Two weeks without a post. Yeah, the holidays will do that
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Two weeks without a post. Yeah, the holidays will do that
Monday, December 12, 2011
www.belgianbeer.com goes to Belgian Family Brewers Association
One of the Internet’s most important Belgian beer domain names has been donated to the Belgian Family Brewers Association, and I’m happy to say that yours truly had a hand in it.
Volker Stewart (pictured above) co-owner of The Brewer’s Art, a brewpub/restaurant in Baltimore, Maryland, registered the domain name in 1996, the same year Brewer’s Art opened.
The Brewer’s Art crafts Belgian-inspired brews and offers fine foods in Baltimore’s Mount Vernon neighborhood, at 1106 N. Charles Street.
“I got the domain because we wanted to brew beers that were influenced by the free-spirited nature of Belgian brewers,” Stewart told me. “Also, I’d like to add that as an establishment, we have always promoted the rich and diverse nature of Belgian beers. In fact, we have poured beers from every member of the BFB at some point in time over the years! I registered belgianbeer.com not only to promote my own business, but also to raise awareness of these beers at a time when they were not as well known as they are now,” he added.
He added: I realized within a few years that it was more prudent for me to use a domain name that was more business-specific, and I registered thebrewersart.com. The question remained: What to do with belgianbeer.com?”
“So, I started to think about donating the domain to a worthy Belgian trade/beer promotion organization,” Stewart told me. “that’s when I asked you who you thought would be the best choice, due to your familiarity with the beer scene in Belgium,” he continued.
After giving it some thought, I consulted Wendy Littlefield of Vanberg & DeWulf Importers for a discussion about the candidates I was thinking of recommending to Stewart.
After out talk, I was convinced that The Belgian Family Brewers Association was the right choice, and happily, Stewart agreed.
Then, the long process of transferring the domain began, but that’s a story better told by Stewart and the head of the BFB, Charles Leclef of Brouwerij Het Anker in Mechelen.
With the new domain comes a newly redesigned website for the BFB, including a video showing parts of the brewing process at each member.
I have visited all 16 of the member breweries, some several times.
This is from the BFB website:
“The association’s objective is to promote historic, independent family breweries which bring genuine added value to the identity and authenticity of Belgian brewing methods.”
(Photo, above: Hugues Dubuisson, Founder, Belgian Family Brewers Association.)
Thursday, December 8, 2011
One of Baltimore's best holiday beer events is just two days away.
The Mid-Atlantic Holiday Beer Fest, formerly held at
The event will be held at Pratt Street, as it is a much larger
The event has always featured a buffet with fine eats and this
The following brews will be poured:
Brewer's Alley - Scotch Ale
Brewers Art St. Festivus
DOG -Very Berry Tart
DuClaw -Devil's Milk Bourbon-Aged Porter
Evolution - Secret Spot Ale
Heavy Seas Winter Storm
Red Brick Station - Murphy's Porter
Troeg's - JavaHead, Troegenator and Mad Elf
Victory -Yakima Glory
Weyerbacher - Winter Ale
Flying Dog - Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout & K-9 Cruiser Winter Ale
Pratt Street will have several firkins on tap as well, including
The $40 admisison includes unlimited food and all beer
Tickets are available at Pratt Street Alehouse and here:
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
(Photo, above: the new brewhouse at Orval, with
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Vanberg and DeWulf's Coast to Coast Toast is just one
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Looooong time no post here. Ten days in Belgium at the end of
Friday, October 14, 2011
Hudson Street Stackhouse, here in the Canton neighborhood
Saturday, October 8, 2011
Long time no post.
I was in Belgium for ten days, 20 brewery tours and many beer cafe
The event was held at Ram's Head Live and was well attended.
Today, The Maryland Brewer's Oktoberfest is the highlight among the
Tomorrow: Stillwater Artisanal day at Max's Taphouse, beginning at
Phew. I guess I might get to sleep sometime in November....
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Rudi Ghequire and his staff at the Rodenbach brewery
in Roeselare, West Flanders have been busy.
When I last visited the venerable brouwery in June
2010, Rudi told me he had some projects he was working
on, but that he could not discuss them until they had
come to fruition.
A couple of them have now, I'm happy to say!
Rodenbach Limited Edition Vintage 2009 was just released
in Belgium this month. Vintage 2009 was aged in foeder
number 145 for two years. The taste is described as complex,
full, spicy and refreshing.
Foeders are, of course, the huge oak barrels Rodenbach ages
its beer in. There are 294 of these massive tuns, some as
many as 150 years old.
Rodenbach spokesman Peter Buelens said: "There are notes of
caramel and green apples mixed with an oak character in the
background. The soft, sour, fruity aftertaste is long and
Some 37,000 bottles in 75 cl size were filled of this brew,
and about 9,000 of them are headed stateside. It has 7% abv.
I'm really looking forward to tasting this, as Rodenbach
is one of my favorite breweries! The site is really a Belgian
The second beer is even more special, and will be vastly more
hard to find: Rodenbach Caractère Rouge.
Palm breweries and Rodenbach's Ghequire collaborated with chef
Viki Geunes of Antwerp's ’t Zilte restaurant to create this
brew. Caractère Rouge is the first test project between Geunes
and Palm breweries.
't Zilte has two Michelin stars.
Rodenbach Caractère Rouge is aged in oak barrels for two years.
The resulting brew was then steeped in cherries, cranberries and
raspberries for six months. It was then bottled with yeast so a
bottle fermentation would occur. (Yum, seriously. Sounds like
it will be a great beer!!)
