Wednesday, November 28, 2007

La Taybeh - A First in Belgium

Hot off the press so to speak. La Taybeh, the first Palestinian beer, will be (is?) available on the Brussels market. The beer is produced under the licence of Ichtegem, by the Brasserie Strubbe. I will try to get my hands on one for the sake of
By the way, Taybeh means excellent in Palestinian.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Belgian Beer no.189: Bloemenbier

Same lovely, sunny terrace in De Haan. And another beer: the Bloemenbier. Very much 'the flower beer'. Loved this one as well. Probably a little too sweet for the usual beer palate. Hints of honey and flowers (sort of). Quite spicy. Loved the presentation, with the white paper wrapped around the bottle.

A 7% blond from the Brasserie De Proef.

(Just in case, the beer bar where we tried these beers is Café de Torre. I understand a well known beer bar for those in the know.)

Belgian Beer no.188: Haanse Witte

Getting closer to the coast. We stopped in De Haan. (A very scenic coast city if you get the chance to visit!) And guess what? They have their own city beer, so to speak. The Haanse Witte (the white from de Haan?)

A little confused on who is brewing this one, as it seems to be Den Haene, on the other hand could it be Brasserie Strubbe? Nevermind this though. It was a great beer, light at 5.5% , and a perfect seaside white beer. Loved it.

Belgian Beer no.187: Lamoral Tripel

Still in Bruges, in the same bar, another beer. The Lamoral Tripel. Taking its name from a Flemish patriot during the Spanish rule of Belgium. At 8% it is a quite strong dark beer. More so and so.

From Brasserie van den Bossche.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Belgian Beer no.186: Slaapmutske Blond

I was sure I wrote about the beers we recently tried at the coast. Then again I might be mixing it up with this.
Beers at the coast. And in Bruges. First one up the Slaapmutske. Tried in a very nice bar in Bruges, which I will have to write about at a later date. I think the waiter thought I'm nuts aiming to blog about all the Belgian Beers. But let's try to make it to 200 by the end of this year!
Slaapmutske means more or less night cap (not my thing!). Brewed by the Slaapmutske Brewery, it is a blond 6.4% beer. Actually a nice beer.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Belgian Beer no.185: Villers Triple

Before we hit the breweries in the south, another beer tried on local ground in Brussels: the Villers Trippel. Brewed by the Brasserie Hyghe, it is a pretty straight forward 8.5% triple. A little hoppy, a little spicy, a little sour.
What I am more intrigued about is the Kira beer brewed by the same brewery. Of course, a beer I will probably not find in Belgium as it seems to be brewed entirely for USA export. So if anyone from Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens or Bronx reads this blog (anyone?) , tried the beer and would like to write a short review I would be most grateful :)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

All Belgian Beers


How do I put this? I am looking for the right word ... still looking ... this is the most FANTASTIC book ever! Do I sound a little bit over the top? Well, that's because this book is so FANTASTIC.

Ok, enough. Perhaps I should tell you more about the book. All Belgian Beers, Les Bieres Belges, Alle Belgische Bieren is a very much hot off the press new book on Belgian Beers. Which explains why I am writing about it. This is a Belgian Beer blog after all. Plus it's almost time for Christmas so if you don't know what to get/ or what to receive this is perfect timing.

The book arrived yesterday. A lot smaller than I thought, but also a lot thicker (over 1500 pages). A very compact little book, but oh my God, the information in it! And I thought we tried a lot of beers. You don't know a thing about Belgian Beers till you have seen the amount of beers in this book.

Over 750 Belgian Beers have made it into the book, together with information on: fermenting and beer style, composition, alcohol content, colour, how to serve the beer and at what temperature, description of the character and taste. And as if this isn't enough, there is also space for personal notes at the bottom of each page. To give you an idea, I spent about 1h yesterday reading up on ... beers. I don't read on beers. I drink beers. But there you go ... Plus the photography is pretty good, and I also got to discover a whole lot of new beer glasses.

What else could I tell you about this book? It costs 35euro (that is 51USD or 25GBP) and it gets shipped world wide. Perhaps not the cheapest book on the planet, but think about this: Christmas presents (!) and trust me, you'll probably have enough Belgian Beer to read on way into next year.

Did anyone get the book already? Now available on Amazon as well.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Belgian Beer no.184: McChouffe

(I promise the blurry photo had nothing to do with the strength of beers tried before or after.)
The McChouffe. For Chouffe fans probably nothing new. For me though yes. Sorry, but as such I am not a die hard Chouffe fan. I like the beer. And that's about it.
One question we asked ourselves with the McChouffe: why does the Achouffe Brewery think that Scottish beers are all dark ales? Perhaps I am wrong. Maybe Scottish beers are all dark ales. (Are they?!). The McChouffe is a Skotch from the Ardennes, a dark ale at 8.5%. Good beer.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Belgian Beer no.183: Durboyse Brune

Please enter the beautiful southern part of Belgium, their beers, and their breweries. We recently spent a (rainy!) weekend in Durbuy and got not only to try the beers down there, but also to visit some breweries. Stay tuned (that is what they say, right?)

We tried the blonde a while ago. Now it was time for the brune. Of course we tried the blonde as well (but as I posted on that one already ...). Between the two? I think I prefer the brune. A 7% from Brasserie Lefebvre, with hints of caramel and burnt toast - definitely a nice beer.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Belgian Beer no.181 and 182: PannepOt vs. PannepØt

Another guest 'beer', so to speak.

