Friday, March 14, 2008

Ale Street News and Belgium

I have been writing for U.S.A. “brewspaper” Ale Street News for several years. ASN has a circulation of 90,000 copies every issue, six times a year. Ale Street is based in the New York City area, and has regional and International coverage on a variety of beery subjects.
Editor Tony Forder leads a group of stalwart beer lovers to Belgium every year, for a tour based around the Zythos beer fest in early March. Hence, the February/March issue is always a special one, with lots of Belgian coverage.

Tony and co-editor Jack Babin also organize a very special beer tasting event in Manhattan every year in the Spring. I attended the first “Ultimate Belgian Tasting” in 2006, and had a great time! I recommend this event.

The next “UBT” will be held Thursday April 10. Here is more info:

I wrote a two part story on the Belgian Trappist Abbey breweries in 2005-2006, which are on-line here:

I have also written about beer cafes and breweries in Brugge and Brussels, small Belgian breweries, the Zythos Beer Fest, and more.

I am happy to say that Tony asked me to start writing a Belgian news column, called Belgian Babble, for every issue of ASN, beginning with the February/March 2008 edition.
I wrote about Brouwerij Liefmans, the OBER Christmas beer fest, Chez Moeder Lambic, Cantillon and Brasserie de la Senne in this issue.

I also have a feature on Amsterdam’s breweries and cafes, on-line here:

I will cover an even greater range of Belgian and Belgian-inspired breweries and cafes in the April/May issue.

Kudos to Tony Forder and the Ale Street News team for their appreciation and promotion of Belgium’s artisanal beers and beer culture, and Belgian-inspired brews, breweries and beer bars in the USA and elsewhere.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Beers of the World Magazine and Belgium

Beers of the World magazine is the premier beer publication in the United Kingdom. Since its first issue in September/October 2005, Beers of the World has been on the forefront of promoting beers from, as its title suggests, all over the world-to a discerning audience of beer lovers.
In issue 1, there was an article about Brasserie Cantillon in Brussels. While I did not write the article, four of the five photos used with it were ones I took on a 2003 visit to the brewery.
Fast forward to Spring 2007 with issue 11, and Editor Sally Toms published an article I wrote about the famous Bierhuis Kulminator in Antwerp-perhaps the most famous beer cafe in the world-especially in regards to aged beers.
The first part of the article is on-line here:

Sally also asked I have a look at beery Brussels, the capitol of Belgium and the E.U.
I relished the chance to cover all my favorite beery spots in Brussels, and the article
"The heart of Europe: Charles D. Cook discovers the beers and bars of the Belgian capital" was published in issue 14.
See the first part of the article here:

I also suggested to Sally that an article on Belgium's female brewmasters might be of interest, as some very fine brews are crafted at Brasserie de l' Abbaye de Rocs in Montignies-sur-Roc; Brouwerij De Ryck in Herzele; Brouwerij 't Gaverhopke in Stasegem; and Brouwerij Urthel. Fortunately she agreed, and "The Beer Women of Belgium" was published in issue 15.

The beginning of the article is here:

I was even more pleased when Sally, who has a very light editing touch (the best kind!) asked if I could do a feature on Belgian brewing. I happily agreed, and the current issue, #16, has my 1650 word article, in which I write about 35 Belgian breweries. There is also a sidebar about ten great Belgian beer festivals, and quite a few photos.
Here is the start of the article:

While published in the U.K., Beers of the World magazine can often be found in Barnes and Noble stores in larger U.S. cities, as well as bookstores with a good selection of International magazines.

I should also point out that there have been many other articles on the subject of Belgium and beer written by other authors for BOTW.

Thanks to Sally Toms and the Beers of the World team for giving Belgium such fine exposure.