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Erik's Highlights: Belgian Café Culture

30
OCT
2013
AUTHOR
ERIK
VERDONCK
0
COMMENTS

What is Belgian beer without a café in which to enjoy it? For as long as anyone can recall the two have been inseparable. Throughout Belgium you will find cafés in every size, shape and colour and catering for every taste - just like the beers you’ll find inside. There will always be a café that feels like home to you, a place where you can enjoy having a pint or two. Our ‘stamcafé’, or local, is a second home where we can shoot the breeze at the bar while the beer flows. Any self-respecting village will have a pub, café or ‘staminee’ overlooked by the church tower. Trendy dance cafés, with high decibel music blasting out appeal to a younger public...

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Tastes of Limburg: Hasselt

29
OCT
2013
AUTHOR
ERIK
VERDONCK
0
COMMENTS

HASSELT - This city definitely is a tasty destination. Despite its size it’s a surprisingly diverse city with a wide choice of restaurants and specialty shops, perfect for those who want to explore on foot. My culinary journey of discovery starts at the edge of the town, in Luc Bellings’ starred restaurant. The chef is taking a brief pause between getting in provisions and producing the next ‘coup de feu’ as we discuss taste and regional products. “We have the best fruit in the world,” asserts this native-born Haspengouwenaar. Luc likes to work with regional products such as Achels cheese from the Catharinadal dairy, which is steeped in the nearby abbey’s Trappist beer...

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Belgian beer experts: Hildegard van Ostaden & Urthel

21
OCT
2013
AUTHOR
ERIK
VERDONCK
0
COMMENTS

RUISELEDE - Hildegard van Ostaden of the Urthel microbrewery in Ruiselede near Tielt is a qualified brewing engineer. After she had taught for a few years and undertaken commissions on behalf of other breweries, Hildegard started brewing her own beer in 2000 together with her husband Bas who draws the label designs. They dreamt up the legends of the Erthels that are now associated with their beer. The Erthels surfaced in the spring of 2000, drinking Urthel and raising their beer mugs with a loud and cheerful ‘Paché!’ The Urthel beers are brewed by La Trappe in the Netherlands. Since 2011 Hildegard has had a microbrewery at her disposal where she can experiment with new beers to her heart’s content. The brewery has an idyllic setting between field and forest where, in her tavern, Hildegard serves regional dishes with her beers...

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Time for Tongeren

13
OCT
2013
AUTHOR
ERIK
VERDONCK
0
COMMENTS

TONGEREN - This is one of the oldest cities in Belgium, with a history stretching back to the Romans. This short guide will introduce you to the must-sees of this fascinating city. As you approach Tongeren – from any direction - you will see the tower of the Basilica. It has always been a beacon. The current church was built on the location of an older Romanesque cloister church, which lives on in the handsome surviving courtyard that used to give access to the church, the dining room, the chapter house and the dormitory. The basilica you can see now is the result of hundreds of years of building and alteration since it first went up in 1240...

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Beer Festivals: Modeste 2013

9
OCT
2013
AUTHOR
ERIK
VERDONCK
0
COMMENTS

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....

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