Beer Festivals: Modeste 2013
Author: Erik Verdonck / Published: 2013-10-09 10:33:51 +0200 / Last Updated: about 3 years ago
ANTWERP - 'Modeste' was the first name of the man who spent half a century at the helm of Antwerp Brewery De Koninck. The eponymous beer festival, now held for the third time, is meant to be a homage to ‘father’ De Koninck.
‘Modest’ also indicates that this is a small-scale festival. Modesty is the hallmark of the bigger brewers. No-one is putting up a grand show here. The glass will do the talking for each of them..
I see a remarkable number of microbreweries. Well over thirty of them heeded the call this year. Newcomer Bertingchamps from Gembloers, barely four months old, is the latest addition. Dochter van de Korenaar, known for its stout matured in whisky barrels, attracts a wide audience with its niche beers.
It is surprising to find so many young microbreweries as well as smaller traditional breweries. In other words: how different worlds manage to find one another. Time to make my way to the bar for a chat and another beer.
Pierre-Alex Carlier of Brasserie de Blaugies manages to tell me that business is booming in his brewery, in between pouring the umpteenth Moneuse. Colleague Luc Pirot of Kempisch Vuur can look back on a good summer.
The terrace of his brewery in Zandhoven was rarely empty. He is another one who has been able to pour his beers without interruption. I am chatting to a Canadian-Belgian beer fan and an American tour operator.
Evidently, international visitors also manage to find their way to the former depot of De Koninck brewery.
In the meantime the Antwerps Bier College (ABC) is guiding visitors through the brewery. The tour includes the equipment of cheese affineur Michel Van Tricht in the former bottling plant.
We catch a glimpse of the old brewing hall, which will soon make way for the new De Koninck visitors’ centre, "this will be the ideal place to enjoy a bolleke De Koninck" I hear myself thinking.
Women and beer ?
Now and again a call comes through on the broadcasting system for a presentation by hop professor Denis De Keukeleire or Sofie Van Rafelghem with her new book ‘Vrouwen en bier’ (Women and beer). But if you are having a good time and are meeting lots of people you know, time flies.
And before you know it you have missed another presentation. Better luck next time...? At any rate I am not here to do a lot of tasting.
My focus is on the camera. Just like every other beer festival I am coming across beer fans who attend each and every event, familiar figures, forever in thrall to beer. Some of them may indulge a little too much. Is the truth hidden at the bottom of the glass?
The atmosphere is lively. A Dixieland brass band provides the musical wallpaper. And now the sun has come out, so the party is a guaranteed success.
Who shone by their absence? Artisanal lambic brewers and geuzestekers, trappist beers... It could be that they don’t really need this extra attention. Or was there no space at the festival? It couldn't have crammed in many more brewers.
And the public? Very varied and of all ages. In the beer loving city of Antwerp and from further away they are happy to make a trip out for a good glass of Belgian beer. And who could, or would, disagree?
Antwerp Blog Posts
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, ... [ read more ]
ANTWERP - Today, we are meeting up for a second tasting session in this beer and food pairing series at ‘t Zilte restaurant, the proud owner of two Michelin stars, perched high above the Flemish city ... [ read more ]
ANTWERP - The 4th edition of the Brussels Beer Challenge once again put Belgium firmly on the world map. After Brussels, Liège and Leuven, it was Antwerp’s turn to host this internationally renowned b ... [ read more ]
ANTWERP - The new interactive De Koninck brewery tour will completely immerse you in the world of the Antwerp City Brewery. In exchange for just €12 you can find out everything there is to ... [ read more ]
You must be logged in to leave a comment
MECHELEN - The historic city of Mechelen, halfway between Brussels and Antwerp, is truly a hidden gem. The presence of the Dukes of Burgundy, who ruled here in the late middle ages, still permeates the ancient city centr... [ more ]
BRUSSELS/ZAVENTEM - This year Brussels Airport is 60 years young! The airport is planning to mark this milestone by showcasing the very best of Belgian produce, which would not be complete without ... [ more ]
At the BeerLovers’ Café just behind Liège’s City Hall we get together to taste the limited edition Chimay Grande Réserve Fermentée en Barriques 2018, a Trappist beer aged in whisky barrels. T... [ more ]
LIESHOUT/STEENHUFFEL - Since 2016 the Palm, De Hoorn and Rodenbach breweries have been owned by Bavaria, a Dutch-based brewer. Two years after the takeover, Bavaria has been re-named Swinkels Family ... [ more ]
BRUSSELS - To be authentic is not a competition and neither is it a fashionable attitude. You either are an authentic brewer or you are not. You are driven, you make great beers that have a soul, you have a good story to... [ more ]
This Antwerp classic, launched over a century ago in 1913, catches your eye straight away. That's thanks to its intense mahogany colour and its robustly frothy collar. De Koninck ... [ more ]
Beer Tourism Newsletter Signup
Enter your name and email address on the right and click "SignUp" to join.