Belgian Beer News
Yser Tower scheduled to get major facelift
DIKSMUIDE - It cannot be mere coincidence that on the 11th of November it was announced that the Ijzertoren, or Yser tower, as well as its museum in Diksmuide, West Flanders, are scheduled to get a complete make-over gearing up for the Great War Centenary in 2014. The focus on renovating the site will not only be esthetic but will also focus on content and concept. The aim is to create an even more serene and respectful character to the memorial site ahead of the expected influx of visitors between 2014 and 2018. In addition, there are also large infrastructural plans to expand the site, examples include increased parking spaces and creation of jetties and boat moorings on the Yser river. Content wise the museum and exhibitions will concentrate on the daily life of soldiers in the Great War and how they attempted to cope while living through combat and how they dealt with the trauma and horror once they returned back home. The renewed approach will mean that weapons and uniforms will not be on show after the make-over...
French plan to raise tax on beer meets Belgian resistance
BRUSSELS - In an attempt to replenish a depleted treasury chest and allegedly help fight the economic crisis, France aims at raising the taxes on beer starting the 1st of January 2013. The French plan is to increase the duty imposed on beer by 160% while unsurprisingly, duty on wine will remain unchanged. The new duty will depend on alcohol content but would mean that specialty beers will cost up to €2 more each than before! Belgian Brewers are outraged at the new proposal; 32% of their entire export currently goes to France and the concern is that the huge tax hike will decimate sales. The fear in Belgium is that these drastic measures will result in a collapse of the French beer market as well as domestic job losses in the industry. Using diplomatic efforts, the world’s number one beer nation is fighting what has been called an "unjust and protectionist change to French law". According to the Flemish liberal community senator Bart Tommelein, who also happens to be the vice-president of the Belgian Beer Club, the new law goes against the principal of European free market regulation...
Belgian national football team 20th in new FIFA rankings
ZURICH - Recent wins in the World Cup qualification matches against Serbia and Scotland have seen the Red Devils jump from number 30 to 20th in the Fifa world ranking (published 7th November). Their ever highest ranking was 16th but that was back in 2003; their lowest was 71st in 2007. Lead by national coach Marc Wilmots, (with 70 caps and 28 goals also one of the most successful and respected Red Devils of all time) they have finally shed the negativity that seem to surround the team for several years and are starting to play to their potential. After competing in every major tournament for decades they failed to qualify for either the World Cup or European Championships for the past 12 years. The nation was losing hope and the success of the ‘84 World Cup in Mexico where they finished 4th seemed an all too distant memory. Today however and to the delight of the Belgian fans the team is steaming towards the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil...
ERTVELDE - To track down a brewer within his own domain is a high-ranking form of sports, or that’s the impression I get. After a bit of practice I spot Jef Versele, CEO of the Van Steenberge brewery, well hidden amongst... [ more ]
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 ]
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 ]
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