Crying in the wilderness

image001De Ranke turned to the past, and found the future. Alan Hope meets the uncompromising upstart brewers who have turned doing their own thing into an art form

The mantra of the Belgian beer industry – Innovation through Tradition – is sometimes a cover for making stuffy, old-fashioned beers in state-of-the-art breweries. De Ranke brewery had its equipment all tailor-made to make beer the way it used to be made. In a country where brewers count their experience in generations rather than years, they’re a couple of upstarts who decided to turn back the clock, and in doing so have achieved some of the most interesting innovations of recent years.

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