Tuesday, November 18, 2008

In Bruges.

Lightning-quick review of the Bruges Beer Festival: Fantastic venue in the old Belfort. Lots of space and the impression of more with high, impressively raftered ceilings. Even when it got (very) crowded there was always room to get out of the way. The beer was good – if you knew what breweries you liked – but not that exciting. By that I mean there were no new shining stars. No, the beer made from truffles doesn't make the cut. Two really nice ones for me were the tart and refreshing Cuvée de Ranke and the malty, smoked Bravoure from the Dochter van de Korenaar.

In short, it's a good fest for everyone but the tickers. Top 10, but maybe not yet Top 5.

What else: Since we've been discussing (and thinking about and drinking) seasonal beers, check out the (U.S.) Brewers Association page on the stuff. The database allows you to search by state. Microbrewers can add their own seasonal releases. Too bad it's not worldwide.

What else: Tim Webb's Cogan & Mater page mentions a certain upcoming book on Brussels. Very exciting. Deadline approaches.

And while it's on your mind, Tim's 100 Belgian Beers to Try Before You Die (with Joris Pattyn) makes an excellent Christmas gift. It's smartly written, as you'd expect, and the photography is inviting. It's a book that makes you thirsty.

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