Boak & Bailey’s Belgian binge

We’re off to Brus­sels for a long week­end in a cou­ple of days. We’ve been a cou­ple of times before but this time we’ll be armed with lap­top and cam­era for instant blog­ging.

We’re putting togeth­er some plans for what we’re going to try but won­dered whether any of you had sug­ges­tions for how to nav­i­gate the enor­mous uni­verse of Bel­gian beers. Are there any beers you think we should def­i­nite­ly “try before we die”? How about some themes for beer crawls (per­haps a geuze night, or a night on beers less than 5%…) Or are there some amaz­ing beers you’ve nev­er tried that you want us to attempt to track down and review? We like a chal­lenge…

We’ve found that Bel­gian Beers is a use­ful place to start – as well as reviews of Bel­gian beers, one by one, Andreea lists brew­eries and bars. Nice pho­tos too.

We’ll be based in Brus­sels but plan to do some day trips. We have three com­plete days, and pos­si­bly an extra night depend­ing on how late we get in on Thurs­day.

Any ideas?

4 thoughts on “Boak & Bailey’s Belgian binge”

  1. I’m head­ing that way myself next month and one of the things I’ll be look­ing out for is the avail­abil­i­ty of the West­vleteren beers. I’ve had them in Bel­gium before, but hadn’t realised that every sin­gle per­son who sells you one is break­ing an oath to the Almighty’s dis­ci­ples not to resell. Is there any sort of moral code among the tav­ern-keep­ers, or is it just “Have a beer and **** the monks”?

  2. Yes, we were won­der­ing if a trip to the brew­ery is fea­si­ble. We think not, not with­out a car. The more I read about the monks, the more fas­ci­nat­ing it gets. I love their home­page which puts the brew­ery fair­ly low down in the rank­ing.

    http://www.sintsixtus.be/eng/index2.html

    Is it wrong to sug­gest the whole exclu­siv­i­ty thing is a very good mar­ket­ing exer­cise?

    PS – real­ly liked your arti­cle on beer in Nor­way. I’ve includ­ed the link here for every­one else’s ben­e­fit.

    http://www.irishcraftbrewer.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=66&Itemid=1

  3. Seems to me that tour­ing the trap­pist brew­eries is the sort of thing you need a car for. Nev­er­the­less I like the idea of just going to Chi­may to say “Hooray, I’m in Chi­may”, or going to Rochefort to say “Hooray, I’m in Rochefort”, even though there is bug­ger-all of inter­est in either town (I actu­al­ly did this in Erd­ing – a very clean, qui­et Bavar­i­an com­muter town). Chi­may and Rochefort both have rail­way sta­tions.

    I have con­sid­ered that the West­vleteren guys are being cyn­i­cal, but there’s some­thing in the fact that they’re a) Bel­gian and b) monks that sug­gests to me that they’re seri­ous. The whole phone up, give us your car reg, show up at a spec­i­fied time and only get one type of beer rig­ma­role does not sug­gest a busi­ness on the make to me. Plus this is Bel­gium, where no amount of clever mar­ket­ing will make peo­ple buy a sub-par beer.

    Glad you liked the Nor­way schtick and I hope some­one finds it use­ful: when you’re pay­ing those prices you want to keep tri­al-and-error to a min­i­mum.

  4. ha! that sounds like a lot of fun. there are some beer fes­ti­vals going on (one close to wavre, 30min from brus­sels) where you could get by train. i’ve post­ed on all of them on the google cal­en­dar. oth­er than that let me know if you need last minute tips – we’ll be in brus­sels with vis­i­tors of our own so help could be on hand. so look­ing for­ward to your beer reviews – i have been lag­ging behind on mine …

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