Belgian Beer News
Masters of Brewing: Hans Mehuys from Castle Brewery Van Honsebrouck
INGELMUNSTER - Hans Mehuys has been wielding the mashing stick at the Van Honsebrouck brewery for over a quarter of a century. Six years ago he was appointed as Brewmaster and Head of Production. ‘Herr Braumeister’, as his boss Xavier Van Honsebrouck dares to call him in a jokey kind of way, is a convivial and modest character. He lives for his profession and clearly takes great enjoyment from his job. I attend a ‘quality control session’ – in other words, a tasting – whilst he explains what he finds appealing about brewing. “I have always had an interest in science and biology...
The attempt to solve the Eastern Question: First World War Centenary (6)
YPRES - To understand the reasons for the outbreak of the Great War in 1914, it is necessary to have some knowledge and understanding of the diplomatic wrangling that took place many decades earlier throughout Europe and the Balkan region. A major concern throughout in the post-Napoleonic era was the maintenance of a “Balance of Power” that has been mentioned a number of times in these articles. We have already looked at the causes of the Crimean War and the way that Britain and France united to stop Russia from expansion. Although on the face of it Britain and France had been united against the common foe, in fact they were far from being friends. The legacy of the French defeats at Trafalgar and Waterloo caused the British to be constantly concerned that the French would try to seek revenge and for their part the French never hesitated to blame the British whenever there was a military setback. The Treaty of Paris The subsequent Treaty of Paris, signed on 30th March 1856, considerably reduced Russian influence in the region by making the Black Sea neutral, closing it to all war ships and prohibiting the presence of armaments on its shores...
An Expert View: Denis De Keukeleire, the Hoppy Professor
GHENT/MELLE - “I am quite surprised that the hop is surrounded by so much hype these days. It used to be just a commodity,” Ghent professor Denis De Keukeleire begins. No-one else is better placed to provide an analysis: he has been studying this climbing plant with its magical qualities for over 50 years. This Belgian ‘hop professor’ is a jack of all trades: a chemistry graduate, a visiting professor at Brazil’s Sao Paulo University, zythology teacher, author, media personality… He has even investigated the impact of light on beer, at the California Institute of Technology, and has given over 750 lectures in 43 countries, and the meter is still running. Denis De Keukeleire is known around the world for his authoritative views on and knowledge of the make-up and uses of hops. Its use in beer springs easily to mind, but there are also medical uses for this wonderful plant...
An exclusive interview with Michel Moortgat (Part II)
PUURS - The second part of the interview with Michel Moortgat will be focusing on the cross-fertilisation between the Belgian and American breweries that form part of the Duvel-Moortgat group. We will also discuss the differences between Belgian and American beer culture. Duvel Moortgat is the owner of two American breweries: the Ommegang brewery in Cooperstown (New York) and the Boulevard Brewery in Kansas City (Kansas). Michel is therefore well placed to make a comparison between American and Belgian brewing cultures. “The Americans are launching many new beers in quick succession”, Michel explains. “It is a very dynamic beer culture where plenty is happening...
An exclusive interview with Michel Moortgat (Part I)
PUURS - I am standing eye to eye with a citizen of the world. Michel Moortgat, the CEO of Duvel Moortgat, took over half a year out to travel half the world with his family.Their first stop was Bhutan, the tiny kingdom hidden in the Himalayas where they strive for the highest Gross National Happiness. “Interesting, a beautiful country with splendid Buddhist temples and monasteries”, Michel summarises. “But to say that everybody is walking around with a big smile on their face...” The next destination was India; it impressed by the dynamic attitude of its young population, all in search of a better and more comfortable life. It is a country that wants to get on in the world. The brewer immediately makes a slight detour towards the subject of beer...
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 ]
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 ]
In the north of Belgium everyone knows what a Slurfke is: it is the beer that Eddy Van Noteghem, a main character in the wildly popular television series 'Thuis' ('Home'), is busy ... [ more ]
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