Belgian Beer News
Time for Liège
LIEGE - Behind the imposing Palais des Princes-Evêques (the Prince-Bishops’ Palace) at Place Saint-Lambert, the city of Liège reaches dizzying heights. The citadel on the hill is a maze of alleyways, stepped streets, terraces and gardens. An invigorating climb rewards me with endless panoramas over the Fiery City (La Cité Ardente) and in this green oasis all the clamour of the streets fades into nothing. Just a ten-minute walk and the city’s hubbub has given way to the quiet outdoors. Standing in front of the majestic Palais des Princes-Evêques in the heart of Liège you feel the weight of 1,000 years of history. Generations of Prince-Bishops made their mark on the building, adding elements of gothic and renaissance architecture and then their revived ‘neo’ styles...
Belgian brewers victorious in Brussels Beer Challenge
BRUSSELS - The second Brussels Beer Challenge was an unqualified success for Belgian brewers. Sixty-eight Belgian breweries took part and they submitted 139 samples for tasting. Belgium was rewarded with 66 medals (20 Gold, 15 Silver, 16 Bronze and 15 Commendations). We were joined on the winners’ podium by the Americans with 36 medals and the Italians who won 26 medals. All the beers submitted for entry were tasted by professional tasters from the host nation, Germany, Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Denmark, the USA, Estonia, France, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and the UK. The 54-strong international jury was divided into nine groups, each judging beers of a particular style...
First Beer Tourism Café launched in Ostend
OSTEND - Good news for beer lovers on the Belgian coast, the first Beer Tourism Café now offers them a warm welcome in Ostend. No, this is not the first in a long chain of cloned establishments to be found in every Belgian city. The Beer Tourism Café is none other than the familiar Café Manuscript in the Langestraat. So what, exactly, has been changed? We went to investigate and our many questions were answered at the bar, as they should be in a café. The Manuscript is a typical ‘bruine kroeg’, or brown café, where everyone instantly feels at home. That is the great achievement of the very convivial owners Glenn Rotsaert and his lovely partner Vanessa Demeij...
Belgian beer shops: Prik & Tik Marlou
ZONHOVEN/HASSELT - Drinks specialist Prik & Tik "Marlou" in Zonhoven near Hasselt is the type of shop that will feature in the dreams of any beer lover. “We have 1,000 Belgian beers in store, 400 in large bottles; that is unique,” manager Linda proudly tells us. Her father started up the wholesale business in 1967 and she took over in 1986. “We were the first wholesaler of specialty beers in the province of Limburg,” Linda informs us. “To begin with, the business was contractually tied to the Haacht brewery. At that time we were selling mainly pils and specialty beers...
Belgian beer experts: Hedwig Neven & Duvel-Moortgat
PUURS - It’s a Friday morning at the Duvel Moortgat brewery. I have had to wait for an interview but I now find myself face-to-face with Head Brewer Hedwig Neven, who has been working here for 20 years. The coffee – darn! – is ready. I have just learnt that this Belgian brewery has taken over American microbrewery Boulevard Brewery from Kansas. ‘Microbrewery’ is a relative term as the Boulevard Brewery is five times the size of the Ommegang Brewery, in New York State, Duvel Moortgat’s first venture into the American market. Hedwig Neven remains stoically calm: “The first half year, I will be backwards and forwards a lot to the US.” Duvel Moortgat strings its breweries together like beads: Achouffe, Liefmans, De Koninck, Ommegang, Boulevard… “I think we now have over a 100 beers in our portfolio,” Hedwig tells me...
GENVAL - It’s 1909 when John Martin, a Brit, makes his home in Antwerp, earning his living by provisioning sailing vessels. Before long John’s deliveries are heading onto the ships of the Red Star Line, ... [ more ]
NAMUR - At the 6th edition of the Brussels Beer Challenge, hosted this year by the city of Namur, Belgium once again lived up to its cast-iron reputation as one of the most important beer countries in the world. ... [ more ]
STEENHUFFEL - The annual hop harvest at Palm Belgian Craft Brewers is truly a festival of and for the people. We survey the busy crowds on the last Sunday in August in the hop field in the shadow of the ... [ more ]
VLEZENBEEK/DILBEEK - It is often said that lambics are only for those with an experienced palate. At Brouwerij Lindemans, one of Belgium’s favourite brewers of this traditional style, they beg to differ. ... [ more ]
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 ]
DeuS Brut des Flandres is a unique brew that was introduced to the world in 2002. It is a sparkling, honest and pure beer created with just water, yeast, malt and hops. The careful... [ more ]
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