Belgian Beer News
Erik's Highlights: Having a beer at the source
What could be better than a café that brews its own beer? Somewhere where you can see the brewer feeding the kettle right in front of you. Where you can witness the miracle, clouded by steam, that in just a few weeks’ time will be poured into your glass. Belgium has many of these breweries and they come in all shapes and sizes. The vast majority can be classed as microbreweries, where you can take in the production process in a single glance whilst enjoying a – hopefully – good glass of their product. Admittedly, the line between a small brewery with a café attached and a café with a small brewery is rather vague. In essence, these 'café breweries' were set up with a view to attracting tourists and the formula has proved its worth throughout the years...
Going for gold: Brussels Beer Challenge 2014
LEUVEN - As many as 79 Belgian breweries with 200 Belgian beers took part in the third edition of the international Brussels Beer Challenge. There was plenty of international competition with entrants coming from 25 countries. The USA was strongly represented with 177 beers. Other competitors worthy of note included Italy (110 beers), France (48 beers), the Netherlands (38 beers), Germany (35 beers), the UK (26 beers) and Spain (20 beers). Many other countries were represented: Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Japan, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Malta and Monaco. All in all, 725 beers were tasted by a jury comprising 60 beer experts including the renowned Tim Webb (UK) and Stephen Beaumont (USA)...
Chimay cheese: it's all about taste, character and tradition
CHIMAY - If you have a good product, there is no need to shout it from the rooftops, it will speak for itself. The Chimay Trappist beers travel around the world and are enjoyed everywhere they go. Chimay is a by-word for putting quality first, and this approach applies equally to the famous beers and the cheeses produced by this abbey. Taste the beer and you’ll want to try the cheese. Have a bite of the cheese and you want to drink the… Exactly! It’s not particularly surprising that these brothers are born for each other. But why not prove it for yourself? Nothing could be easier...
Surfine season at Dubuisson
PIPAIX - When a brewery with a history stretching back over two hundred years (1769) starts digging around in its rich past, hidden treasures sometimes come to light. And this is exactly what happened. Hugues Dubuisson, owner of the eponymous brewery near Doornik (Tournai) came across Surfine, a beer brand far older than Bush, the brand with which Dubuisson made its name. The first strong Bush beer – marketed as Scaldis in the USA – dates back to 1933, whereas the Surfine brand was already popular in the region from the 1930s until the 1950s. In those days Surfine was an amber-coloured ‘spéciale belge ale’. The label has however been dormant in recent decennia...
The High Mass of beer: Belgian Beer Weekend 2014
BRUSSELS - Thousands of tourists throng together at Brussels’ Grote Markt/Grand Place, one of the most beautiful squares in the world. The flamboyant city hall that dwarfs the surrounding buildings is reminiscent of the late Middle Ages. Surrounded by stately mansions that were once owned by the guilds, this famous square forms a perfect theatrical backdrop for exhibitions, concerts and festivals. Today the scene is set to celebrate another icon just as famous: Belgian beer. It is far from a coincidence that brewers choose the Grote Markt to have their annual celebration in early September. The explanation is simple...
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 ]
Wild Jo marks a turning point for De Koninck: the brewers are swapping their familiar top-fermented beers for a tempestuous Belgian Wild Ale, re-fermented using wild yeasts (Bretta... [ more ]
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