Belgian Beer News
The onward march towards conflict: First World War Centenary (7)
YPRES - By the 1870s the once-all-powerful Ottoman Empire was crumbling. For centuries the Muslim Turks had ruled their subject Christian states with an iron fist and after the subject states began to show signs of unrest, no mercy was shown. On numerous occasions Russia had intervened, ostensively on behalf of its Christian brothers and sisters and in 1878 scored a decisive victory in a war against Turkey. An ulterior motive of Russia was that it was very anxious to gain access to the Mediterranean Sea from its Black Sea ports and at the subsequent Treaty of San Stefano, Russian influence was expanded throughout the Balkan region. Political Unrest Otto von Bismarck called a Congress in Berlin where the Treaty of San Stefano was considered. The European powers felt that Russia was quite strong enough already and as a result Russia came away feeling cheated...
Sven Gatz, Managing Director of the Belgian Brewers
BRUSSELS - Open Sesame. I disappear through the archway of the imposing 'Brouwershuis', one of the architectural pearls of the Grand Marché in Brussels. This prestigious location – the Brewers’ House in English - is home to the Federation of Belgian Brewers, or in short, the Belgian Brewers. I have come to see its Managing Director, Sven Gatz. In a previous life he was a politician and worked for the Department of Social Services; now he looks after the interests of the brewing industry in Belgium. A balancing act “Can you do this job without having a passion for beer?” I ask him straight off...
Brewing magic: Cuvée du Château
INGELMUNSTER - Brewing always involves just a little bit of magic. One brewer expressed it as follows: “We put the ingredients together and wait for the result”. But we think there is more to it than that. As a brewer, you are forever tweaking the result. And the experienced ‘tweaker’ is also guided by the scientist. This is how the Cuvée du Château, made by the Van Honsebrouck brewery, was born...
An ode to the Belgian chocolatier
ANTWERP - Belgium and chocolate, a long-standing marriage like no other. Belgian chocolate is a mark of quality. If Belgium does have an image abroad, it is one of culinary enjoyment. Classics such as beer, chocolate, chicory, sprouts and the famous Belgian (not French!) ‘frites/frieten/fries’ spring to mind immediately. For many years Leonidas has been selling ‘freshly made Belgian chocolate’ made in Brussels, as this is the city where the praline was born. Leonidas now has a presence in around forty countries with fourteen hundred stores (1.400!), half of which are in Belgium and France...
Fighting dragons in Mons: le "Doudou"
MONS - I had to shake my head a few times just to wake myself up. Yes, I was clutching dragons’ hair. But how did it get there? Surely I had not been doing battle with a dragon? Time to rewind… Sunday morning in Mons; the entire city is buzzing. Fifteen hundred people take part in a procession that snakes through the crowded streets. Every club, trade and guild takes part in this ‘defilé’. Emblems, badges, relics and statues are proudly on show...
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 ]
The launch of Straffe Hendrik – still the brewery’s flagship beer - heralded the era of strong degustation beers at De Halve Maan. Its brewer is the oldest in Bruges, based in i... [ more ]
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