Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Belgian Beer no.171 : Val Dieu Triple

Last one in the recent Moeder Lambic 'tasting'. No worries, we did have the 'usual' Belgian beers as well ... like the Kwak, the Delirium, and the Duvel - we did after all take family there for a true Belgian experience. On our side we opted for the more unusual ones.
The Val Dieu Triple. Strength and serenity? Apparently. At 9% it finished us off. A very nice blonde beer though, brewed by Brasserie Val Dieu. Asking for a blonde (and having drunk most of them) I think the waiter decided to finish me off - and brought me this one. A great beer, but I was a lot more impressed with the previous two.

Belgian Beer no.170: Plokkersbier

Same place, the next beer. I think the waiter was a little surprised we knew so many of the beers on offer. With this one though, he did surprise us.
Plokkersbier by Brasserie de Bie. A very interestingly spiced beer. Really, a mix which lingers on the tongue. At 7% not the strongest but a very interesting taste. Easy drinkable.

Belgian Beer no.169: De Graal Tripel

De Graal Tripel. This was a great beer! Honestly, if you haven't tried it yet, do. I personally would have loved to try De Graal Ginger as well (but really, you need lots of stamina for Belgian beers!).
A small tasting at Moeder Lambic took us through 3 new beers, this being one of them. De Graal Tripel is a 9%, heavy blond beer brewed by Brasserie De Graal. Somehow brewery and beers seem to be well known, yet a new discovery for us. Great beer though.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Belgian Beer no.168: Speciale 1900

A small break from the festival beers (there is the Bruxellensis beer still ...) and back to 'normal' bar drinking. The Speciale 1900. I didn't hear about it ever, but it was the special offer in one bar so we tried it out.

A very malty, amber beer. Not my thing overall, but not a bad beer. Brewed by de Haacht, it saw its revival this year (production of this type of beer stopped in the 80's). 5%

Friday, September 21, 2007

Beer Shop - Noel Cuvelier's, Poperinge

After some emails back and forth, we came to the conclusion this site misses a 'beer shops' section. People drinking beer, mostly like buying beer as well. And with specialized beer shops all over Belgium, why not share your (and my) finds?
Again, a section open to anyone who would like to contribute. First one to start it off and the originator of the beer shops idea, Michael.
Text and photo: Michael
Website/ blog:

I would expect that most people from the UK who visit Belgium in their own cars like to stock up on their favourite Belgian Beers. I would also guess that the majority returning to the UK would do so via either Calais or Dunkirk, and would probably tend to go to one of the many beer warehouses in and around Calais.
The problems I have found with these warehouses are that they can be a bit pricey, are often full of tourist coaches, but moreover, they tend to concentrate on the mainstream Belgian Beers and therefore lack choice.
The only half decent warehouse I have come across so far, is right on the French side of the border, at a place that I think is called Callicannes – situated behind a petrol station yards from the old Border control.
About a mile or so on the Belgian side though is Noel Cuvelier’s Beer Shop.
Heading out of Poperinge, into the beautiful Flanders countryside, and towards the French Border, set about 200 yards from the main road , is what looks like a farm on the right hand side. (Left hand side if you’re travelling towards Poperinge!).
A small sign at the side of the road, suggests Beer is for sale. Driving up towards the buildings, one would be forgiven for thinking that that this small place in the middle of nowhere was going to be anything special, particularly when you are told that the building you are heading for (with all the crates outside) is for wholesale only, and you are redirected to what, one assumes to be the farmhouse.

Step inside, and you ‘re in a grocers shop – look to the right, and you see your first hint that perhaps this place does sell beer – walk a few yards down the aisle and you will think you are in Beer Heaven. It is an Aladdin’s cave of Belgian Beer. Way to many for me to write down, but the card suggests in excess of 300 different types of beer for sale.

Grab a trolley and raid the shelves – you will very quickly realise that the only problem with visiting this shop is that you don’t have enough room in your car to get everything you want.
Once you’ve filled your trolley, take it to the cash desk, but don’t start putting the bottles on the counter. They don’t scan each bottle in, they simply tell you to get an empty trolley and decant from one trolley to the other, and count the bottles as you decant.
Puzzled? I was too, though when I looked at the till receipt at the end, I could see why – almost all bottles were €1.00 regardless of brand, with only the odd one at either €1.10 or €1.20. (Note though, as with all bottled beer in Belgium, there is a €0.10 refundable bottle charge to add on at the end).
Noel Cuvalier’s Beer shop is certainly on my hit list for my next trip – if you’re passing Dunkirk on the way back, it is well worth the small detour. I don’t remember his exact opening times, but it’s something like 8.30 till 12, and 14.00 till 19.30 every day, except Monday when it is closed.
Andreea (again): do you have a favorite beer shop in Belgium? Any tips / write ups on it you could share with us?

