Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Mad Max: Beyond Lambikodrome.

OK, a bit of news. What a novel idea for a blog.

Lovers of Belgian sour stuff are all atwitter because one of the very best is opening a new tasting café. That would be Armand Debelder, brewer and blendmeister at 3 Fonteinen in Beersel, just south of Brussels. (In my opinion, the free expression of which is why I have a blog, this is not just one of the best lambic breweries in Pajottenland... This is one of the best breweries in Belgium.)

The café's official opening is on June 14. You can show up that day and party. Better yet, wait a week or so for the crowds to thin out, so you can have elbow room with your lambic. Those planning to visit Belgium on their next beery vacation are hereby advised to make this place a priority.

The café, which sits directly in front of the brewery, is said to be named Lambikodrome. The space is less fearsome than the name. It's a fairly simple room with several tables. Armand has promised us a very interesting list with several vintages and brews that have never been available before. But he offers a few warnings:

1. It won't be cheap (nor should it be).
2. Beer is available for tasting on-premises only. No takeaways.
3. No food. For that go to the always excellent 3 Fonteinen restaurant around the corner.

That second rule, if it holds, is sure to disappoint many a nerdly ticker and trader of exotic beers. You know who I mean. Those who lust for, and feel entitled to, every beer they've never had. Especially when it's physically and/or financially out of reach.

There's something that's been on my mind lately. Specifically, the time, money and energy required to always pursue new and interesting beers, versus enjoying whatever is accessible and tasty. Beer hunting is a wicked hobby. But there is always more to explore within your favorite local beer, isn't there? Think global, drink local, and all that.

Easy for me to say. I live near Beersel.

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