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Tag Archives: Belgium

Tripel Karmeliet brewer sells to AB-Inbev

tk33_glass_highAcquisitions within the beer world are becoming fairly routine. Whether it is larger craft beer breweries acquiring smaller craft breweries or mega brewing companies purchasing craft breweries, the result is an ever-tightening of the beer market. But also, the buying and selling means greater access to brands that beer-lovers may not otherwise be able to purchase locally. (see my post, Craft Beer Mergers)

But, the brewery purchasing mania does not end with just craft breweries. Over the past five to ten years, foreign brands have been snapped up by various entities, too. This is especially true of Belgian brands that, to many beer enthusiasts, are nothing less than the nectar of the Gods.

On September 8, 2016 Brewery Bosteels announced its acquisition by AB InBev but that Antoine Bosteels, 7th -generation company head would remain at the helm. Bosteels, the brewry responsible for such iconic Belgian brands as Kwak and Tripel Karmeliet sold to the international beer behemoth for €200 million (about $225 million).

In an article for Beer Connoisseur, Sean Knoll, CEO of Artisanal Inports, the U.S. distributer of Bosteel brands said, “The integrity of Bosteels as a traditional Belgian family brewery and the quality of its beer remains unchanged despite the new parent company.”

This in response to reports that some retailers and on-premises sellers had threatened to pull the beers from their shelves and taps.

AB-Inbev already owns Belgian brands Stella Artois, Leffe and Hoegaarden.

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Posted by on September 19, 2016 in Beer, Beer News

 

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Oskar Blues releases new summer refresher

unnamedOne of my favorite style of beer for a hot summer afternoon is a Belgian Wit. But, had it not been for a Belgian milkman named Pierre Celis. By 1960, the beer, which had once been immensely popular in eastern Belgium, had disappeared from production and was essentially extinct.

Celis, who lived in Hoegaarden, Belgium, was not about to let his beloved witbier vanish from the face of the earth so he purchased some used brewing equipment and began producing the beer himself in 1966. Within just a few years, other brewers again began brewing the style and one of beers greatest comebacks was completed.

The beer is characterized by its hazy white appearance and the spices used to flavor it. Brewers use a melange of spices like chamomile, anise, grains of paradise, peppercorns, ginger and orange peel in the brewing process to give the beer its unique flavor.

American craft brewer Oskar Blues has produced its version of the refresher for years but, until now, it had only been available on tap at the company’s tap rooms and restaurants. That changes this month when Priscilla White Wit Wheat will  be released in cans across the country.

Read all about the brew in the press release below:

Longmont, CO & Brevard, NC & Austin, TXOskar Blues Brewery, the brewery that launched the craft beer-in-a-can apocalypse in 2002, announces the national launch of an AmeriCAN take on the Belgian Classic Wit, Priscilla White Wit Wheat. It’s a Belgian White, Belgian Wit, Belgian Wheat…it’s a White Wit Wheat (5.2% ABV, 20 IBUs).
The beer, which features orange peel and coriander spice, emanated from the basement blues music legacy Dave McIntyre (18 year Oskar Bluesologist) built at the original Oskar Blues Grill & Brew in Lyons, CO. On draft for over a decade, Priscilla’s zesty citrus and light fresh baked bread aromas mix with spicy, fruity fermentation. Light bodied with a subtle savory spice accent and a dry, lightly tart finish you can nearly feel the flicker of the neon and sounds of the King. White Wit Wheat.
“Priscilla is a beer steeped in Oskar Blues’ music history,” said Chad Melis. “A longtime Oskar Blues favorite, we’ve decided its time to bring this amped up, electric brew from the basement and to the masses.”
Oskar Blues, named “The hottest place to be on a Saturday night in Colorado” by Rolling Stone because of its roots in the Colorado music scene, will brew its first batch of Dale’s Pale Ale at their new brewery and taproom in Austin, TX today. The brewery will continue its tradition of soul-savin’ live music with a music venue as part of the Austin taproom.
Priscilla White Wit Wheat will launch throughout the month of June in all 50 states where Oskar Blues is sold and will be available in 12oz. 6-packs and draft.
 
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Posted by on June 2, 2016 in Beer, Beer Releases

 

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New Belgium tinkering with Dubbel, Trippel recipes

abbey_lNew Belgium Brewing announced today that the recipes of several of their beers will be reimagined. Two of their longest running beers — Abbey Belgian Style Dubbel and Trippel Belgian Style Ale – will undergo several changes to update them “a new era.”