Thursday, September 20, 2007


I have just been updating my Beer Resources (see right). So please let me know if I forgot linking to you ... and you ... and you.
On a different topic, voila.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Belgian Beer no.167: Bockor Blauw

The last one from the Beer Weekend.
You see, the problem with the Beer Weekend is that a) you can not get in anymore after 9:30pm, which is fair enough as the festival ends at 10:00pm and b) if you so happen to have to go the loo after 9:30pm (erh, hello, beer festival?!) the very clever (!) guards do not let you back in.
NOT fair. Wrong on so many levels. First, sorry, but who was behind the brilliant idea of placing the loos outside the Beer Weekend fence? (Oh, yes, the brewers booths are all fenced in).
Next time I bet there will be people loo'ing inside the fenced area after 9:30pm ... Simply stupid, stupid, stupid. Rant over.
So on to the last beer from the Beer Weekend. The Bockor Blauw (as in blue). Brewed by Bockor. Oh, and anyone wonder at all that I am only at beer no.167 and apparently there are about 3000 Belgian beers out there? Scary.
Bockor Blauw. A lot of fuss for a simple pils beer. The same as a pils, the Blauw distinguishes itself through a slightly deeper colour. 5.2%

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Belgian Beer no.166: Piraat

Same brewery as the previous beer no.165, same alcohol content. Piraat. Again a new beer which we didn't try out last time (festival) around. The beer undergoes a second fermentation in the bottle, and is an amber beer at 10.5%.

There is a whole story about the Vikings who loved this kind of potent beer, which explains the ship on the bottle and glass. (See left.) Apparently this beer is a health energy booster. Which absolutely justifies then drinking lots of it.

Belgian Beer no.165: Gulden Draak

This is a totally new beer. The Gulden Draak. Golden Dragon? Brewed by the Brasserie Van Steenberge, and at 10,5% starting to be quite strong. (You might have noticed we are still at the Beer Weekend, and the alcohol amount has increased. Which might explain the increasing fuzziness of the photos!)
If you ask me this is quite a heavy beer, a dark hoppy taste; and well a lot to process.
Other beers brewed by Van Steenberge and featured on www.belgian-beers.eu : Celis Blanche, Leute Bokbier, and Gentse Tripel.

Monday, September 17, 2007


My new MOO cards have arrived for http://www.belgian-beers.eu/
So, so cute. (I'm such a girl!)

Belgian Beer no.164: Ename Dubbel

Brewed by the Roman Brewery, I missed trying this is beer last year. Which doesn't mean, we don't know this beer. Au contraire. We love this beer.

Sort of another great brune. Really, if you get the chance to try it, do opt for this alternative ( I am thinking here Chimay drinkers ... etc). Ename Dubble, an abbey beer, 6.5% (ay ay ay) but a great beer. Of course there are three other Enames: the blond, the tripel, and the cuvee 974.

Who said this task of trying all the Belgian beers is boring?

Friday, September 14, 2007

Belgian Beer no.163: La Cherie

Oh la la :)

Well, nothing more. 5%, cherry beer, by Val de Sambre. Very refreshing, very nice, very light for a Beer Weekend.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Belgian Beer no.161 and 162: Ada Blonde and Ada Brune

Brasserie de Val de Sambre / Brasserie de l'Abbaye d'Alune - who knows? Another new beer tried during the beer weekend. Just for info, before you start wondering: the beer glasses you see behind the beers I blog about are not actual beers drank by us. Some yes but most of them just empty glasses left by the many (many!) visitors.
Back to the Ada beers. The blond and the brune one. The blond one, a strong 7% beer. Quite hoppy. The brune one, again a 7% beer, a little on the burnt toast/ caramel side.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Belgian Beer no.160: Arend

Lots of things make a lot more sense after the Beer Weekend. Arend was a totally new beer for most of us. Arend = Eagle (which explains the logo!). Brewed by De Ryck Brewery, I tried the very amber beer (5.5 % - notice the low alcohol trend? No worries, that will change).
De Ryck seems to be a very small, family owned brewery. Besides the amber, they also brew a dark brown beer, a cherry beer and a Christmas beer. Yey, more beers for me!

Belgian Beer no.159: Newton

First one in the Beer Weekend batch: Newton. Experience taught me that it is always better to start with the light beers at a festival - this way both liver and blog will benefit.
So I started with a Newton: part blanche, part apple juice. (Get it. Newton - Apple?) Sort of a cider. Very refreshing and pleasant if you are into ciders (I am!). At 3/5% also a breeze. From Brasserie Lefebvre.