Saturday, March 31, 2012

Brasserie de Bierkaai, Limburg Province

On the first day of my Belgian tour last autumn, I had
dinner at a great new beer cafe/restaurant in
Heusden-Zolder, near Hasselt in Limburg Province.

Brasserie de Bierkaai is located alongside a canal
that runs all the way from Antwerp to Maastricht.

It is an ideal location for cyclists-or anyone else-to
stop for a meal or just a beer.

(Photo, above: Kaaibier, an unfiltered pilsner brewed at
Bier Anders in Halen.)

One of the owners, Luc Van Esch, is a serious beer lover
and it shows in "The Beer Quay." Luc has an unfiltered
pilsner called Kaaibier brewed at the new Bier Anders
brewery in nearby Halen. This delicious, 5% abv libation really
hit the spot on an 80 degree day on 24 September.

(Photo, above: a server with a trio of Kaaibeers.)

Luc told me recently: "The Kaaibier will be the basis
for our new Kaaikriek. Both beers will be available
within a few weeks in 25 cl longneck bottles, as well
as in draft here at De Bierkaai. Both will be available
for export as well."

(Photo, above: Luc Van Esch pouring a Zonderik Tripel.)

Luc also has three other house beers. One is Zonderik
Tripel, and there is also a Dubbel. Both have 8% abv.
There is also a Tripel Speciaal packing 10% abv.
All were formerly brewed at De Proefbrouwerij, but
production has moved to Bier Anders for these as well.

(Photo, above: Zonderik Tripel.)

De Bierkaai offers about 40 different well-chosen brews,
with local specialties, as well as classics like Saison Dupont.
Nine Trappist beers are available too.

(Photo, above: Zonderik Dubbel and Tripel.)

Five beers are available on draft, with four of these being
the house beers. The Zonderik brews are offered in corked
75 cl bottles as well.

As you can see in the first photo, there is a huge blow-up
Zonderik Tripel bottle in the front yard of the cafe, letting
any beers lovers who pass by know this is a place that is
a welcome spot for them!

Brasserie de Bierkaai is also very family friendly as well.
They have a playground in front of the cafe as well.

De Bierkaai also offers tasty meals at affordable prices.
I enjoyed a dinner of several mixed grills, paired with
one of my favorite Belgian side dishes: croquettes.

Most entrees are in the 8 to 13 euro ranges, and many
smaller snacks are in the 5 euro range.

See their website here

Menu here

De Bierkaai is located at Laarstraat 41/2, 3550,
Heusden-Zolder. Tel: 011/745883.

So you heard it here: a stop The Beer Quay is a
must when in the area!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

De Lambiek/Oud Beersel/3 Fonteinen article

I have a 1,200 word article on three places that are stars
in the lambic beer world in the April/May 2012 issue of
Celebrator Beer News.

You can read it here

and it finishes here

Since the article was written, there is news from
3 Fonteinen, posted right on their website here
Some is sad, but the end result will be good, as there
will be more 3 Fonteinen lambic and geuze for beer
lovers to enjoy.

The LambikODroom, or "Lambik Dream" cafe, will close
for good on Sunday, April 1. The reason is that 3 Fonteinen
needs space for the new brewery, and also for a shop to
sell products to the public. So the shop will move into
where the LambikODroom is now, and the present shop
area will be used by the expanded brewery.

I first visited De LambikODroom in May, 2008, and it
officially opened soon after. It is a shame to see it go,
after nearly four-year run.

But the prospect of much more "brewed-on site" 3 Fonteinen
lambics is a good one.

You can read more about it in my article.

For more info on Tourism in Flanders, see here

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Great Belgian Beer Dinner 2012

I mentioned there would be a very special beer dinner in
Belgium the week before the Zythos Bier Festival (ZBF)
on these pages a couple of months ago, here

Well, the details are now available, right from one of the
organizers, Yves Panneels of the fabulous In de Verzerkering
Tegen de Grote Dorst cafe in Lennik/Eizeringen.

I've helped a bit with the translation to English.

The event website is here

A fantastic menu prepared by three chefs

“The Great Belgian Beer Dinner of 2012” will be an exquisite culinary experience founded on a commitment to quality. It will be a major event in a prime location, with excellent beers, top class food, and the three best chefs in the world of beer.

Tom De Four of De Heeren van Liedekercke (Denderleeuw) with Stefanie de Vos of De Bistronoom (Ostend) and Chris Lively of Ebenezer's Pub & Restaurant (Lovell, Maine USA) will join together to serve a fantastic six-course meal on Wednesday, April 25, 2012. The location will be in the historical setting of 'De Majeur' in Roosdaal-Pamel, near Ninove.

The chefs have also selected very special beers specifically for this meal.

Information: Date is Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at 7 pm at Feestzalen 'De Majeur' at Rijstraat 16, 1760 Roosdaal (Pamel.)
The six-course meal costs 80 euro per person, drinks included. Seating is limited. Quick Registration will be the key to securing a seat.