According to the brewery’s official press release, “Subtle recipe tweaks will allow the malty and hoppy characteristics of each beer to shine through. A new yeast strain will help balance the esters and phenol while emphasizing the Belgian character of these beers.”

The two beers started life as homebrew recipes inspired by a trip to Belgium and first appeared more than 25 years ago. They were among the first Belgian-inspired beers produced in the United States. With new developments in hops and malt manufacturing, the brewery felt there was a need for the update.

“As an American craft brewer founded on Belgian tradition, we have a deep respect for our history and our roots,” said NBB Specialty Brand Manager, Lauren Salazar. “And of course, there’s a ‘New’ in our name for a reason. As brewers of craft beer, we need to embrace growth and change and continue to push ourselves to make the best beers possible. We think these changes exemplify the very best of old world Belgium and new craft technique.”

In addition to Munich malt, Trippel now incorporates Pilsener malt and one additional hop, Hallertau Mittelfrüh, for an herbal and spicy Nobel hop nose. Trippel is classically smooth and complex, with notes of fruit and spice before a pleasantly warm and crisp finish. Alcohol has increased slightly to 8.5%, 40 IBUs.

Abbey has eight different malts including caramel, Munich, chocolate and now oats for mouthfeel. The addition of Caramunich and Special W malt add rich tones of chocolate and dark caramel with hints of dried cherries, burnt sugar and figs. Sweet and roasty up front, followed by a slightly bitter finish, Abbey is a true-to-style representation of the monastic beers of Belgium. Alcohol rests at 7%, 20 IBU.

For a short time, both new and old versions may be found side-by-side on shelves. Beer drinkers can identify the new versions by their expiration dates; any Trippel with a Best Buy date of 4/17/16 or later is the new version; any Abbey with a Best Buy date of 6/19/16 or later is the new version as well.

 
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Posted by on September 2, 2015 in Beer News

 

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Cantillion Zwanze Day 2015 venues revealed

zwanzeday2015Aficionados of sour brews are sure to recognize the name of Brussels, Belgium brewer Cantillion. The brewer is renowned for creating some of the world’s best lambic brews and its brewery is always on the itinerary when visiting Belgium. Back in 2008, Cantillion brewed and bottled the first of a special series of beers dubbed Zwanze, a word that refers to a sarcastic sense of humor in the Brussels dialect.

That first beer – a special lambic with rhubarb added – led to more in the series created with untraditional ingrediants, thus Zwanze. As the beers became more and more sought-after, Cantillon brewer Jean Van Roy used his Zwanze series to bring lambic enthusiasts together around the world for Zwanze Day.

At first the celebrations were sporadic and unscheduled. They depended on who could get the brews and when they could be procured. But, in 2011, the Zwanze series was released to select bars and taverns simultaneously world-wide. Zwanze Day had been born and has grown every year since.

This year the celebration will take place on Saturday, September 19 and include more than 50 establishments, 26 in the United States. The closest venue to Jacksonville is Redlight Redlight in the Orlando area.

This year’s beer is Wild Brussels Stout and will no doubt be a rich stout with a bit of tart funk. Previous entries have included a lambic with Pineau D’aunis grapes added, a lambic with elderflowers added and the highly-coveted Iris Grand Cru.

The full list of venues celebrating Zwanze Day 2015 is provided below.

AUSTRALIA

– The Dutch Trading Company — Perth

AUSTRIA

– Tribaun — Innsbruck

BELGIUM

– Moeder Lambic Fontainas — Brussels

– Moeder Lambic Saint-Gilles — Brussels

– Mi-Orge Mi-Houblon – Arlon

– Rose Red — Brugge

CANADA

– Dieu du Ciel — Montréal, Québec

– barVolo — Toronto, Ontario

– Biercraft – Vancouver, British Columbia

DENMARK

– Olbutikken — Copenhagen

FRANCE

– La Fine Mousse — Paris

– La Capsule — Lille

FINLAND

– Stadin Panimo Baari — Helsinki

GERMANY

– Café Herman — Berlin

GREAT BRITAIN

– Kings Arms — London

– Kernel Brewery — Bermondsey

– Six° North — Aberdeen

ITALIE

– Ma Che Siete Venuti A Fà — Rome

– The Dome — Nembro

– LambicZoon — Milano

– The Drunken Duck — Quinto Vicentino

– Ristopub Margherita — Quartu Sant’Elena

– Ottavonano — Atripalda

JAPAN

– Brussels Otemachi – Tokyo

– Dolphin’s Umeda– Osaka

 

