Belgian Beer News
In-between the foeders at Rondje Roodbruin
ZUID-WEST-VLAANDEREN - The biannual Rondje Roudbruin event was held for the third time this year. Four breweries; Rodenbach, Verhaeghe-Vichte, Omer Vander Ghinste and De Brabandere opened their doors to the general public. It is no coincidence that all four of them are in the Lys region near Kortrijk and Roeselare. This is the cradle of Flemish red-brown ale, with its typically sour and sweet taste, and the brewing secret that lies in the use of foeders (large oak casks/barrels). At Rodenbach you will feel like you are in a winery or wine Chateau, walking through rooms filled with a total of 294 foeders each containing up to 650 hl, with some dating back to the 19th century. These oak foeders let just enough oxygen into the beer, where micro-organisms turn the acids into fruity esters, resulting in the Rodenbach beers...
Good beer hunting at the 2016 Zythos Beer Festival
LEUVEN - Hordes of beer lovers are flowing towards Leuven. They come from all around Belgium and far beyond. ‘Zythos’ is an important event in the diary of every beer lover. A visit to Europe’s greatest beer festival is a ‘must’ for beer aficionados from the Americas, Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, France and, last but not least, Belgium. They have come to the right place. There is no better way to sample the great variety of the Belgian beer world...
Café Manuscript, a quarter of a century young
OSTEND - The Neville Brothers come bursting out of the musical wallpaper. Just for a moment or two, café Manuscript in Ostend has been shipped to the shores and swamps of New Orleans. Café owner Glenn Rotsaert has no complaints about the sound levels. Together with the previous owner, Patrick Arnoudt – called Patje by his friends – he makes an annual pilgrimage to the city on the bayou to lap up as many music performances as he can. “Have you ever seen the Neville Brothers live in concert?” I want to know. “Five times,” Glenn responds, beaming with pride...
Liquid heritage, Rodenbach Flemish red-brown sour ale
ROESELARE - The Rodenbach Flemish red-brown beer from Roeselare is part of Belgium’s liquid heritage. Eugène Rodenbach, its original brewer, drew his inspiration from the dark English porter beers, introduced to Belgium from 1812. They were produced with a controlled souring process that increased their shelf life. From this process was born mixed fermentation, in which the brewer blends young, top-fermented beer that has finished fermenting, with soured beer fermented in large foeder barrels. “It’s the best of two worlds,” master brewer Rudi Ghequire says with a smile. “You add a young beer to tone down the sourness of the beer." "While the lactic acid and acetic acid in the old brew safeguard your beer from harmful bacteria.” We are strolling in Rodenbach’s impressive foeder hall, flanked by barrels that are several metres tall...
The Duvel is in the detail
PUURS - Some beers are veritable icons and Duvel is certainly one of them. If you spot a tulip-shaped glass, even without the logo, you will have a good idea of what its contents might be. This particular degustation glass goes all the way back to the ‘flower power’ era of the late 1960s. It holds an entire 33cl bottle but don’t pour out the beer too quickly or it will just turn into airy foam. The glass narrows towards the top and this helps to sustain the immense collar of froth. The design is well thought out too...
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.
ZUID-WEST-VLAANDEREN - The biannual Rondje Roudbruin event was held for the third time this year. Four breweries; Rodenbach, Verhaeghe-Vichte, Omer Vander Ghinste and De Brabandere opened their ... [ more ]
LEUVEN - Hordes of beer lovers are flowing towards Leuven. They come from all around Belgium and far beyond. ‘Zythos’ is an important event in the diary of every beer lover. A visit to Europe’s ... [ more ]
OSTEND - The Neville Brothers come bursting out of the musical wallpaper. Just for a moment or two, café Manuscript in Ostend has been shipped to the shores and swamps of New Orleans. Café own... [ more ]
Wilderen Kriek is based on lambiek from the Omer Vander Ghinste Brewery and was launched in 2012. Omer Vander Ghinste is one of only two breweries that produce lambiek outside the ... [ more ]
Beer Tourism Newsletter Signup
Enter your name and email address on the right and click "SignUp" to join.