It Takes a Village

November 14, 2017

The brewing world is a small one — one or two degrees of separation, tops — but by my reckoning it feels smallest in the village of Mont, in the southeast Ardennes. Consider Belgium, which packs in a lot of brewers for its tiny size. In Mont we find that trait in microcosm. Despite a […]

Role-reversal

November 6, 2017

Ronald Mengerink’s vinous brews reflect their composite heritage. Alan Hope visits the Belgian town located within the Netherlands’ borders where they are produced. The Belgian town of Baarle-Hertog is not in Belgium. It’s in the Netherlands – a tiny fragmented enclave of Belgian territory inside the Dutch border. On the map, it looks like a […]

Recent history

November 6, 2017

Abbaye des Rocs’s distinctively spicy ales have played an important, albeit recent, role in Belgian beer history. John Rega finds his way there. Pulling into the driveway of Brasserie de l’Abbaye des Rocs, in the hamlet of Montignies-sur-Roc, Hainaut province, seems more like turning down a picturesque country lane. A handsome farmhouse with wrought-iron wellhead sits on one side. […]

Under the Hood

November 6, 2017

There’s an increasing trend for Belgian breweries to cork and cage their bottles like the producers of Champagne. Breandán Kearney speaks to the largest global producer of wire hoods to find out what the French think. Sparflex is a company based in France that produces wire hoods for the sparkling wine producers of the Champagne […]

The trouble with innovation

October 14, 2017

For Yvan De Baets, not everything that’s new is good In the Brussels craft beer landscape, Brasserie de la Senne, once the upstart disrupters, now seem more like tribal elders, but they continue to plough their innovative furrow, though soon that’ll be from a brand-new brewery near to the Tour & Taxis site. But Yvan […]

The shock of the brew

October 12, 2017

Innovation is a term that’s hard to define but impossible to ignore, especially in the brewing world where traditional incumbents are often compared unfavourably to forward-thinking upstarts. Should breweries feel under pressure to be innovative? Is innovation a virtue in itself, or is it something that hinders rather than supports quality beer? And in particular […]

Towering inferno

August 24, 2017

The beer community pulled together in support of Hof Ten Dormaal after a fire gutted much of the brewery’s infrastructure. Breandán Kearney reports on the salvage operation almost a year on, including a festival dedicated to innovation in beer On 6 January 2015 , fire destroyed the roof of the Hof Ten Dormaal brewery in […]

Not in the yeast

August 24, 2017

Focusing on the yeast misses the point of Belgian-style beers, says Pete Brown Ask a craft brewerin America or Britain what the defining characteristic of Belgian beer is, and they’ll likely tell you that it’s all about the yeast. When brewers tire of creating hop bombs, they invariably turn to ‘Belgian-style’ beers, and start to explore […]

Whiteout

August 24, 2017

Belgian wheat beers are awaiting their renaissance, but as Joe Stange discovers, they’re not dead yet Whatever happened to witbier, anyway? Oh, don’t get me wrong, your typical blanche is still there if you need it. It’s in most Belgian cafes, served in that thick tumbler, useful on a warm terrace, glowing pale yellow when lit […]