Text and photo: Michael

Website/ blog:

During a recent trip to Bruges, we were fortunate enough to be introduced to Pannepot.

PANNEPOT 2006 “Fishermans Ale”

Brewed by De Struise Brouwers, our first taste of this beer was in Brugs Beertje, a compact, no frills type of pub, but with a seriously huge selection of other beers.

Poured into an unusual (for Belgium) oval shaped Struise Beer glass, it looked appealing well before it was tasted. Dark, almost black body, with a thick creamy beige head. On the nose, to be honest, I can’t remember smelling anything unusual about this beer, but to taste it was fantastic. I’ve seen other write ups on this beer that mention dark sugar and fruits, but for me I sensed Blackcurrant and Liquorice – rather like one of those traditional hard boiled sweets. At 10% abv, on the face of it, it is a strong beer, but the flavours completely and pleasantly disguise the alcohol.

PANNEPØT 2006 “Old Monk’s Ale”
Sampled in De Garre, Bruges, a quaint backstreet pub just off the main square, and on the beer menu as “Pannepot”, at first sight, this was identical to the one we had in Brugs Beertje. However to taste, it seemed more rounded, and the liquorice was less prominent – but still an amazing taste.

Looking at the two bottles, and glasses we had on our table, they looked identical, but closer inspection revealed we had two different beers.

Cue a spot the difference competition, and we eventually realise several differences:
· Spelling Pannepot v PannepØt
· De Struise Brewers Crest (DSB) on one bottle and not the other.
· Border of the label Claret on one bottle, Dark Beige on the other.
· “Old Fisherman’s Ale” on bottle, “ Old Monk’s Ale” on the other
· A lighter coloured head for the “Old Monk’s Ale”
· More prominent liquorice in the “Old Fisherman’s Ale”

The waitress did not realise that there was a difference in the two bottles that she had served, and subsequent internet searches have yielded nothing for the “Old Monk’s Ale”. We did however learn that the “Ø” brew was for the Danish Market, but each one identifies the one with the “Ø” as also being “Old Fisherman’s Ale”. So the “Old Monk’ Ales is a bit of a mystery at the moment.

Eitherway, both are a fantastic beer. Would love to know where it’s commercially available if any one knows.

Additional Photos - “Old Fisherman’s Ale “ v “ Old Monk’s Ale” Bottle

Additional Photo “ Old Fisherman’s Ale” v “Old Monk’s Ale” - Poured

Monday, November 05, 2007

Belgian Beer no.180: Cuvee Mon Bijou

For whatever reason I found this beer ... romantic. Probably the name 'Mon Bijou' (jewelery)? Or the fact that it was specifically brewed for a hotel? Very 1930's drama and mystery to me.
Back to the beer though. The last one in this mini Delirium Cafe tasting. The Cuvee Mon Bijou is an alias of the Struise Rosse brewed by De Struise Brouwers. The beer is a 5% pils style beer, which apparently was a mistake: the brewers tried to brew a Struise Witte (white), but added the wrong yeast. The nutty taste went down well with the brewers and the Struise Rosse was born. And then labeled for the Hotel Mon Bijou.

Belgian Beer no.179: Montagnard

Still in the Delirium.

The Montagnard, a 9% beer from the Abbaye des Rocs. Quite a spicy beer, with hints of pepper. There is no added sugar to the beer. An interesting beer, much praised in the region it comes from.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Belgian Beer no.178: Betchard

The Betchard. A little difficult to place this one in the www, so good thing we take notes. The beer is brewed by the Brasserie de Tubize, and as far as I can tell is the only beer brewed by them.

A 5.5% blond, which apparently is brewed specifically for the In't Spinnekopke. Can anyone confirm this?

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Belgian Beer no.177: St-Paul Blond

Return to Delirium Cafe (obviously!). Four new beers tasted and reviewed.
St-Paul Blond. Brewed by the Brasserie Sterkens. We still need to figure out why this beer was so expensive (10euro!) so if you have any ideas ... keep them coming.
An unfiltered, top-fermented beer, which I remember as being a little sour. 5.3%. Very unremarkable ... no oomph to it, so again, why so expensive? In any case the Delirium Cafe bartender was raving about it, so maybe I am missing something.

Beer Bar in Brussels - Poechenellekelder

Try saying this after a few beers :)

(Thank you to Keith, a reader of this blog for reminding me to write about this bar.)
Anyway, beside the unpronounceable name this is a great beer bar in Brussels. Although on a very touristic path (literally opposite the Mannekin Pis) this bar is a great stop. The beer list is extensive, the bartenders are more than enthusiastic about Belgian beers and the specials never disappoint.
We always include the Poechenellekelder on our 'visitors' must see tour but occasionally stop there off-visit, for a drink as well. They also serve some food and word of wisdom: if you do order the cheese, understand they actually refer to a whole chunk of cheese as sold in supermarkets / shops. So if inclined combine a cheese platter with a meat one. Trust me! I am a devoted cheese lover and yet, I always think they serve too much cheese ...

Poechenellekelder: Rue du Chene 5, 1000 Brussels, Tel: +32/2/511 92 62