Belgian Beer News
Black Gold - Barista Chocolate Quad
INGELMUNSTER - Espresso, cappuccino, ristretto… We have become familiar with the rich and varied Italian coffee culture. We order a coffee to warm us up, to give us a boost or to finish off a meal. When we can we head towards our favourite coffee bar, where the barista paints a heart shape onto the froth or, even better, the intertwined initials of our names. These lovely hot beverages are all well and good, but how do they relate to the world of beer? The answer is found in the new Barista Chocolate Quad beer by Kasteel from Castle Brewery Van Honsebrouck. The idea for this beer first took root in 2012. After several visits to the US, Xavier Van Honsebrouck came up with the idea of a beer that would combine the aromas and tastes of chocolate with those of coffee...
Belgian beer styles: Gueuze & Lambic
PAJOTTENLAND - Lambic (lambiek) is one of the oldest beer styles in Belgium. It is a spontaneously fermented beer, a so-called flat beer, coppery blonde to amber in colour, with an alcohol content by volume of 4.5% to 6%, brewed using barley, wheat and hops. In 1420 Jan IV, the Duke of Brabant, issued a decree stating that a higher proportion of wheat was required to improve the quality of lambic. In modern times, the minimum proportion of wheat is 30% and the majority of artisan lambic brewers will work with a wheat percentage of up to 35%. Three conditions are imposed on the hops used. They must be two to three years old...
On the Dubuisson beer trail in Tournai
TOURNAI/DOORNIK - Only a long stone’s throw away from Brasserie Dubuisson lies one of the oldest cities in Belgium. When I hear the name of Tournai (Doornik), colourful images from the history books go through my mind. In the 5th century, Tournai was the capital of the Kingdom of the Franks. In 1513 Henry VIII of England captured it, making it, for a short period, the only Belgian city the British ever ruled. The 16th-century Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and the French Sun King Louis XIV have also made their mark here. Fortunately all this violence is now in the past...
Belgian beer styles: Oudenaards bruin bier
OUDENAARDE - The city of Oudenaarde is known for its brown beers, most famously those produced by Liefmans. The characteristic flavour of these brown beers comes from the souring that occurs during their extra-long maturation. It really is a unique taste. Brown beers fall into two categories: those made with and those made without krieken (a variety of Morello cherry). To make Oudenaarde brown beers, young beer is blended with soured beer from a previous vintage. Brown beers made without the addition of cherries will take between three months and one year to mature and finish the souring process...
Toer de Geuze 2015
ITTERBEEK - It’s 7am on a Sunday morning at the Timmermans brewery (established 1702). I am here to participate in the Toer de Geuze, a legendary Belgian beer experience that takes place every two years. This is a special day indeed; the only day when all the artisan lambic breweries and gueuze blenders in and around Brussels open their doors to the public. It’s the ideal occasion to discover at the source how spontaneous fermentation works, to compare the big breweries with the smaller ones, and last but not least, to taste and compare young with aged lambic, savour traditional kriek and oude gueuze. This early on a Sunday morning there is no trace yet of the huge masses of people – more than 10,000 are expected - who will flood the participating breweries later today. It is unbelievable how quickly and completely a nearly extinct beer style has bounced back into popularity...
GENVAL - It’s 1909 when John Martin, a Brit, makes his home in Antwerp, earning his living by provisioning sailing vessels. Before long John’s deliveries are heading onto the ships of the Red Star Line, ... [ more ]
NAMUR - At the 6th edition of the Brussels Beer Challenge, hosted this year by the city of Namur, Belgium once again lived up to its cast-iron reputation as one of the most important beer countries in the world. ... [ more ]
STEENHUFFEL - The annual hop harvest at Palm Belgian Craft Brewers is truly a festival of and for the people. We survey the busy crowds on the last Sunday in August in the hop field in the shadow of the ... [ more ]
VLEZENBEEK/DILBEEK - It is often said that lambics are only for those with an experienced palate. At Brouwerij Lindemans, one of Belgium’s favourite brewers of this traditional style, they beg to differ. ... [ more ]
KORTRIJK/BELLEGEM - It was in 1892 that Brouwerij Omer Vander Ghinste opened for business in Bellegem, a village near Kortrijk in West Flanders, close to the French border. Since then, countless... [ 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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