NEDERLAND

– De Bierkoning — Amsterdam

NORWAY

– Nogne O — Grimstad

SPAIN

– Masia Agullons — Sant Joan de Mediona

SWEDEN

– Akkurat — Stockholm

SWITZERLAND

– Erzbierschof — Zurich

USA

– Anchorage Brewing Co. — Anchorage, Alaska

– Apex — Portland, Oregon

– Armsby Abbey — Worcester, Massachusetts

– Avenue Pub — New Orleans, Louisiana

– Bagby Beer — Oceanside, California

– Beachwood BBQ — Seal Beach, California

– Blue Monk — Buffalo, New York

– Brouwer’s Café — Seattle, Washington

– ChurchKey — Washington, D.C.

– Crooked Stave Barrel Cellar — Denver, Colorado

– Fool’s Gold — Manhattan, New York

– Hill Farmstead Brewery — Greensboro, Vermont

– Holy Grale — Louisville, Kentucky

– Jester King Brewery — Austin, Texas

– Lord Hobo — Cambridge, Massachusetts

– Monk’s Café — Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

– Novare Res Bier Café — Portland, Maine

– REAL a Gastropub — Honolulu, Hawai’i

– Redlight Redlight — Orlando, Florida

– Russian River Brewing — Santa Rosa, California

– Schera’s — Elkader, Iowa

– Side Project Cellar — Maplewood, Missouri

– Spuyten Duyvil — Brooklyn, New York

– The Birch – Norfolk, Virginia

– The Trappist — Oakland, California

– West Lakeview Liquors — Chicago, Illinois

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2015 in Beer Festival

 

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Beer dinners return to Kickbacks with New Belgium Lost in the Woods event

FullSizeRender With the opening of Goozlepipe & Guttyworks expansion, Steve Flores has essentially quadrupled the size of his popular King Street Beer District anchor Kickback’s Gastropub. During the long construction phase of the project, Flores made the conscious decision to suspend hosting his popular beer dinners. But, the long drought is over with the highly successful event he hosted with New Belgium Brewing Company Saturday, February 7.

Nestled in the still-under-construction Belgian basement of G&G, the dinner was timed to coincide with the brewery’s annual Lost in the Woods event in Ft. Collins, Colo. The event in Colorado opens the doors of the brewery to lucky ticket-holders who are given a behind-the-scenes look at the brewery’s acclaimed sour beer program.

IMG_4988The Jacksonville event had diners seated in a dining and bar area reminiscent of a medieval brick beer cellar smack in the middle of Belgium. One could almost imagine robed monks toiling away behind the brick walls, making the kind of amazing beer they are known for.

Dinner consisted of eight courses; each paired with or made with one of New Belgium’s brews. But, it was the beer list that was truly impressive. Interspersed with the food were 25 beers including some of the most sought-after brews New Belgium has ever produced.

As the dinner unfolded, guest were treated to insightful information from local New Belgium Beer Ranger Kirsten Kelly. She related the story of how the brewery was founded and its dedication to green processes. She also provided details on how the beers being served were created.

Flores also provided details about his plans for the Belgian Basement. Once it is fully operational, the basement will serve only beers brewed in Belgium, not Belgian-style beers produced in other parts of the world. The IMG_4994basement will also feature catacombs for storing and aging beers, lockers that can be rented by guests to store their rare and vintage brews and a grand, circular tasting room reminiscent of the tasting rooms found in the great wine producing areas of the world.

For those interested in the beer list, guest were treated to:

