Belgian Beer News
Good beer hunting at the 2016 Zythos Beer Festival
LEUVEN - Hordes of beer lovers are flowing towards Leuven. They come from all around Belgium and far beyond. ‘Zythos’ is an important event in the diary of every beer lover. A visit to Europe’s greatest beer festival is a ‘must’ for beer aficionados from the Americas, Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, France and, last but not least, Belgium. They have come to the right place. There is no better way to sample the great variety of the Belgian beer world...
Liquid heritage, Rodenbach Flemish red-brown sour ale
ROESELARE - The Rodenbach Flemish red-brown beer from Roeselare is part of Belgium’s liquid heritage. Eugène Rodenbach, its original brewer, drew his inspiration from the dark English porter beers, introduced to Belgium from 1812. They were produced with a controlled souring process that increased their shelf life. From this process was born mixed fermentation, in which the brewer blends young, top-fermented beer that has finished fermenting, with soured beer fermented in large foeder barrels. “It’s the best of two worlds,” master brewer Rudi Ghequire says with a smile. “You add a young beer to tone down the sourness of the beer." "While the lactic acid and acetic acid in the old brew safeguard your beer from harmful bacteria.” We are strolling in Rodenbach’s impressive foeder hall, flanked by barrels that are several metres tall...
The Duvel is in the detail
PUURS - Some beers are veritable icons and Duvel is certainly one of them. If you spot a tulip-shaped glass, even without the logo, you will have a good idea of what its contents might be. This particular degustation glass goes all the way back to the ‘flower power’ era of the late 1960s. It holds an entire 33cl bottle but don’t pour out the beer too quickly or it will just turn into airy foam. The glass narrows towards the top and this helps to sustain the immense collar of froth. The design is well thought out too...
When beer meets chocolate
BRUSSELS - Think of Belgium then beer and chocolate springs to mind. Both introduce you to a world a world of aromas and tastes with a rich history. We are talking about complex products. After all, brewing a good degustation beer or crafting a tasty praline requires years of expertise, either from the niche producer who goes for the extreme and the pure or from a producer who prefers to go for the mainstream. Belgians are proud of their rich and surprisingly diverse beer culture with a great variety of typical beer styles. This diversity is also found in chocolate, from bars to pralines, from milk chocolate to single origin chocolate, enjoyed in equal measure by your average consumer or the experienced connoisseur...
Mi-Orge Mi-Houblon, beers with a soul
ARLON/AARLEN - Beer trader and sommelier Christophe Gillard of Mi-Orge Mi-Houblon in Aarlen (Arlon) isn’t one for beating around the bush: “I only sell beers that have my complete support, usually from brewers I know personally.” We are not talking about your average beer shop. This is where you go for something special, advice or to get a more personal service. Christophe’s face is well-known in the world of artisan micro-and-craft breweries in Belgium. “Plenty of people are looking for something different from supermarket beers,” Christophe feels. “They are after authenticity and want to know who is brewing their beer. This personal relationship with the brewer is very important, I feel...
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 ]
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 ]
This Antwerp classic, launched over a century ago in 1913, catches your eye straight away. That's thanks to its intense mahogany colour and its robustly frothy collar. De Koninck ... [ more ]
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