Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Brussels, Mussels and September.

I often wish I were back in Brussels. Here from my bed in Escazú, I have pleasant dreams about visiting old cafés, drinking lambic, and scribbling notes. My subconscious is researching another guidebook, even if I'm not (yet). No doubt the wife and tots prefer it that way.

Right now, though... I mean, if you had to pick one time of year... hey, mussels are in season. So are beer festivals. This is the time of year that Bruxellensis happens, in that parallel universe where Bruxellensis is a regular occurrence. (Hey, maybe next year.) And the Belgian Beer Weekend kicks off this Friday on the Grand Place. I don't love all of the breweries that tend to participate, but... it's not like I go thirsty, is it? And you can't really beat the Grand Place for a beer-fest backdrop.

Just up the hill from the Grand Place party is Bier Circus, of course. This morning I got their newsletter. Mussels are on. Cooked in Girardin lambic, in Witbier and watercress, or in Rochefort and stone-ground mustard.

Back to the Grand Place for a peek at the list: Lots of clutter there, but I could do with a St. Bernardus 8, a Witkap Stimulo, or a Saison Dupont. Or several. For something different, a Cascade-hopped Armand from De Dool. Then a Hercule Stout to punctuate the evening.

For now I have some hoarded lambics and a few bottles of Saison Dupont smuggled from the States. Tonight, before bedtime, I may have to open a bottle, bending my thoughts toward shellfish and tiny snifters of 10-centiliter servings.


  1. I’ll raise a glass to you on Friday evening and all day Saturday — am there on a press trip, also visiting de la Senne, I think the mussels will be on the menu.

  2. My envy runs as hot as the coal stove in Cantillon's tasting pub. Who's organizing the junket, er, press trip?

    I'm looking at a research trip in December, around the Kerstbierfestival, sponsored by my frequent flier miles.

  3. Belgium Tourist Board — Guild members including the ever thirsty Chairman Tim, for whom the phrase Last Man Standing was invented. Research trip sounds good, I’m looking to go to Italy later in the year, but need a commission first.