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 […]


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 […]

Yes we kanji

August 24, 2017

Anyone for lambic flavoured with Japanese plum? Aaron Goldfarbdiscovers the Brussels brewery bringing striking new flavours to a traditional brew AtDélices& Caprices, Pierre Zuber’s beer shop in the centre of Brussels, something stands out among the familiar saisons and trappist ales: three bottles, their necks covered in delicate tissue, with washi-paper labels depicting Japanese artwork […]

Hot to trot

August 24, 2017

Feeling like a little horse? Alan Hope knows just the place In 2014, a scandal erupted when it was found that certain supermarket ready-meals like lasagne had been “adulterated” with horsemeat instead of the beef everyone was expecting. The scandal assumed Europe-wide proportions. While the problem, it seemed, was one of labelling rather than of […]

From father to son

August 9, 2017

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 […]