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From father to son

Usually, a brewery is passed from father to son. In the case of Oud Beersel, as Alan Hope finds out, the next generation took matters into his own hands “At the end of 2002, the Oud Beersel brewery closed down,” explains Gert Christiaens, who now runs the operation. “At the beginning of 2003 I was sitting in a pub in Brussels: the Zageman in Rue de Laeken, which is now closed, but then it was famous for its old-style gueuzes and krieks. I used to go there often to drink with my friends. “The owner told me, ‘These are the…

You are here

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…