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Weekend of beer in Brussels (Spring 2009)

I just found I never posted or actually finished this blog post. So I am just going to post it as is. I am now working on my recent US trip, hopefully it won't take a year to finish and go live

Date: 18th & 19th April 2009

People: Luke Nicholas (Epic), Colin Mallon (The Malthouse) and Derek "Analysis" Walsh (International Beer Judge, including BrewNZ Beer Awards 2007)

So how did we get to this point, a little background maybe. Well I was in London for a follow up tour and doing a series of "Meet the Brewer" sessions at the JD Wetherspoons pubs during their Real Ale Festival.

Colin "Malthouse" Mallon was in London at the same time on his way to Galsgow to visit family for a few weeks.

So we had already had four days in London drinking around different beers and pubs, but ending up at The Rake nearly every afternoon or evening.

It was time to get out of town.

After a grey and rainy Friday we woke to a crisp Spring London morning, with clear blue skies. Staying just over the road from St Pancras station it wasn't much of a walk to get to the Eurostar. Having pre-book via the internet we could walk into the station and went to the machine to print out our boarding passes. This was as easy as putting your credit card in the machine and the boarding passes came out.

Next check-in was as easy, security wasn't as tough as US, so you didn't have to strip down or take your laptop out.

So up the ramps, jump on the carriage and and away we go. The following are the series of Tweets I put out, the time shown is NZ Time

Sunny morning in London, forecast looks great for the weekend and just check in for the Eurostar going to Brussels - 7:30 PM Apr 18th from web

Eurostar departing London for Brussels - 7:59 PM Apr 18th from web

Just out of the Chunnel, and now in France - 8:58 PM Apr 18th from web

@epicbeer has arrived in Brussels - 9:57 PM Apr 18th from web

At the Cantillion Brewery - 11:24 PM Apr 18th from web

After tour tasting at Cantillion, Gueuze and Kriek, both good - 12:07 AM Apr 19th from web

Now sharing a 750ml bottle of Cantillon Iris 2006 with Colin Mallon and Derek Walsh at they brewery - love the hoppiness, wow.- 12:16 AM Apr 19th from web

We walked some distance across Brussels to find that the Spinnekopke didn't open till 6pm on a Saturday, so unfortunately we had to miss it on this visit.

At Poechenellekelder with a Zinner Bir 5.5% - 1:52 AM Apr 19th from web

Also a quick taste of Affligem Patersvat, lovely, Taras Boulba from Brasserie De La Senne awesome hops - 1:58 AM Apr 19th from web

Now have a Brouwerij De Ranke XX Bitter 6.2% great bitterness, a taste of Bink Blonde and Gouden Carolus Hopsinjoor 8% lovely bal & good hop - 2:41 AM Apr 19th from web

Also have some cheese - Chimay Grand Classique, Pottekees and Bouquet des moines2:47 AM Apr 19th from web

A round of stouts, Brasserie Ellezelloise Hercule Stout 9%, Buffalo Stout (very sweet)9% and an amazing Stouterik 4.5% from De Zeene3:37 AM Apr 19th from web

The Brewers Place

At Cafe A la Mort Subite with a Gueuze Sur Lie, and also tasting Faro and Boskeun from Dolle Brouwers4:59 AM Apr 19th from web

Walked past Beer Planet, on our way to Delerium Cafe, would have gone in but it was starting to rain and we were on a mission.

At Delerium Cafen with some Snake Dog IPA (I know) 6.4% why do I love these resinous hops sooooo much & a taste of Tsjeeses Xmas Ale6:32 AM Apr 19th from web

This place was decorated with serving trays all over the roof.

At Le Bier Circus for some dinner with a Saison Dupont 6.5%7:42 AM Apr 19th from web

Having a Hofbrouwerijke Hofblues 5.5%. Great stout, and a taste of Hofnar 5% with Tim Webb9:10 AM Apr 19th from web

At La Fleur en papier dore,10:12 AM Apr 19th from web

Got a Oud Beersel10:12 AM Apr 19th from web

The Epic Journey continues - DAY 2 in Brussels » link to Epic Journey - UK & Belgium April 20097:14 PM Apr 19th from web

At La Brocante outside looking over the Sunday flea market waiting for a beer10:15 PM Apr 19th from web

Now with a 2004 Boon Geuze Mariage Parfait (Oude Geuze) 8.0% (wow) best before date 25/06/2028 WHAT?10:28 PM Apr 19th from web

Taste of 3 Fonteinen Oude Geuze 6% (that is even better Boon) and some Boon 2004 Oude Kriek 6.5% very good10:33 PM Apr 19th from web

Now having a Stouterik from Brasserie de la Senne with the brewer Yvan and beer writer Tim Webb. Still at La Brocante11:21 PM Apr 19th from web

On arrival at Restobieres we are greeted by Alain Fayt who reminded me somewhat of the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld as we were 10 minutes late for our booking, and got relegated to the upstairs outside (undercover) storage area, with the air of "no hope of having lunch today". Luckily for us we had just meet up with Tim Webb and Yvan De Baets (Brasserie De La Seene), and they were able to change the tune, and miraculously another table was found and we had an amazing afternoon of beer, food and entertainment by Alain.

"For dessert, Alain Fayt whips the eggs tableside with cherry-flavoured kriek beer, working his whisk as if it were possessed and churning out a hot, cloudlike sabayon."

This is a must visit location for beer in Brussels, or even the reason to visit Brussels, but don't be late for your booking, or else - "no beer for you"

32, rue des renards
1000, Bruxelles

Spent afternoon at Restobieres with Tim and Yvan, had a wonderful lunch even had a Jambe de Bois, last bottle take from someone else table2:11 AM Apr 20th from web

Huge thanks to Alain for a wonderful wonderful afternoon at Restobieres, fantastics food and beers, a must visit again3:50 AM Apr 20th from web

At Chez Moeder Lambic, lovely sunny Sunday afternoon to have a Valeir Extra and a taste of V Cense and Guldenberg from De Ranke3:55 AM Apr 20th from web

Now time for a round of Flemish Browns - with Ichtegems Oud Bruin 6.5%, Vichtenaar and Liefmans Goudenband (last bottle)4:40 AM Apr 20th from web

Better have a taste the Petrus Oud Bruin4:54 AM Apr 20th from web

A taste of Wevelgemse Tripel from De Ranke5:13 AM Apr 20th from web

At Poechenellekelder for a final drink or two to end a lovely weekend in Brussels. Awesome evening after a fine and sunny day.7:29 AM Apr 20th from web

With Bink in hand and a taste of Malkeur 10, this is an amazing must have beer, beats Westmalle Triple for me7:40 AM Apr 20th from web

Heard two terms today in Brussels, "swaffelen" and "kwak" not sure what they are laughing about, might be dutch, french or flemish??7:47 AM Apr 20th from web

Had to get my own Malheur 10 and a taste of Westmalle Triple and Achel Blonde, the sausage, meats and cheese platter was very nice8:14 AM Apr 20th from web

Boarded Eurostar in Brussels bound for London7:16 PM Apr 20th from web

Back in London, straight to the Crosse Keys, and the first tap you walk to from the front door happens to be Epic Pale Ale right now.10:18 PM Apr 20th from web

Views: 246

Comment by JoKing on April 19, 2010 at 9:20am
What an experience. That would be the trip of a lifetime for me! I'm only a little bit jealous.


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