Belgian Beer News
Hop picking time at Palm Belgian Craft Brewers!
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 brewery, looking across to Diepensteyn Castle, home to the stud farm where the famous Brabant draft horses – a Belgian equivalent of the British shire horse – are bred. The hop field covers 0.35 hectares (0.86 acres) on which around 3,000 hop vines, all of the Hallertau mittelfrüh variety, have been grown since 2012. The thirsty hop pickers pause to enjoy a Palm Hop Select, Palm, Palm Royale or alcohol-free Palm - those in the know are aware that the Palm Hop Select is brewed with freshly picked hop cones from these very fields. Under a blistering sun, brewery staff drag hop vines that can be several metres long to the 800 hop pickers who join the harvest to scrape the cones off the vines. Overflowing baskets are emptied into bags and transferred just around the corner to the De Hoorn microbrewery...
Lindemix... the art of blending Lambic by Lindemans
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. Helping them make this popularising point are their Lindemix beer cocktails. These accessible drinks go down well even with non-beer drinkers. And should those non-beer drinkers take a look under the bonnet of what they are drinking then they’ll be introduced to the rich world of aromas and tastes that are hidden behind the simple name, ‘beer’. The range was on show at the Toer de Geuze this year; a weekend-long celebration of gueuze country, to the west of Brussels, during which several breweries open their doors to the public...
Omer Vander Ghinste celebrates 125 years of brewing craftsmanship
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 glasses of classic Flemish red-brown ale have flowed out of the company’s oak foeders, the big wooden barrels that are so characteristic of traditional Belgian brewing. But Omer Vander Ghinste hasn’t just preserved a tradition, it’s expanded both in size and in the variety of beers it produces. In 2010 the brewery pumped out 5 million litres of beer; this year it will be 9 million. In the same seven-year period, turnover more than doubled to €23 million euros. It’s a brewery with a strong connection to its home region, managing 250 cafés around Kortrijk, Ypres and Ghent, while exports, at 10% of production, are quite modest...
Brasserie de Brunehaut - In tune with the seasons
RONGY - In Rongy and all around it, spring is in the air. The fruit trees are in bloom and nature has put on its most beautiful face. I’m on my way to Brasserie de Brunehaut, a brewery surrounded by orchards. Here you can sense the rhythm of the seasons. It is no coincidence that rural breweries are great supporters of their ‘terroir’. The link with agriculture, the village and the region is never far away...
Westmalle Dubbel or Westmalle Tripel?
WESTMALLE - If you order a Westmalle you’re likely to be served with a Tripel. This is no coincidence as this strong blonde Trappist beer now accounts for 75% of the beer output of this abbey brewery. It used to be exactly the other way around. You would order a ‘Trappist’ and expect a dark Dubbel. Both of these beer styles have a long heritage. Would you like to join us on our time travels? This story commences in 1836 when Westmalle had just gained abbey status...
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 ]
DeuS Brut des Flandres is a unique brew that was introduced to the world in 2002. It is a sparkling, honest and pure beer created with just water, yeast, malt and hops. The careful... [ more ]
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