Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Promising New Brewery in Brel's Flat Country.

So not too long ago I'm at the Poechenellekelder, one of the city's top beer cafés, sipping a beer called Betchard. It's a refreshing blonde with a hoppier character than you typically get in Belgium. That's a good thing, since many blondes here lean toward sweet, overspiced, or just kind of boring. Not this one.

But I didn't know the story behind the beer or where it was brewed. The label said Brasserie de Tubize, which I was pretty sure didn't exist. Turns out I was right. It didn't exist... yet.

Evan Rail in Prague reports that Jean Rodriguez of Spinnekopke fame is close to achieving a dream: His Tubize brewery should be completed in October. In Belgian terms, that means it may be finished next spring. My fondest wish is that the Web site for his brewery someday adds a swell Jacques Brel song, just like the one for his restaurant.

I still don't know whether that particular Betchard I enjoyed was brewed by the smart Senne or prolific Proef. There ought to be laws requiring labels to penetrate such mysteries. But I do know to expect tasty things from Rodriguez and Tubize. This is a man who wrote a book on Belgian beer cooking, and I reckon his beer recipes will be written with food firmly in mind.

Meanwhile, Spinnekopke trucks right along. Its prices may be slightly inflated by guidebook-infused popularity, but in my experience the food usually leaves you happy. The 3 Fonteinen lambic and faro on draft don't hurt either.

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