Belgian Beer News
Erik's Highlights: The stars of the brewing kettle
Take an unbranded glass and taste a blond, an amber, a bruin or a rood. I’d like to know if you can guess the beer and the brewery every single time. This gets even harder if the test comprises some lesser known or hard to find beers. But today I’m not here to discuss quality. I’d rather see this as one of the side-effects of a lively and rich beer culture. Some brewers have just started up and will take years to create their perfect beer; some will never really manage it...
The Belgian Brewers and the Knighthood of the Brewer's Mash Staff
BRUSSELS - The Brouwershuis building on the Grand Marché/Grote Markt in Brussels is the home of the Union of Belgian Brewers (Unie van de Belgische Brouwers), or just the Belgian Brewers for short. They are one of the oldest professional associations in the world with roots in the original brewers’ guild, founded in the 14th century. The Ridderschap van de Roerstok der Brouwers, the Knighthood of the Brewer’s Mash Staff, represents the traditions and dignity of the noble brewing trade throughout the ages. Every year people who have made an exceptional contribution to the promotion of Belgian beer both at home and abroad are ‘knighted’ in a ceremony held in Brussels’ town hall. Loyal to their tradition, the Belgian Brewers celebrate the Feast of King Gambrinus each year in February. The patron saint of brewers, Saint Arnold, is venerated in September during a ceremony preceding the annual Belgian Beer Weekend held in the Grand Marché in Brussels...
Brussels stock exchange turns into 'Belgian Beer World'
BRUSSELS - 2018 will see the opening of Belgian Beer World; a visitor experience that is built on a grand scale to highlight all aspects of Belgian Beer Culture. The former Brussels stock exchange will be the new Mecca for beer fans as well as a tourist venue attracting people to Brussels. In 2018 the Belgian brewers will finally have their own showcase to rival the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin or the Heineken Experience in Amsterdam. Just five-minutes’ walk from the Grand Place/Grote Markt you’ll be able to immerse yourself in this country’s love affair with its wonderful brewing arts. What do we mean by Belgian beer culture? Nowhere else in the world will you come across as many kinds of beer. Where are so many beers matured in oak barrels and ‘foeders’ like fine wines? Where else are there four different types of fermentation in one and the same beer country? Where will you see so many beers produced by in-bottle fermentation, using the example of the ‘méthode champenoise’? Who can match the many recognised abbey beers, each with their own history going back hundreds of years? What of the precious Trappist beers, brewed within the abbey walls; the many herbal and fruit beers? In which country was beerstronomy born? Where else would you find a genuine beer tradition which has been, and still is, interpreteted by the ‘Knighthood of the Brewer’s Mash Staff’ to continue the work of the ancient beer guilds? Where is as much attention paid to the pouring ritual both from the bottle as from the barrel – a trade which is taught through professional training offered to hotels, restaurants and cafés - and each beer is served in its own glass? Where will you encounter more highly-acclaimed brewery schools where you can learn to be a brewmaster? “The greatest variety of styles, the most gastronomically interesting specialties, and the most unusual beers in the world are produced in Belgium.” Michael Jackson, The Pocket Guide to Beer...
Belgian beer experts: Willem Van Herreweghen & Timmermans
PAJOTTENLAND - Willem Van Herreweghen: “You wouldn't make a beer to get into the Guinness Book of Records!” A rendezvous in the heart of Pajottenland, just a stone’s throw from Brussels. I let my gaze wander over the slightly undulating green meadows, where two Brabant cart horses gambol. Could there be a more idyllic sight? Today I am the guest of beer expert Willem Van Herreweghen. For thirty (30!) years Willem was Production Manager at Palm Breweries. He now works as a technical adviser for a number of breweries, both in Belgium and abroad, including Timmermans. He was hired to fine-tune the brewing of their oude gueuze and lambiek and is co-ordinating the start-up of microbreweries for the Anthony Martin group which owns Timmermans...
Erik's highlights: Beer games & distilling Belgian brewers
Beer author Christian Deglas has said it before: “wine drinkers look into their glass, beer drinkers look at each other”. Playing dice or cards is far more enjoyable with a pint on the side, something that has not changed for centuries. The relatively modern board game of Trivial Pursuit has now taken this a step further. It has made beer the subject of its new board game. The biertrivial version of the game (Beer Trivial Pursuit) challenges those who think they know their beer with 1,800 questions in a French or Dutch language version. “Don’t think you are safe because you know your stuff”, says Christian Deglas, who knows the beer world like the back of his hand and has given the game a try...
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 ]
BRUSSELS - To be authentic is not a competition and neither is it a fashionable attitude. You either are an authentic brewer or you are not. You are driven, you make great beers that have a soul, you have a good story to... [ more ]
LEUVEN - 12,500 fans made their way to Leuven for what was already the 15th edition of the Zythos beer festival. Many fans travelled a long way to get to Belgium. They flocked here from many European ... [ more ]
MARCHE-EN-FAMENNE - “Their cuisine is on a par with that of the French and the portions are generous...” When people discuss the Belgian art of living, it won’t be long before the term ‘Burgundian’ ... [ more ]
BRUGES - Eleven years ago it all started off on quite a modest scale in the medieval town hall of Bruges, under the imposing gaze of the Belfry. Now, in 2018, the Bruges Beer Festival has spread its wings and encompasses... [ more ]
Wipers Times 14 is the first beer from Brouwerij Kazematten. It gets its name from the famous ‘trench gazette’ written by British soldiers during the First World War. This smal... [ more ]
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