Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Belgium Trip Update

I finally have my airline ticket to Brussels so I have been paying a bit more attention to what's happening in the world of Belgian beer and getting some tips from other bloggers on what to look for when I go.

The photo I used for this post is courtesy of They have offered some of their beer photography for free use by other bloggers. This photo is of a neon Kasteel sign in Brussels.

This post over at eventually led me to find this hopeful article about the fate of Liefmans Brewery. Looks like the Duvel Moortgat brewery will be taking over brewing operations in preparation to make an offer to take over the Liefmans operation. Good news indeed!

Lew Bryson reports that Orval (one of my favorites) is a completely different animal when fresh. That hadn't occurred to me so I will have to make sure that I get a bottle when I get over there.

For the few of you who may be reading this and/or may actually have experience with this, I have a question. Is Westvleteren worth it? We will definitely be going to In de Vrede and sampling all the Westvleteren ales but I haven't decided if it's worth it to spend a bunch of time calling the monastery and spending another big chunk of time waiting in line at the monastery for my beer. Any thoughts are welcome.

I love De Koninck. One of the things I'm looking forward to most on this trip will be having another bolleke of fresh De Koninck in Antwerp. I have had bottled versions on this side of the Atlantic but in my experience the broad group of beers known as "Belgian Pale Ales/Ambers" do not travel well. At least not off of the continent. So it was nice to see that The Beer Tourist had a writeup of this fantastic ale from last September. Even nicer, I learned that the old unofficial brewery tap, Café Pelgrim, closed last March. The new unofficial brewery tap is Afspanning De Hand. I need to add that one to my list of stops in Antwerp.

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