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There’s something odd about Belgium’s southeast corner, home to some of the country’s most distinctive beers. Joe Stange enters the Gaume Dimension My theory is that the space-time continuum warps inside the Gaume. It’s the simplest way to explain the oddities that occur within. Tucked into Belgium’s south-east corner, this region is not like the others. Villages appear near each other on a map – because they are, in theory – yet it seems to take 40 minutes to drive anywhere. Short trips stretch into elongated corridors of pines. People are scarce; the ones you meet might speak a vestigial…

It’s All Relative

Taking up the food-pairing challenge is Els Debremaeker, a private chef who also works for home-furnishings chain Dille en Kamille doing food styling and creating recipes. She’s the author with her sister Iris of two books: Brunch and Ingemaakt (Preserved). Given three beers from Omer Vander Ghinste to work with, she drew inspiration from her family’s food memories. The beer: Vanderghinste Oud Bruin The dish: Fresh grilled mackerel with roasted rhubarb This is our aperitief and it’s the perfect way to wake up the senses. Those bold mackerel flavours are balanced by the tanginess in the roasted rhubarb and this…

Human scale

Brasserie de Bastogne is the smallest in the Belgian brewers federation, but their brewery is bursting at the seams By Alan Hope The Belgian province of Luxembourg – not to be confused with the Grand Duchy next door – is the country’s least populated, with the largest proportion of agricultural land and a virtual monopoly of forest. The abundance of nature tends to make everything man-made seem small, but the fact is, the Brasserie de Bastogne is small by any measure. We all drove past it and had to turn around, so easy was it to miss – and no…

Remodeling project

Think you know Chimay? Think again, as Belgian chef Jan Tournier of the Michelin-starred Cuchara unearths surprising flavors using the famous Trappist beer and cheese, during a demonstration for Belgian Beer & Food’s John Rega While Jan Tournier may cook in his grandparents’ house, he’s certainly not preparing their food. The 34-year-old chef has remodeled his childhood home in Lommel, northern Limburg, into Cuchara, one of the upstarts of Flemish cuisine. Adventurous takes on his classical training won Tournier a star from the Michelin Guide, which calls his cooking style “full of youth and creativity”. Now Belgian Beer & Food…

The lambic man

Frank Boon opened his new brewhouse in March 2013, which means that when we visited, they were about a month away from reaching a landmark age. Three years means a lot to lambic brewers: it’s the age at which you have your old lambic, which when blended with young lambic gives you the uniquely Belgian beer known as geuze. Boon is the largest of the remaining traditional lambic brewers, although he’s dwarfed by the big breweries making fruit beers – people like Lindemans and Mort Subite. He not only blends his own geuze, he also makes an Oude Kriek and…