Belgian Beer News
Omer Vander Ghinste celebrates 125 years of brewing craftsmanship
KORTRIJK/BELLEGEM - It was in 1892 that Brouwerij Omer Vander Ghinste opened for business in Bellegem, a village near Kortrijk in West Flanders, close to the French border. Since then, countless glasses of classic Flemish red-brown ale have flowed out of the company’s oak foeders, the big wooden barrels that are so characteristic of traditional Belgian brewing. But Omer Vander Ghinste hasn’t just preserved a tradition, it’s expanded both in size and in the variety of beers it produces. In 2010 the brewery pumped out 5 million litres of beer; this year it will be 9 million. In the same seven-year period, turnover more than doubled to €23 million euros. It’s a brewery with a strong connection to its home region, managing 250 cafés around Kortrijk, Ypres and Ghent, while exports, at 10% of production, are quite modest...
Brasserie de Brunehaut - In tune with the seasons
RONGY - In Rongy and all around it, spring is in the air. The fruit trees are in bloom and nature has put on its most beautiful face. I’m on my way to Brasserie de Brunehaut, a brewery surrounded by orchards. Here you can sense the rhythm of the seasons. It is no coincidence that rural breweries are great supporters of their ‘terroir’. The link with agriculture, the village and the region is never far away...
Westmalle Dubbel or Westmalle Tripel?
WESTMALLE - If you order a Westmalle you’re likely to be served with a Tripel. This is no coincidence as this strong blonde Trappist beer now accounts for 75% of the beer output of this abbey brewery. It used to be exactly the other way around. You would order a ‘Trappist’ and expect a dark Dubbel. Both of these beer styles have a long heritage. Would you like to join us on our time travels? This story commences in 1836 when Westmalle had just gained abbey status...
Amburon Belgian Craftbrewery - A new brewery in Belgium’s oldest city
TONGEREN - After a fifty-year wait the moment has finally arrived. Once again, the city of Tongeren can boast its own brewery and city beers. The story commences with the 2009 Coronation Celebrations, a festival that is held every seven. To mark the occasion, Davy Daniëls and Bart Durlet launched a city beer under the name of Amburon Blond. Both were exclusively involved in contract brewing with the Anders brewery. Anders has now been sold and Davy has founded the Amburon Belgian Craftbrewery...
Luc De Laet, the brewer's butcher...
ANTWERP - Why would a butcher open a store at a brewery? The question doesn’t throw Luc De Laet, the man who has done just that at the De Koninck brewery. “We share our respect for traditional crafts,” he responds. “And we are both going back to the roots of our trade. Each animal has its own story. We use its meat in the most sustainable way possible, ‘from nose to tail’.”. Crafts and everything ‘artisan’ is hip these days...
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.
KORTRIJK/BELLEGEM - It was in 1892 that Brouwerij Omer Vander Ghinste opened for business in Bellegem, a village near Kortrijk in West Flanders, close to the French border. Since then, countless... [ more ]
TONGEREN - After a fifty-year wait the moment has finally arrived. Once again, the city of Tongeren can boast its own brewery and city beers. The story commences with the 2009 Coronation Celebra... [ more ]
RONGY - In Rongy and all around it, spring is in the air. The fruit trees are in bloom and nature has put on its most beautiful face. I’m on my way to http://belgium.beertourism.com/belgian-breweries/brasserie-d... [ more ]
WESTMALLE - If you order a Westmalle you’re likely to be served with a Tripel. This is no coincidence as this strong blonde Trappist beer now accounts for 75% of the beer output of this http://belgium.beertouris... [ more ]
ANTWERP - Why would a butcher open a store at a brewery? The question doesn’t throw Luc De Laet, the man who has done just that at the http://belgium.beertourism.com/blog/de-koninck-antwerp-city-brewery-experien... [ more ]
This is a beer with a pedigree. The Chimay Rouge was brewed for the very first time back in 1862, although it was a somewhat different beer back then. The biggest leap forward occ... [ more ]
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