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Issue #2

 


Proud to be Belgian?

By Paul Walsh
While growing up in Ireland in the 1980s, the country wasn’t able to get anything right. The economy was on the floor, bombs and shootings were a weekly, sometimes daily event in Northern Ireland.

 
 

When Is a Brewery Not a Brewery?
(And Does it Matter?)

By Joe Stange Who really makes that gorgeous liquid pouring out of that bottle? And if the contents are tasty, who cares?

 

Balancing Extremes

By John Rega
The Struise Brouwers and Brouwerij Alvinne have arisen over the past decade to reinterpret and challenge Belgium’s beer traditions for a global audience. All somewhat by chance. John Rega asks how and why.

 
 

The Good Brewer

By Alan Hope
You start to see signs of Huyghe brewery long before you get there. All along the road through East Flanders toward the village of Melle there appear, without a word of explanation, signs depicting a lurid pink elephant against a grey background.

 

Break On Through To The Other Side

By Alan Hope
We have a slogan. We are proud to say we are the oldest and most authentic brewery in Wallonia.”

 
 

Dining with Dubuisson

By Paul Walsh
In the world of beer cuisine, Dubuisson should be easy to work with; after all this is the brewery that promoted gastronomic beer back when contemporaries were preoccupied with buying up brown cafés.

 

The Woman’s Touch

By Sofie Vanrafelghem
Ellen Mertens was always interested in science. That’s what led her to study bio-engineering at the University of Leuven. In the last year of her master’s program she had five options, and she chose beer technology.

 
 

Room for Growth

By Alan Hope
“Can you imagine my email address? Albert-De-Brabandere- at-Brouwerij-De- Brabandere-dot-B-E. It’s a nightmare. I had some people coming up with completely new names but I said no. Stick to what you are, go back to your foundations and you’ll find the answer there. It’s not your website that decides your way forward, it’s your story.”

 

A Local Empire

By Alan Hope
Roman isn’t world’s best-known Belgian brewery, but in the Flemish Ardennes it’s a neighborhood institution with a long and weighty tradition. Today, the brothers Roman have their sights set on expansion.

 
 

Lessons Of History

By Paul Walsh
One of Belgian Beer & Food’s aims is to tell the stories of Belgian breweries, but the truth is that we can only scratch the surface, dealing with the few that are still around today, while neglecting thousands that have been and gone, in some cases leaving barely a trace.

 

Soul Food

By Alan Hope
When I arrive at the restaurant Grand Cabaret in Nieuwpoort, chef Vincent Florizoone is alone in the kitchen and there are 20 covers for lunch, but he finds the time to cook me a pork chop.

 
 

The Hop Country

By Alan Hope
Poperinge is famous for two things: firstly for the respite offered to fighting men during the horrors of World War I, whether at Talbot House or the many bars and brothels which Pop — as the Tommies called it — provided; and secondly for its hops.

 

Sons of the Soil

By Alan Hope
For a country with such a stellar international reputation for beer, Belgium is — not to put too fine a point on it — a pipsqueak on the international hops scene.

 
 

Hops on Show

By Alan Hope
The first thing that strikes you about the Hop Museum in Poperinge is the stateliness of the building, even on the rather dismal December day we visited.

 

Growing Against the Grain

By Alan Hope
Joris Cambie is a hop grower. He insists on this fact half a dozen times in the hours we spend with him: “My father (pictured next to Joris) was a hop farmer, and his father and his father, and for as long as we know about.

 
 

Have You Ever Lusted After a Beer?

By Charles D. Cook
I mean, really wanted it, so much so that you’d do anything to get it? That’s how a lot of people feel about the hallowed brews made at the Saint Sixtus Abbey, located near the West Flanders hamlet of Westvleteren, just north of Poperinge.

 

Tourist Attractions in Poperinge

The people of Poperinge point proudly to the fact that their town was once bigger than Ieper and Kortrijk, and that this is evidenced by the presence of three churches: The late Gothic church of St. Bertin, the 15th century Gothic Church of Our Lady, and the 14th century Gothic church of Saint John.

 
 

Ageing Well

By Alan Hope
There are three breweries in the Poperinge municipality: the two-man show of De Plukker in Poperinge proper, the renowned Sint — Bernardus in Watou , and the middlesized Van Eecke, also in Watou.

 

Tradition, Unreconstructed

By Alan Hope
Belgian breweries prize their history and tradition, in theory. In practice it hasn’t always worked out that way.

 
 

Poperinge Pub Crawl

By Alan Hope
The strangest place you’ll find in Poperinge has to be Het Mysterie. It looks innocent as can be: one of a long line of one-storey houses on this part of the road, tiny and tidy as a row of Monopoly houses, a bicycle or two propped against the façade while the owner waters himself inside.

 

Godfather of Beer Cuisine

By Alan Hope
When you taste some of the beers they’re brewing nowadays, some of them are not drinkable. I was on the jury of the Brussels Beer Challenge, and some of the things I tasted there…”