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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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Tastes of the Ardennes: "Jambon d’Ardenne"

30
SEP
2013
AUTHOR
ERIK
VERDONCK
0
COMMENTS

NASSOGNE - Just the name, Ardennes, will set gourmets drooling. They’re getting spontaneous visions of a chunky slice of bread, home-made on the farm, buttered thickly and then covered with a slice of Ardennes ham. We can go one better. We’re having a taste of the real ‘jambon d’Ardenne’. On the outskirts of the village of Nassogne only 90 minutes away from the busy capital stands a handful of wooden shacks, straight from the movie set of the Three Little Pigs. The rosy-cheeked inhabitants welcome me with a choir of grunts...

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Erik's Highlights: The other Chimay

30
SEP
2013
AUTHOR
ERIK
VERDONCK
0
COMMENTS

CHIMAY - The Chimay name has a resounding reputation in the beer world. This Trappist beer can now be found in 40 countries. The town itself, its surrounding region and the Trappist cheese are far less well known than the abbey and its beer. This is undeserved, as it turns out. The small town of Chimay nestles between the forests of the Fagne and the Thiérache regions, the latter continuing into France. It’s a normal Friday morning and the market is bustling...

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Trappist beer, a Belgian success story

26
SEP
2013
AUTHOR
ERIK
VERDONCK
1
COMMENT

I recently heard it straight from the brewer’s mouth: “You need a good story nowadays if you want to sell beer.” This may go some way in explaining the hype around Belgian Trappist beer. Achel, Chimay, Orval, Rochefort, Westmalle or Westvleteren; they are often impossible to track down, and when they do make it to a store, they fly off the shelves. A clever marketing ploy? Yes, it has all the hallmarks. Make sure you offer an excellent product that is very hard to find, feed the rumour mill and all of us will pay over the odds to acquire such a rarity. But this is too much of a simplification of the success of Trappist beers. First and foremost, every Trappist abbey and brewery is in a different position...

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Erik's Highlights - Belgian beer stories

24
SEP
2013
AUTHOR
ERIK
VERDONCK
0
COMMENTS

A good story sells and your local pub is the ideal place to swap stories. The more the beer is flowing, the more the stories grow in the telling. That is how the Guinness Book Of Records was founded: discussing the craziest records possible at the bar, preferably with a pint of Irish stout close to hand. Our brewers also know how it’s done. A striking name, an eye-catching bottle, glass or label, a different way of serving or pulling the beer... There is always a story to tell around a beer...

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