer due to the usage of the different ... [ more ]
Westvleteren Blond - The lightest beer of the Sint-Sixtus family, when confined to its bottle, only to be recognized by the green cap topping it off. This is the beer that the monks themselves drink as their day-to-day thirst quencher. They use t... [ more ]
Dulle Teve is a West-Flemish term - more juicy Belgian dialect, most of the time only understood by those who speak it. And when we talk Belgian beer, the West produces some of the best…With Westvleteren, Sint-Bernardus, De Halve Maan, Dolle Brouwers... [ more ]
The prestigious Christmas beer from Esen, as well as the second and last seasonal brews the Dolle Brouwers produce. Stille Nacht translates rather easy and clearly as 'Silent Night'. A great name for a great festive beer. It has a very long cooki... [ more ]
Special Extra Export Stout, as the name rather obviously reveals, was created for the export market. This request came from the brewery’s US distributor. We don’t know if it’s coincidence, but the name as well as the design of the beer’s label ar... [ more ]
Westvleteren 8 is 12’s little and lesser known brother. It’s sadly also sometimes less appreciated, and is said by some to be the least popular (recognised by its blue bottle cap) of the active varieties made by the Sint-Sixtus monks. But these a... [ more ]
The monks of Sint-Sixtus started to brew beer for one main reason. The same reason any monastery has done historically, to generate extra revenue. They needed the funds to survive and sustain themselves and their order. Beer ... [ more ]
It all started with three men sharing one passion: Romeo Bostoen and the brothers Kris & Dr. Jo Herteleer. Kris Herteleer being the last (since 2006) of the original Dolle Brouwers currently active in Esen. His brother Jo is ... [ more ]
Every now and then most of us like having some delicious battered and fried finger food, certainly when combined with a nice beer. Rather than whipping up your regular day-to-day variety, surprise friend and foe with this Belgian beer batter. Using b... [ more ]
Although some of us get a bit squeamish at the idea of eating eel, this fish isn't only adored by the Japanese. Eel used to be a main staple food in Belgium, and certainly in Flanders. For sustainability, most eels are now raised using aquaculture... [ more ]
Maybe not the most typical Belgian dish but this is a dish that breathes honest, rural cooking. If you are a creative and active hobby cook you will have no difficulties coming up with your own variation of this recipe. Don't be shy to experiment ... [ more ]
Win a Harlekijn beer. Sponsored by 't Koelschip; a speciality beer shop in Ostend with a selection of more than 400 beers. Next to selling and even brewing his own beer, Harlekijn, 'beer promotor' Ive Mostrey offers beer tastings, beer advice and much more.
WEEKLY BEER TOURISM
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Belgium. Beer and Taste Capital of the World...
Discover the wonderful world of Belgian beer and the people who create it at BeerTourism.com. Explore our surprisingly-diverse little country, from the North Sea coast to the Ardennes, from Antwerp to Ostend. Enjoy the finest beer cuisine and learn how to match a menu with the right beers.
After this virtual aperitif, we would love to join you on a deeper exploration of what we have to offer. Have fun! And let us know how you are getting on. Promise?
No other country can lay claim to a longer and more complex beer heritage than Belgium. Admittedly, we have fewer beers than the Germans. Nevertheless, we have managed to retain a large number of the beer styles developed here.
Just think of our lambiek, oude geuze and kriek, saison, West-Vlaams roodbruin or Oudenaards brown beer. To top it all, we have our world-famous Trappist beers, the stuff of legend, now enjoying an international following.
Pilsner still represents three-quarters of beer consumption in Belgium but has been losing ground steadily over the past few years.
Meanwhile, Belgian speciality beers have attracted a growing following, stimulating a vibrant scene. It takes more than one glass to catch the tastebuds of a Belgian beer lover; standards are high in our little country and beer is a national obsession. A Belgian brewer is only satisfied if the customer enjoys a beer so much that he orders a refill.
Nowadays, sixty percent of the turnover for Belgium’s brewers comes from exporting their beers abroad. Belgian beer is enjoying a renaissance that is attracting world-wide interest with its astounding invention and diversity.
