Belgian Beer News
Chimay Bleue (Blue Cap) in the oak age
BOURLES/CHIMAY - A visit to the Chimay Abbey and its brewery is a unique experience. I step into a world that appears to be untouched by time. Standing below a tall sequoia tree in the enclosed garden, I probably could literally hear a pin drop. Nothing here indicates that there is a brewery nearby. No tanks or chimneys spoil this picturesque scene. That is until the smell of malt slowly unveils the fact that before long a tasty beer will be flowing from the pipes...
Brasserie de Silly, it's a family brewing affair...
SILLY - At Brasserie de Silly, Lionel Van der Haegen and his cousin Bertrand are following in their fathers’ footsteps. They divide the work equally. Lionel manages the company with its 21 employees and is in charge of sales; Bertrand is responsible for production. Bertrand joined the company in 2002 and Lionel came on board in 2007. Both had already gained extensive experience, as is customary for brewers’ sons. It is Friday afternoon...
Brewery De Hoorn, a nursery for beers
STEENHUFFEL - In the early hours the spring sunshine colours the copper kettles of the De Hoorn microbrewery. The early bird catches the malt. Even now there is a busy to and fro at the brewery. Fons Verheyden, brewer for Palm Belgian Craft Brewers, the group of which the De Hoorn brewery is a part, unloads sacks of malt. “We make sure that our malt is ground coarsely enough so that the bostel can form a filtration bed,” he explains. Fons’ colleague Jan De Cock has also turned up early...
Brasserie Artisanale de Rulles, the taste of the Gaume
RULLES - The Gaume region is situated between the forests of the Ardennes and the French region of Lorraine. But here, around Orval and Virton in the far south-eastern corner of Belgium, the sun is doing overtime, by Belgian standards at any rate. Grégory Verhelst, brewer at Brasserie Artisanale de Rulles, swapped Doornik (Tournai) for the Gaume village of Rulles. He is our guide for today. Rulles specialises in unfiltered artisan beers that re-ferment in the bottle. And Grégory is one of those rare brewers who swears by open fermentation...
In-between the foeders at Rondje Roodbruin
ZUID-WEST-VLAANDEREN - The biannual Rondje Roudbruin event was held for the third time in 2016. Four breweries; Rodenbach, Verhaeghe-Vichte, Omer Vander Ghinste and De Brabandere opened their doors to the general public. It is no coincidence that all four of them are in the Lys region near Kortrijk and Roeselare. This is the cradle of Flemish red-brown ale, with its typically sour and sweet taste, and the brewing secret that lies in the use of foeders (large oak casks/barrels). At Rodenbach you will feel like you are in a winery or wine Chateau, walking through rooms filled with a total of 294 foeders each containing up to 650 hl, with some dating back to the 19th century. These oak foeders let just enough oxygen into the beer, where micro-organisms turn the acids into fruity esters, resulting in the Rodenbach beers...
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 ]
Het Anker has been brewing the Gouden Carolus Classic since 1962 and it is still based on the recipe used in that year. The roots of this beer go all the way back to the Mechelsen ... [ more ]
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