Only 900 bottles of this beer were filled, so it will surely be
a hot commodity. It also weighs in at 7% abv.
Geunes commented: "The Rodenbach Caractère Rouge has a subtle
fruity nose of raspberry and cherry, with wood and caramel notes.
There is also an aroma of violets, and hints of leather and
light tobacco. In short, it is a beer with a vinuous aroma.
On the first tantalizing taste, there is crisp acidity. The
taste is then soon countered by a pleasant residual sweetness
and delicate dryness produced by the cranberries. They give the
beer a long, clean and very pleasant aftertaste.
The three fruits used together provide an effect that is clearly
not to be missed. When I taste this Rodenbach, I just think a fresh
I hope I am able to taste Caractère Rouge on a future trip to Belgium!
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
I have a 700+ word article in the August/September issue
Monday, August 15, 2011
I'm happy to say that I have a 1,000 word article on two
Thursday, August 11, 2011
(Photo, above: Anne-Catherine Dilewyns and Vincent Dilewyns.)
Several fine Belgian brews just arrived stateside, and for the
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
The city of Antwerp has long been known as the home of the “bolleke” which is local slang for a glass of Brouwerij De Koninck’s Amber ale, served on tap in a distinctive glass similar to a chalice in style. This 5% abv, amberish pale ale has been the session beer of the city for decades.
(Photos, above: a Bolleke of De Koninck and Brouwerij De Koninck.)
For years Antwerp was also the home of the 24 Hours of Belgian Special Beer, a great festival that was the country’s premier beer event. I attended five times. The 24 Hours fest was last held in 2002, when the OBP, the group that organized the fest, folded up.
(Photo, above: Hans Bombeke, 't Antwerps Bier College.)
A few years ago, ‘t Antwerps Bier College (ABC) a Zythos-affiliated, beer appreciation and promotion group, was formed. ABC, with the support of Brouwerij De Koninck, has decided to organize a new beer fest, to be held on the grounds and buildings of the brewery on October 1 and 2. I know they are capable of such a task, as Hans Bombeke, formerly of the ‘t Waagstuk café in Antwerp, is their chairman.
(Photo, above: the brewhouse at Brouwerij De Koninck.)
Hans has long been involved in the Belgian beer world. He told me: “The purpose of the fest is mainly to promote small breweries with less than 2,000 hl of production each year. Hof ten Dormal, Inter-Pol, Drie Fonteinen, De Cam, Les 3 Fourquets and Verhuisbrouwerij are just a few that are already signed up for the event. There should be 30 or so small breweries participating, with different ones Saturday and Sunday,” he continued. See antwerpsbiercollege.be.
The 15 members of the Belgian Family Brewers (belgianfamilybrewers.be) are also invited. Additionally, Achouffe, Duvel, Liefmans and of course De Koninck, will be represented.
The event will run from 11 am to 7 pm both days. Serving size is 15 cl, and will cost only one euro. There will be beer and cheese pairings, with other gastronomic meals available. Several special guests, such as Michel Moortgat, Chris Bauweraerts and the hop researcher, Professor Denis De Keukeleire of the University of Ghent, will speak on various topics.
Brewery visits will be offered throughout the festival weekend. See: dekoninck.be.
Duvel-Moorgat Beer Ambassador Nicolas Soenen stated:
It will definitely be one of the first times in Belgium that a brewery invites other breweries to show what they’re capable of inside the walls of the brewery and we believe this is a positive signal towards our colleagues in times where the competition can be harsh.
This letter arrived from ABC last week:
Antwerp, July 2011
Dear Friends of Beer,
The “Antwerps BierCollege” has the pleasure to invite you for the very first
Modeste Bier Festival
On the 1st and the 2nd of October 2011 in the buildings of Brewery De Koninck: Mechelsesteenweg 219, Antwerp, Belgium.
With this beer festival we’d like to honor Modeste Van Den Bogaert, a brewing monument in Belgium, who deceased exactly one year ago on the 1st of October.
We’d also like to offer a forum to the “Modest(e)” craft breweries in Belgium.
More than 20 of them already confirmed their presence and between them also the smallest official brewery in the beer country of Belgium, namely Brewery Inter-Pol (80l.). (Hof Ten Dormaal, ‘t Hofbrouwerijke, 3 Fonteinen, De Cam, Boelens, Kempisch Vuur, De Dochter Van De Korenaar,...)
These small breweries can only rarely be found on beer festivals but without them
Belgium wouldn’t be such a beer country!
For this beer festival we also get the support and presence of the Belgian Family Brewers as well as Brewery Duvel Moortgat.
Taking in consideration the unique location of our beer festival, we can also propose brewery visits throughout the festival.
And we even asked the brewing masters of Brewery De Koninck to guide some technical brewery visits for the specialists.
In the margin of the festival there will also be held some interesting lectures such as:
- The presentation of the new book: “Antwerp Beercity: the history of brewing in Antwerp”.
- Prof. Dr. De Keukeleire: “Hops and health”
- Chris Bauweraerts (Brewery Achouffe): “Rise of the strongly hopped Beers”
- Wilfried Patroons (beerautor and –activist): “Van Schijn tot Scheld”
- Sven Gatz (President of the Belgian Brewers Association): “The future of our
Furthermore there will be some interesting beer and cheese pairing sessions led by two of the best cheese refiners in Belgium!
Some hotels give a special arrangement that weekend: www.antwerpsbiercollege.be
We hope to see you there !!
President Antwerp BeerCollege
(Note to readers: I don't know why the text and
formatting is so off on this post, but I know I
won't be using Safari again to make a post. Back to
Firefox or Camino in the future.)