Erik's Highlights: Unmissable Belgian beer must do’s
Author: Erik Verdonck / Published: 2013-08-19 21:30:51 +0200 / Last Updated: about 3 years ago
SCHOTEN - All these endless lists… you know where I’m coming from. All those things you want to do, or stop doing, before you blow out any more candles on your birthday cake. All those beers you want to try; all those breweries you would like to visit…
“Which brewery did you enjoy visiting the most?” a British blogger asked me not so long ago. My personal opinion is that I like to avoid the tried-and-tested formulas. I very much prefer an à la carte approach, but I understand that from an organisational point of view, these standardised procedures cannot always be avoided and have their place in the brewery visit pantheon.
How do you choose? I am now nervously fidgeting at my desk. Shall I nail my colours to the mast and make a recommendation? Oh well, why not. Enjoy this selection, each of which was inspired by very different criteria.
Brasserie A Vapeur in Pipaix comes highly recommended. Every last Saturday of the month, the brewer starts up an authentic 19th century steam engine. You won’t believe your eyes, or your ears! If you want to take pictures, please allow your camera the proper time to reach the right temperature.
Stay for lunch so you can have a chat with Jean-Louis. A unique experience not to be had anywhere else. From Pipaix you can get to Brasserie d'Erquelinnes in no time at all. Whenever I hear this name it makes my day.
Patrick Hoogstoel and friends brew for fun. If the beer runs out, they will simply make some more.
You get the feeling that you are in a village straight out of an Asterix adventure - everyone rolls up their sleeves to produce the magic potion.
Make an appointment for a Saturday and take note: you may know when you are due to arrive but you never know when you are going to leave.
Belgium's Favourite Beer Gnome
A visit to Brasserie d’Achouffe with founder and host Chris Bauweraerts never fails to excite me. Chris is a born storyteller. He will explain how his former partner, brewer Pierre Gobron, came into possession of the secret of the Chouffe recipe that was passed on in whispers by a tiny lad with a red pointy hat.
When he has exhausted his 'well' of stories, Chris will no doubt delight you with a freshly prepared Chouffe Sabayon. Bon appétit!
If you want to explore the further adventures of Chris & Co, these have been written up for posterity in his best seller 'Chouffestory'. You can buy it from the brewery.
Sint-Canarus owes its name to drinkers’ club ‘Semper Canarus’, which, loosely translated, means ‘always drunk’. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.
The brewer, a.k.a. Doctor Canarus, will initiate you into the secrets of brewing and the therapeutic qualities of hops and barley. A great excuse for a visit, if ever you needed one.
Back to School
The Struise Brouwers have been giving the former Oostvleteren village school a bad reputation. No idea why… Carlo Grootaert and brewer Urbain Coutteau are happy to share the fruits of their experimental labours with you.
Then point your compass at Moen to see what their Alvinne colleagues have been brewing up in the tanks of this microbrewery.
Recent Blog Posts
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 th ... [ read 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 ... [ read 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. ... [ read 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 ... [ read more ]
You must be logged in to leave a comment
OOSTVLETEREN/WOESTEN - What is special about the air or the soil in the village of Vleteren? Last week, Ratebeer awarded De Struise Brouwers the accolade of Best Belgian Brewery. Four of their b... [ more ]
Have you ever visited a brewery? Were you bowled over by its location of was it the beer that made the lasting impression? My personal tally of brewery visits is now in the region of 150, all of... [ more ]
ACHOUFFE / WIBRIN - Chouffe fans, of whom there are many, will have marked the second weekend in August with an extra star in their diaries. That is when the tiny Ardennes village of Achouffe, the home base of the eponym... [ more ]
OOSTVLETEREN - In 2008, a group of men from Woesten/Vleteren were voted the world’s best brewers by ratebeer.com. They have recently started offering tastings in an old school building located in the village of Vleteren.... [ more ]
PIPAIX - Embark on the new visitor experience at Dubuisson. You can put your own group together for a tour of the Dubuisson brewery. Group visits require a minimum of 15 participants and are available ... [ more ]
The Houblon Chouffe is a crossover beer – a Belgian interpretation of the India Pale Ale (IPA), a beer style originating in England. Extra hops were added to these ales, to make s... [ more ]
Beer Tourism Newsletter Signup
Enter your name and email address on the right and click "SignUp" to join.