Thursday 27 May 2010

If anyone needs me I'll be in Belgium

Tomorrow I’m going to Belgium. We’re staying in Brussels on Friday and going to the Weekend of Spontaneous Fermentation on the Saturday. Hopefully we’ll be stopping at a couple of breweries over the weekend too – Westvleteren, De Struise would be cool, Cantillon for breakfast... Tell me though, because I won’t be able to drink just sour beer and quads for two days, what new Belgian beers are there that are worth looking out for? I’m thinking along the lines of Chouffe Houblon, modern twists on traditional Belgian styles, something a bit different (but preferably not spicy Belgian blondes or anything similar to Duvel - I have no idea why people like Duvel -  as they aren't my thing).


  1. The brand new Moeder Lambic in Place Fontainas (close to the Bourse) is one of the best places where to hunt new wave Belgian beers.
    Above all, De Zenne Brouwerij/Brasserie De La Senne & Jandrian-Jaindrenouille (IV Saison is outstanding). Ask Jean, the supergeek bartender, and he will happy suggest you whatever you'll be looking for.

  2. Have fun! Bring me back some Westy 12! :P

  3. +1 on De La Senne and Jandrian. Look out for De Ranke and Ellezelloise too.

  4. You lucky chap. I'm gonna have to wait until next year before we can afford to go back to Brussels.

  5. I'll be there with Dom and Janine. We're off to Gooik Friday afternoon. Friday night its likely to be new Moeder Lambic, Poechenellekelder and possibly Porte Noire (plus who knows where - I might try and drag them to the Monk, one of my favourite Brussels bars with De Ranke on tap).

  6. I'm not sure it's new, but Chouff IPA is fantastic!

  7. I hear there is this great Belgian beer called Stella something. I've never seen it though.

  8. Leo - funny you mention IV Saison as I was reading about that last night. Thanks for the others. I really like Taras Boulba so I'm interested to try more of their beer.

    JC - see you there!

    Chris, I'll look out for it, it's a new one for me ;)

  9. Perhaps you know them all, but these are my favourite 3 beer places in Brussels right now (not counting Cantillon):

    Moeder Lambic at Fontainas. Great tap menu, but better still: their monthly international guest beers.

    Hoppy Loft. The recently opnened top floor at Delirium. The only non-smoking floor and true to its name.

    Delices et Caprices. Pierre´s small "beer tasting shop" at rue des Bouchers 68; cutest and friendliest in town.

  10. I can whole-heartedly recommend Brasserie de la Senne, Jandrain-Jandrenouille and De Ranke as well.

    And I have a few additions to that list:

    Brasserie Artisanale de Rulles! Especially the delicious Rulles Triple, the light and refreshing Rulles Estivale, and their dark but hoppy and totally unsugary winter beer Avec Les Meilleurs Voeux.

    Valeir Extra from the Contreras Brewery. Somebody at Moeder Lambic Fontainas is likely to recommend it to you too. They seem to use American hops for that beer, hence it falls into the category of modern twists on traditional styles.

    Another good option is the microbrewery De Glazen Toren. Apparently, beer journalist Jef Van den Steen makes a good brewer, too. I especially liked the Saison D'Erpe-Mere.

    And finally, let me add that the Alvinne Brewery has recently gained my attention: Apart from some more traditional brews, they have several oak-aged beers, a single-hop series and some interesting collaboration beers, for example a smoked white beer. Based in Northern Germany, I have not yet had the chance to try them, but it definitely looks promising!


  11. Thanks Sven and Nina, very helpful! Exactly the sort of thing I was after. Now I just need to find some - I'll let you know how I get one!

    Sven, that shop sounds great, I'll see if we can find it.

    Nina, I've had a couple of Alvinne beers and like them a lot - I'll see what I can find.

  12. It´s not far from Grand Place, but hidden in a small back street:

    Last time I was there I got a bottle of the really interesting Duysters Tuverbol, a mix of ale and lambic (!). An another time I had the - not easily available, but wonderful - Rodenbach Grand Cru, but it all depends on what Pierre happens to have in stock.

    Best, though, is the ambience.

    Have a nice time in Belgium.

    (from Sweden, really, only in Brussels for a year)

  13. Sorry, I meant Rodenbach Barley Wine.