The Chefs

 of the restaurant De Heeren van Liedekercke is one of the trio. His restaurant is situated just a stone's throw from the church of Liedekerke, just across the municipal boundary of the Dender. De Heeren van Liedekercke is a true fixture in The Beer Country, Belgium. For over 10 years, it has been rated very highly in many international beer guides. In the kitchen, Tom, 39, handles the cooking. His brother Joost is the beer sommelier. Besides their love for lambic beers, De Heeren van Liedekercke has been named an Orval Ambassador. See:

 of De Bistronoom, which, since September 2011, has been at the top of the RateBeer list of the best beer restaurants in the world, is the lady in the group. Stefanie, 28, works her magic in the kitchen, while her husband, beer sommelier Christophe Pelfrène (44) greets and serves the guests. Stefanie, along with 47 other young chefs, was recently selected as one of the “Young Faces of Flemish Gastronomy” through the organization “Flanders: Nice Country.” She was also nominated for the title “Lady Chef of the Year 2012.” The restaurant is located near the Ostend marina, near where the Mercator anchor is found. See:


: Christopher Lively, 39, grew up in Texas, and after graduating from culinary school, went to work in California. He was the executive chef of the Marriott Hotel in Los Angeles, an important position. But Chris wanted his own beer restaurant, and he would have it. He moved to the other side of the United States, and settled in New England. Since 2004, he and his wife, Jennifer, have run Ebenezer Kezar's Pub & Restaurant in Lovell, Maine. From then till now, on, Ebenezer’s was voted four consecutive years the title of the “World's Best Beer Bar.” In 2009, Chris opened The Lion's Pride in Brunswick, Maine. Barely a year later, his second beer restaurant won second place on RateBeer. A very remarkable achievement. See:


The three chefs will prepare a fabulous 6-course dinner with exquisite beers. Soon, it will be disclosed in detail.


Feestzalen 'De Majeur' is located west of Brussels in the Payottenland, a stone's throw off the N8 from Brussels to Ninove road, in Roosdaal (Pamel). This restored brewery is surrounded by a beautiful garden. Inside, there are three beautiful banquet rooms with a capacity of 10 to 90 people.

'De Majeur', is run by Evy Vandenberghe. She graduated as a cook from the Hotel Ter Dunes in Koksijde. She gained experience in restaurants such as Juana in Nice, France, The Grand-Bigard in Bigard, the Pastoral Reet, 't Molentje in Zeebrugge, Tom Thumb in Aalter, 't Krekelhof in Gooik, and The Elephant in Halle. Together with her partner and building contractor, David Ore Note, they bought and renovated the dilapidated building at Rijstraat 16, Roosdaal-Pamel. This building was once a brewery, belonging to Frans Tondeurs (born 1838.) He was the mayor of Pamel from 1879 to 1907. “De Majeur” has all the amenities of home. Evy sets the background, with all the trimmings available, for The Great Belgian Beer Dinner 2012. The rooms are stylishly decorated. The beautiful romantic candlelit baths will set tables while guests are pampered with the finest cuisine.

Address: Rijstraat 16, 1760 Roosdaal, tel 0474 92 56 56 See:

The number of spaces for The Great Belgian Beer Dinner 2012 is limited. Quick Registration is the key. The price for the 6-course menu (including custom drinks) is 80 euro per person.

Upon reservation, 80 EUR per person is payable. The payment of this sum constitutes final reservation. Cancellations can only be made in writing (letter, fax or mail). Up until three weeks before the event, the entire sum paid will be refunded, minus 10 € administrative costs. Until two weeks before the event, half the sum paid will be refunded, minus 10 € administrative costs. Thereafter, no refunds will be given.

By transfer to current account of Flanders vzw Enjoyed: 860-1163576-43 (Centea Bank)
IBAN BE66 8601 1635 7643 • BIC SPAABE22

For more info about Tourism in Flanders, see here

Monday, March 19, 2012

Are there any Belgian beer-loving iphone/ipad/android app developers out there?

If you are an experienced app developer for iPhone, iPad,
Android etc. and are also a fan of Belgian beer, I'd like to
hear from you. I have an idea....

You can email me at higrav1 AT



Wednesday, March 14, 2012

March Madness: Saison Dupont and HopRuiter in round 1

Two excellent Belgian beers-Saison Dupont from Brasserie Dupont
and HopRuiter from De Scheldebrouwerij-are in Round 1
of March Madness.

No, it's not NCAA basketball, but Draft Magazine's
Beer Bracket 2012 contest.

You can vote for your favorite, among the 64 beers,

Not that I'm taking sides or anything, but I think I just
might pick a certain Saison from the village of Tourpes,
Belgique, as my favorite to take it all.

HopRuiter will be in the mix as well!