There is stout matured in barrels previously used for peated whisky; coffee beer, oyster beer; speculaasbier, made with the spices used in biscuits; ginger beer, gruutbier (using a herbal mix instead of hops), triple geuze, champagne beer… the list is endless. Wherever you travel in Belgium, you will find brewers.
Hidden behind abbey walls, in castles, farms, cafés, garages, small obscure kitchens or even sheds, these brewers keep a beady eye on their kettles and tubs.
There are beer dynasties here that have a proud heritage going back 15 generations. New breweries get their equipment together and then knock on their colleagues’ doors for advice.
All these stories are told in the glass. A world of taste will open itself up to you: strong, light, fruity, herbal, zesty, sweet, sour, tart, lightly bitter, well hopped, accessible or complex.
Brewed to warm you up or to cool you down, for tasting or keeping, or swigging when you go on a pub crawl.
Beer has always been around. It is part of our DNA. Belgium is Beer and Beer is Belgium. We Belgians are so used to it that we can take our heritage for granted. Until a certain Michael Jackson – the world famous Beer Hunter - pointed out to us that Belgian beer is really rather special. And who are we to contradict him?
A Gourmet Mecca
Gourmets enjoy basking in the golden glow of a cone full to the brim with crunchy fries; a steaming pot of mussels, cheese croquettes that melt in the mouth, prawns freshly harvested from the sea, Ardennes ham which still has a tang of the forest, asparagus, chicory or waterzooi - a tasty stew with fish or chicken.
Then round off the meal with pancakes, pralines.... or waffles? Which ones? From Brussels or Liège? Belgium’s rich and varied cuisine has taken the art of compromise to new heights. There is a French-inspired tradition but with generous, some might even say royally big, portions.
We like to add beer to our food too: to the batter, in the sauce, the marinade, or to cool down a stew before we let it simmer. And we love to have a beer as we eat. Chefs love beer for the huge variety of flavours it can offer.
Beer sharpens the appetite before a meal and has proved to be an equally succesful companion to desserts, or just to continue the party. A warning: before you know what’s hit you, you will have become a beerologist, or to use the correct term: a zythologist. You will find out lots more at beertourism.com. Enjoy!
Belgium à La Carte
Belgium doesn’t jump off the world map. It’s that small dot on the North Sea coast, at the same latitude as southern England. Yes, you got it! Between the Netherlands, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Germany and France. We are not a big country but we can make our presence felt. The cities of Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent and Bruges are known all over the world for their art and architecture.
The fiery city of Liège steered its own course for 1,000 years. Belgium is also home to cycling’s greatest ever legend Eddy Merckx and to the world-ranking tennis players Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin. With Rock Werchter and Tomorrowland we host some of the best festivals in the world.
In Bruges time appears to have stood still. You are surrounded by medieval paintings and stunning architecture. Brussels will surprise you with the surrealist paintings of René Magritte and Horta’s art nouveau architecture.
Cartoonist Hergé, the creator of Tintin, is still popular thanks to the thrilling adventures and clean lines of his enduring cartoon hero. The Dardenne brothers are an international hit with their realist cinema.
Toots Thielemans introduced the mouth organ to the world of jazz. 'The Antwerp Six', a cooperative of six designers, conquered the international fashion scene. And of course, author Georges Simenon gave the world his Commissaire Maigret.
Belgium is the country of the begijnhoven, the unique town centre nuns’ communities. The country of the belforts, our proud belfry towers and their beiaarden – what we call carillons, giant instruments using church bells. Our wall-hanging tapestries are some of the best the world have ever seen. The town of Spa gave its name to water and pampering treatments worldwide.
The South and East of our country can take on a surprisingly green mantle. The forests of the Ardennes never cease to amaze whether covered in a wintry carpet, decked out in the fresh green of spring, sighing under a heavy summer sun or displaying a blaze of gorgeous autumn colours.
Belgium is a fascinating country, and it’s all yours to explore. Ever heard of Europe’s hanging gardens, tasted an escavèche or climbed snail mountains? If you want to nibble on waffles from Brussels to Liège and, above all, enjoy our beers, then on beertourism.com you will find a wealth of inspiration.
Editor-in-Chief & Artistic Director at BeerTourism.com
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