Thursday, August 7, 2008

Going Where Unsmiling Women Dance for Hops in the Fields.

This weekend we're off to the open-doors day at Slaghmuylder, makers of the underrated Witkap beers. I've got a soft spot for the hoppy and sessionable blonde Stimulo. Nice from the bottle and even nicer fresh on tap.

The brewery's a straight 25-minute drive west of Brussels in Ninove, roughly where Flemish Brabant starts to become East Flanders. Like the Stimulo itself, this region is underrated. Between Brussels and well-traveled West Flanders you've got the lambic country of Pajottenland and the dark, barrel-aged ales of East Flanders. And plenty of other oddities, like the bone-dry "Flemish saisons" of Glazen Toren, whose brewery shop we aim to visit. Another possibility is the Casino café in Eine, home of the Cnudde old brown ale. Sadly we're told by friend and tourmeister Podge that the village's Kaffee Barbier beer café/barber shop has shuttered.

Maybe while we're out there we'll also see some unsmiling Flemish women dancing for the children, hops and wheat in the fields. Or something like that. That's right! Again with the Brel.

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