Issue #1

 

The story so far

beer&food-cover-v9-thumbThis project began over a year ago when international bar franchise, Belgian Beer Café started to open cafés in the U.S. I brazenly suggested that they launch their own “in café” magazine and let me produce it. Initially they seemed interested, then less interested and then they told me that I should get back to them in six months.

 

BEER without Borders

beer-without-borders-thumbDoes beer – and by extension also food – really form the glue which holds Belgian society together?
Alan Hope investigates.

Former Belgian prime minister Yves Leterme once said Belgium  as an accident of history, with the only thing holding its disparate communities of inhabitants together being beer, the monarchy and the Red Devils national football team.

 
 

Beer and Loathing in … Ghent

beer-and-loathing-thumbFood writer Emma Beddington is ashamed to admit she hasn’t drunk beer for decades and only likes “those pink cherryade ones”. Could the founder of Belgium’s Women and Beer movement convert her? She went to Ghent to find out.

I have a dirty little secret that should by rights disqualify me from appearing in these pages: I don’t drink beer.

 

The Bed Van Napoleon

the-bed-van-napeloeon-thumbIn the Heart of Flemish Tuscany

Cycling or driving through the forested area northeast of Leuven, you might expect a small café or shop, but what you won’t expect – unless you already know about it – is the Bed Van Napoleon.

 
 

Big Plans

big-plans-thumbConverting ideas into reality at Van Honsebrouck brewery

The move to the new brewery will certainly come as a relief to brewmaster Hans, too, who has been at the helm here for the past 27 years.

 

Beer of the Gods

beer-of-the-gods-thumbFounded in 1791 before Belgium even existed, Brouwerij Bosteels celebrates its 222nd birthday this year. High time we paid a visit.

You enter Brouwerij Bosteels in Buggenhout through a passage too narrow for photographer Rob Mitchell and I to fit comfortably. This is the original brewer’s house, now a listed building.

 
 

Room for Growth

room-for-growth-thumbThe new premises of Brasserie de la Senne in Molenbeek, across the canal from the city centre, are massive and half-empty.

 

Quality Control

quality-control-thumbBavik Brewery is not shy about pushing a good product

Imagine you’re in line to eventually take over at your great-greatgrandfather’s brewery from 1894. You’re young; you’ve finished your studies, so naturally you set off to work for… Heineken. Wait, what? It may sound like an impossibly surreal Belgian tale but it’s one with a happy ending, I promise.

 
 

It Takes a Village to Build a Brewery

it-takes-a-village-2-thumbBockor looks steadfast towards the future while holding firm ground in Bellegem, West Flanders. Robyn Boyle reports.

Coming into Bellegem, in South-West Flanders close to the French border, there are two things that break up the rural landscape.

 

Go West

go-west-thumbKortrijk’s hidden treasures are worth the trip

For someone who started out as a kid picking hops in the family fields, Emmanuel “Manu” De Landtsheer has done pretty well for himself.

 
 

Brussels for Beer Lovers

brussels-for-beer-lovers-2-thumbSo your first stop is the Grand Place, right? It has to be. The narrow alleys that bring you there part ways to reveal what is arguably Europe’s most impressive central square.

 

Jean’s Choice

jeans-choice-thumbThe Moeder Lambic in Brussels centre is fast becoming A Thing in the capital, but it’s not a new thing. The original opened seven years ago at a stone’s throw from the town hall in the multi-cultural and slightly hipsterish Saint-Gilles.

 
 

Delivering the Impossible

delivering-the-imposible-thumbBeer and Chocolate at Laurent Gerbaud

The author Roald Dahl, one imagines, must at one time have met a chocolate-maker, which inspired his creation of the character of Willy Wonka.

 

Cantillon Rises

cantillon-rises-thumbA brewery turnaround worthy of a Hollywood epic, Paul Walsh reports

Plans are currently in place for an exhibition centreor “Beer Temple” in the heart of  Brussels in the building that once housed the city’s stock exchange. Set for a 2018 launch it’s sure to become a must-see tourist stop in the city.

 
 

Good Fortune

good-fortune-thumbThe man behind Malheur and how he turned the tide

For someone who started out as a kid picking hops in the family fields, Emmanuel “Manu” De Landtsheer has done pretty well for himself.

 

Brussels on your Plate

brussels-on-your-plate-thumbLocal and authentic aren’t buzzwords at Les Brigittines

The waiter is one straight out of the movies – black-andwhite clad, professional without being stiff, and I could swear I saw a white linen draped over one arm.

 
 

The Church in the Middle of the Village

the-church-in-the-middle-of-the-village-thumbWhat was intended to be a tasting of some new beers at Pierre Zuber’s shop Delices & Caprices in central Brussels got off to a rather awkward start.

 

Hilaire Spreuwers introduces Beerstronomy

beerstronomy-2-thumbSince 2011 when he first launched high-end beer restaurant Bitter Zoet, Hilaire Spreuwers has made a name for himself as a beer and food pairing  evangelist.

“You have to remember that beer is not just an ingredient in your cooking, it’s an extension of the meal itself,” says Spreuwers, while busily preparing a beer lunch for the Belgian Beer & Food team.