  1. Fat Tire – New Belgium’s flagship amber ale, 5.2%.
  2. Lips of Faith Paardebloem – Brewed with Red Rock brewery, this is a Belgian-style Strong Pale Ale brewed with peach juice, grains of paradise, dandelion greens and blended with wood-aged ale, 9%.
  3. Snapshot – A refreshingly tart American wheat ale, 5%.
  4. Lips of Faith Heavenly Feijoa – Brewed with Brasserie Dieu du Ciel, this is a Belgian-style Triple with hibiscus flowers and feijoa fruit, 9%.
  5. Lips of Faith Pluot – Another Belgian-style Triple, this time brewed with pluot (a cross between a plum and an apricot) juice, 10%.
  6. Lips of Faith Gratzer – Brewed in collaboration with 3 Floyds, this Polish-style beer is made with smoked wheat for a delicious smoky flavor, 4.5%.
  7. Lips of Faith Coconut Curry Hefeweizen – Brewed with cinnamon, coriander, fenugreek, ginger, kaffir lime and cayenne pepper, 8%.
  8. Lips of Faith Gruit – Includes seasonings such as horehound, bog myrtle, yarrow, wormwood and elderflowers, 6.6%.
  9. Slow Ride – A refreshingly and drinkable session IPA, 4.5%.
  10. Ranger – New Belgium’s flagship IPA, 6.5%.
  11. Rampant – An Imperial IPA weighing in at 8.5%.
  12. Portage – A smooth porter with flavors of chocolate and coffee, 6%.
  13. 1554 – Black lager, 5.6%.
  14. Trippel – Belgian-style tripel brewed with coriander, 7.8%.
  15. Lips of Faith Yuzu – An Imperial Berliner Weisse brewed with yuzu (an Asian citrus fruit) juice, 8%.
  16. Wild2 Dubbel – A Belgian-style Dubbel brewed with schisandra berries, 8%.
  17. Lips of Faith Anaheim and Marash Chilies Ale – Brewed with Cigar City Brewing Company this beer was aged on Spanish cedar spirals.
  18. Lips of Faith Cascura Quad – Belgian-style Quad brewed with date sugar and coffee cherries, 10%.
  19. Lips of Faith la Terrior – Dry-hopped sour ale aged in oak foeders for three years, 7.5%.
  20. Lips of Faith la Folie 2014 – Sour brown ale aged for one to three years in oak foeders, 7%.
  21. Lips of Faith la Folie 2015 — Sour brown ale aged for one to three years in oak foeders, 7%.
  22. Lips of Faith Transatlantique Kriek 2014 – Cherry lambic spontaneously fermented in Belgium with cherries and blended with golden ale, 8%.
  23. Lips of Faith Transatlantique Kriek 2015 – Cherry lambic spontaneously fermented in Belgium with cherries and blended with golden ale, 8%.
  24. NBB Love Leopold – American wild ale and Oscar blend aged in Leopold Brothers Distillery Blackberry Whiskey barrels, 9.5%.
  25. Salted Belgium Chocolate Stout – Brewed with Perennial Artisan Ales, this stout is brewed with cocoa powder and table salt, 9%.

Flores promised that the tradition of beer dinners would continue and that the next one would be in just a few months.

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2015 in Beer Dinner

 

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Bruges, Belgium brewery to build unique beer pipeline

dehalvemaanIn Belgium, beer is practically a religion. By some accounts there are over 90,000 breweries – counting tiny brew pubs and monolithic mega-beer producers — in a country that is smaller than Maine. But, preserving the picturesque beauty of their centuries-old cities is also a priority to the hard-working people or the country. It is for this reason that the De Halve Maan Brewery in the medieval town of Bruges has commissioned the construction of a second-of-its-kind beer pipeline to deliver beer from the brewery to the bottling facility.

According to an article by Agence France-Presse (AFP), the five-hundred-year-old brewery wanted to reduce the amount of truck traffic running through the ancient town.

“The idea is born of environmental and quality of life concerns, and not economic ones,” said company director Xavier Vanneste in the AFP article.

The plan is to build a two-mile long pipeline that will transport beer from the brewery underground to an industrial park and bottling facility where the beer will be packaged for shipment to beer lovers worldwide.

“We always wanted to keep the beer brewed at the historic site,” even after the bottling was moved out of town in 2010, said local official Franky Demon in the AFP article.

The challenge was how to allow the brewery to continue operating while reducing the amount of truck traffic in the “Venice of the North’s” cobblestone streets. Building the pipeline will reduce truck traffic by nearly 85 percent on the city’s streets and alleys.

Contractors will use state-of-the-art techniques to assure that Bruges’ gothic facades and medieval belfry are not harmed during the process. While the brewery will absorb the cost of the project, Vanneste could not estimate the economic cost at this stage.

Construction is expected to begin sometime in 2015.

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2014 in Imports

 

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Blogger from Ashley Abroad visits Brussels, Belgium

If you have been reading this blog long, you know that I have a great love for Belgium and Belgian beers. You also know that I long to get back to that beautiful country with its friendly citizens and amazing food and beer scene. The blog post below, culled from the Ashley Abroad site, has some gorgeous photos of Brussels, the capital of Belgium along with wonderful insight. I hope you enjoy.

http://ashleyabroad.com/category/destinations/europe/belgium-europe/

 

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2014 in Beer

 

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