Belgian Beer News
Mi-Orge Mi-Houblon, beers with a soul
ARLON/AARLEN - Beer trader and sommelier Christophe Gillard of Mi-Orge Mi-Houblon in Aarlen (Arlon) isn’t one for beating around the bush: “I only sell beers that have my complete support, usually from brewers I know personally.” We are not talking about your average beer shop. This is where you go for something special, advice or to get a more personal service. Christophe’s face is well-known in the world of artisan micro-and-craft breweries in Belgium. “Plenty of people are looking for something different from supermarket beers,” Christophe feels. “They are after authenticity and want to know who is brewing their beer. This personal relationship with the brewer is very important, I feel...
Belgian abbey beer - something for everyone
Enjoy a Belgian abbey beer and you will taste the fruits of a long tradition that is thankfully still around today. For centuries on end, abbeys were the ‘engine’ of the economy. It is hard to overestimate their role. Moreover, as monks were literate, people were often quick to credit them with ‘scientist’ status. For example, German Abbess Hildegard von Bingen wrote about the qualities of hop as early as the 12th century. Word soon spread that hops helped to preserve beer...
Treasure hunting in beer country
HOEGAARDEN - Saturday morning. I am entering the car park of sports hall De Struysvogel in Hoegaarden. There are plenty of cars already and between them, blankets are spread out, covered in a wide array of beer glasses, a rusty enamel sign, a handful of bottle caps and a display of beer mugs. Taking a glimpse through an open car door, I spot a collection of vintage enamel signs on the back seat. Collectors are busy negotiating a swap but the real work here is done inside the sports hall. I am wading into a sea of beer mats, bottles, posters, bottle caps and promotional materials from times gone by...
Lambic beers ‘on the up’ at Brewery Lindemans
VLEZENBEEK/BRUSSELS - Lambic beers are going down a treat across the globe; the same goes for pure tastes. “Look at the Belgians,” comments Dirk Lindemans, co-owner and CEO of Brouwerij Lindemans. “We are travelling more widely and observe how Belgian beer is promoted and served in other countries. This makes us value our own ‘liquid heritage’ even more.” Nevertheless, you have to be initiated into the secrets of appreciating lambic beers, particularly those that are at the more extreme end of the scale. Today’s consumer is generally more familiar with pronounced tastes, largely thanks to the global success of craft brewers. “You train your taste buds, just like you do with wine,” is Dirk’s opinion...
A visit to beer wholesaler and retailer Dranken Geers
OOSTAKKER/GHENT - Beer lovers need no introduction to Dranken Geers, a wholesaler and retailer in Oostakker, a village in the vicinity of Ghent. The shelves here are groaning under the weight of around eight hundred different Belgian beers. The Geers family have been ‘doing’ beer for hundreds of years. In the 18th century they set up a village brewery on the site that is now home to the shop. “There used to be six breweries in our village,” Dominiek Geers, the owner, tells us. “My ancestors were brewing top-fermented beers to serve from the tap." "Flip-top bottles were also in use as long as two hundred years ago...
Our blog is dedicated to every possible aspect of the richly varied world of Belgian beer and brewing. Even if you are a regular visitor you will discover something new every single time you browse the site.
Basically we are an ever expanding online magazine and all our blog articles are retained in our archive. If you missed out on a particular story you will always be able to find it again by clicking ‘blog’ and then ‘older’, or use the blog archive navigation on the right hand side of this page. The site is responsive, so we are mobile friendly and any page can be read on any device.
But what inspires us to find and write all these stories? There are those topics that are tied inseparably to the world of beer. For example, you’ll find articles on basic ingredients like yeast, malt and hops.
And to get our facts right we consult the top experts from Belgium, who have ties to universities and brewing colleges around the world. Some of these specialists go beyond conducting academic research: they produce their own test brews or, on a modest scale, bring beers that had vanished back to life.
We also invite these authorities to share their vision on trends in the beer world and how Belgian brewers are responding to them. We will examine our traditional beer styles: oude geuze, Vlaams roodbruin or gruitbier, as well as the historic abbey and Trappist beers.
Interviews with brewery owners and head brewers are featured regularly. These insiders give you a glimpse into the brewing kettle with added inside knowledge. Such a story may be prompted by the launch of a new beer, the opening of a new brew hall or a brewery expansion.
We will also shine our light on important events such as beer festivals, tours or contests and, of course, on our characteristic café culture. And we’ll feature all these funny stories that explain the origins of quirky beer names. There are always drops of news, whether small or large, to be supped from the beer barrel.
Beer is always the starting point for this blog. But we also like to take a peek over the brewery wall to the rich worlds of Belgian cheeses and chocolate, both of which happen to be taste even better with a good glass of beer.
We introduce you to Belgian food, often paired or cooked with beer and regional products such as ham from the Ardennes, freshly harvested hop shoots and paté made with hops from the Westhoek region.
We also like to establish links that are perhaps less evident: meat and beer for example. Or we will compile an entire gastronomic menu for you, recommending a beer with every course, something we like to call beerstronomy®.
Every now and again we’ll hazard a step into a different world, but one that is close to that of beer: whisky and other spirits; some brewers happen to be distillers as well.
If you think of breweries and beer, tourism springs to mind. Many cycle trails and hiking paths are named after beers or breweries. We will cover important events like the carnaval festivities held all around the country and put our spotlight on local folklore like the Ducasse in Mons of Ath. After all, wherever there is a feast, the beer will flow.
Finally, we will place beers in the context of their city or region of origin. Orval, for example, cannot be understood without understanding the Gaume region in the southernmost corner of Belgium.
This blog continues to grow, just like the rest of our website. Pop in from time to time to discover yet another aspect of the rich beer culture to be found throughout Belgium.
ARLON/AARLEN - Beer trader and sommelier Christophe Gillard of Mi-Orge Mi-Houblon in Aarlen (Arlon) isn’t one for beating around the bush: “I only sell beers that have my complete support, usually from brewers I know per... [ more ]
Enjoy a Belgian abbey beer and you will taste the fruits of a long tradition that is thankfully still around today. For centuries on end, abbeys were the ‘engine’ of the economy. It is hard to o... [ more ]
HOEGAARDEN - Saturday morning. I am entering the car park of sports hall De Struysvogel in Hoegaarden. There are plenty of cars already and between them, blankets are spread out, covered in a wi... [ more ]
1990 was an important year for Brouwerij Roman, as they launched a triumphant trio of abbey beers: Ename Blond, Dubbel and Tripel. The launch coincided with an open air spectacle h... [ more ]
Beer Tourism Newsletter Signup
Enter your name and email address on the right and click "SignUp" to join.