Friday, August 22, 2008

It's the moment of Beer in Brussels! Great events in September.

Even if the blog is devoted to wine, since living in Brussels I have been drinking with great interest and enormous pleasure many of the hundreds beers that this country produces, which are small pieces of art, often brewed only in very small quantities and in a real artisanal way.

I know that the reputation of Belgian beer is now rather undisputed but only a very small amount of these jewels can be tasted beyond the borders and often not those of the small independent producers.

Even in Brussels, if you can easily find Leffe, Chimay, Orval or Rochefort, it is much more difficult to taste a Floreffe, Napoleon and even more a beer of the brewer "la Brasserie à vapeur", producing more than 50 different beers (some of them with 2 years aging in barrels!!).

Well, I think I will have in the future the opportunity to start a longer discussion and an introduction to some of the most interesting Belgian beers but I just wanted to flash some major events that will take place around the beer in September.

First of all, on 5-7 September the 10th "Week-end de la biere" will take place in the Grand' Place in Brussels. Organised by the Belgian Brewer's Association and featuring more than 40 brewers it will offer a large choice of beers from the whole country.

The second Beer event is the "Bruxellensis Festival" that will take place on 13-14 of September always in Brussels at "La Glacière de Saint-Gilles", 18 Rue de la Glacière, 1060 Saint-Gilles, Brussels. Even if the number of brewers present to the tasting won't be very large, they are all selected among the most interesting independent brewers and for sure they will offer great surpirses.

For the beer fans a warm suggestion if you are looking for a nice cool place to taste a large number of beers in brussels: "Chez Moeder Lambic" (Rue de Savoie 68, at 1060 Saint-Gilles). The place claims to list more than 600 different beers and the environment is extremely nice and cool.

I will keep you informed about the result of these beer tastings in the following weeks.

And for many friends living in Italy and looking for Belgian beers I know that the situation has largely improved during these last years but availability is often limited to the big brewers (Leffe, Chimay...) and they cost about 3-4 times the Belgian price (for example a bottle of Leffe Blonde in Belgium costs around 1€). I have already friends that are organising orders directly from beer shops here in order to get larger choice and better prices.

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