Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Geuze Mega Blend-a new beer for Toer de Geuze, 2009

One of the very interesting things I learned during my many lambic brewery and blendery visits in November was the creation of a new lambic beer, especially for the 2009 Toer de Geuze (Tour de Gueuze.)

The event will occur on Sunday April 26, at nine of the eleven remaining lambic producers: all except Cantillon and Girardin.

The new beer is called "Geuze Mega Blend."

This brew is a blend of lambics from eight of the 11 remaining lambic producers; namely: Boon, De Cam, Drie Fonteinen, Hanssens, Lindemans, Oud Beersel, Timmermans and De Troch. Geuze Mega Blend was bottled October 15, and is currently maturing in 75 cl bottles. I hope to experience the Tour, and look forward to tasting Geuze Mega Blend!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Payottenland beer tour-the Lambic breweries and blenderies

Photo: Frank Boon of Brouwerij Boon pulls a sample of young lambic from a foeder

Prices for the De Cam lambic beers, inside the blendery. Really cheap!!

I visited five lambic breweries and three lambic blenderies on my trip to Belgium last month.

These were Boon, Cantillon, De Cam, Drie Fonteinen, Hanssens, Mort Subite, Oud Beersel and Timmermans.

What surprised me the most was how tart and sour the lambic and kriek beers tasted, right from the oak barrels (foeders) at the breweries that are known for producing sweet lambics and fruit beers.

There is good news: Timmermans has produced an Oude Gueuze for the first time in years. The beer is set to be released for sale in March in Belgium. I tasted the beer at the brewery when I visited with Danny Van Tricht on November 20, and we found it superb. The beers from Timmermans-hopefully including the Oude Gueuze-will be imported to the U.S. by Belakus Imports, beginning next year.

Timmermans also is considering crafting an Oude Kriek. Judging by the Kriek we tasted right from the barrels, it will be another great beer.

We also had a superb visit to the new LambikODroom Cafe at Drie Fonteinen, as well as lunch at the great beer restaurant Boelekewis in Dworp, and the Hanssens blendery, with Lorenzo Dabove and several of this Italian friends.

Cantillon brewmaster Jean Van Roy, at the Cantillon Quintessence beer and food pairing event on 22 November.

Photo: Lorenzo Dabove, the "Prince of the Payottenland" with Danny Van Tricht, at De LambikODroom in Beersel.

Lydie Hulpiau and Armand Debelder in the new LambikOdroom cafe at Drie Fonteinen in Beersel.

Photo: pouring a lambic at Hanssens of Dworp.

Photo: Bruno Reynders at Brouwerij Mort Subite, with a glass of lambic right from the barrels.

Photo: Gert Christiaens pulling a lambic at Oud Beersel

Photo: the brewmaster of Timmermans pouring a kriek from a barrel.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

New Trappist beer website

Photo: Danny talking with Brother Jules at Achel.

My very good Belgian friend, Danny Van Tricht, has created a great new website about Trappist beers and cafes.
Danny and I have visited all seven Trappist Abbey breweries multiple times.
The website is:
I think it's one of the most informative and professionaly produced Trappist websites.

Photo: Danny Van tricht in the cellar of Cafe Yes, Libramont, Luxembourg Province.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

New articles in Ale Street News and Celebrator Beer News

Karel Goddeau at the brewkettle, Brouwerij Slaghmuylder

I have had a couple of new articles published within the last week or ten days, and more are on the way.
In the December 2008 issue of Celebrator Beer News, I wrote about the historic Brouwerij Slaghmuylder in Ninove, East Flanders. Slaghmuylder brews the Witkap beers as well as fine lagers such as Kerstbier and Paasbier.
The brewmaster is Karel Goddeau, who is also the blender of the excellent De Cam lambic beers. I visited Geuzestekerij De Cam last month, and tasted the De Cam Lambic, Kriekenlambic and Geuze on draft at the De Cam Volkscafe, which is just yards from the blendery.
In the December 2008 issue of Ale Street News, I wrote about Brouwerij Contreras in East Flanders, and their delicious brews, as well as the new beers being imported by 12 percent imports in the NYC area. These breweries include Brasserie Cazeau and Brouwerij Contreras, among others.
I also mentioned the closing of the atmospheric HopDuvel cafe in Ghent, but have since learned that HopDuvel, which has been a beer specialty cafe since 1980, will reopen this month!
Additionally, I have a big, 3000+ word Belgian feature due out in a well-known beer magazine within the next 10 days.
Merry Christmas to everyone. Enjoy those Belgian Christmas beers!

Photo: pouring yeast into a baudelet heat exchanger at
Brouwerij Contreras in Gavere-Asper, near Ghent.
This is hands-on work!

Laurent from Brasserie Cazeau in Templeuve, Hainaut province, with the fine Tournay de Noel.