Issue #6


issue 6 full v601By Paul Walsh
As if to absolve themselves after years of ignoring their country’s brewing culture and swilling champagne while doing so – Belgium’s politicians have decided to
devote a large building in the centre of Brussels to beer.

Beer and the city

issue 6 full v605By Alan Hope
Belgian cities, for some reason, are not home to many
brewers. Brussels has three, only two of which are up
and running; Ghent has only the city brewery Gruut, which is tiny and, though its products are medievally
influenced, very recent.

Whose round is it anyway?

issue 6 full v60By Alan Hope
Hans Bombeke, the fount of all local knowledge about beer in Antwerp, drew up a list of pubs worth a visit, and BB&F checked them out.

Wild things

issue 6 full v609By Alan Hope
Some time after the summer, in August for some parts and September-October for others, the new Stadsbrouwerij visitor centre will open at what used to be the De Koninck brewery in Berchem in Antwerp.

Hats off

issue 6 full v613By Breandán Kearney
This is the oldest restaurant in Antwerp,” says Cas Goossens as he shows me around Grand Café De Rooden Hoed in the city centre. “It’s maybe the oldest restaurant in Belgium. This place lives.

Playing it Seef

issue 6 full v614By Alan Hope
Some brewers are born into their recipes, some achieve recipes, and some have recipes thrust upon them. Johan Van Dyck went hunting for his, and eventually found it in some long-discarded papers.

Gimme five

issue 6 full v616By Breandán Kearney
The people of Antwerp are proud of their city. They’re proud of their diamond trade, art scene and fashion industry. And they’re especially proud of their rich and diverse food culture.

The Martino: Sandwich of Legend

issue 6 full v617By Joe Stange
Antwerp’s version of the story goes like this: it’s 1951 and footballer Albert De Herdt is working in a sandwich shop on De Coninckplein, north of Central station.

Beer and the meaning of life

issue 6 full v618By Paul Walsh
As he sits down for our interview, Jan Toye counts his blessings. “To be a part of the beer world, to create a product that gives people pleasure, to have inherited all of this,” he says, nodding to the brewery across the street.

Survive and thrive

issue 6 full v621By Paul Walsh
De Halve Maan is on one of Bruges’s main tourist trails and has become the most visited brewery in the Benelux region. Yet far from the sweetened crowd pleasers that you might expect at such a location, its beers are complex and finely balanced,

What’s in a name?

issue 6 full v624By Alan Hope
If you’re looking for a beer that’s guaranteed to put a smile on someone’s lips, the safest bet is Silly. That’s the name of a brewery in the town of the same name, within the triangle of Hainaut created by Ath,

Generation Z

issue 6 full v4By Breandán Kearney
Zythos may deliver a range of activities in their mission to promote Belgian beer culture, but by far the most important is the Zythos Beer Festival, held on the last weekend of April each year. Since it moved to Leuven from Sint-Niklaas four years ago, the festival’s visitor numbers have increased by 10% each year.

simple life

issue 6 full v625By Hilaire Spreuwers
Beer pairing doesn’t have to be complicated, says pairing specialist Hilaire Spreuwers, as he places a plate of raw green vegetables and feta cheese in front of us.

It’s all relative

issue 6 full v628By Alan Hope
Taking up the food-pairing challenge this issue 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).

By the light of the moon

issue 6 full v629By Breandán Kearney
It’s only brewed during the period of the full moon,” says Vincent Caulier as he pours a cloudy golden ale into a bulbous glass. The beer is a Paix-Dieu, named for the abbey in Amay which previously housed the nuns of the Cîteaux order and for whom Vincent and his family now produce beer.

A matter of taste

issue 6 full v630By Sally Tipper and Paul Walsh
Ellen Mertens has been part of the Alken-Maes family in Opwijk for 20 years. In that time, while working her way up to brewery manager, she’s supervised an overhaul of the brewery’s methods, the creation of a bespoke anniversary brew for the monks of Affligem, and, the latest venture, helping create a new kriek lambic with Mort Subite’s

Dubuisson Pairing

issue 6 full v632By Alan Hope
In a pairing challenge for us, private chef, author and blogger Els Debremaeker has three beers from brewer Dubuisson to work with. Her menu choices take their cue from north African spices, the seasons and her travels in China,

From father to son

issue 6 full v633By Alan Hope
At the end of 2002, the Oud Beersel brewery closed down,” explains Gert Christiaens, who now runs the operation. “At the beginning of 2003