10 November, 2007

Our First Real Belgian Beer Haul...From Belgium

Paula and I took a trip today to Arlon, Belgium, right over the Luxembourg border. We first hit the Ikea at the border for some much needed household items and some Swedish meatballs. Ikea in Belgium is just the same as Ikea on Pennsylvania only measurements are in cm's intead of inches. The products are the same for the most part as well. We saw a handful of things in the store that we currently have in our house in Paoli. The only real difference I saw was the price of light bulbs. We bought a few small desk lamps that were €3 each which is about $4.50. The kicker is that the light bulbs for the lamps were €9 for 2 bulbs.

Anway, to the beer haul....

After leaving Ikea we drove another 15 minutes into the heart of the town of Arlon, Belgium. Last week we drove by the Miorge Mihoublon bottle shop but they were closed due to the holiday but today they were open. When you walk into the shop you are greeted by a bunch of nice Orval, Chimay and other brewery signs and breweriana. The store has shelves on either side that are composed of wooden crates which is really cool. There is also a smaller set of shelves in the middle, creating 2 rows to walk down. The store is pretty cozy but there is enough room to get around unless the store is filled with people. There were only a few other people shopping when we were there, a few women actually.

The selection of beer at this shop is all Belgian and very interesting. There are alot of bottles that you would expect to see like all of the available Trappist beers except for Westveleteren which you can't really find anywhere these days. They also had a nice selection of beers from the Arlon area which was good as they don't seem to be available in the mainstream beer outlets but the few I had were pretty good. In addition to a bottle selection of probably more than 150 different beers, they had a very nice selection of glasses. I bet there were glasses for about 40% of the beers they had. Beyond the selection of Trappist beers was a small room of lambic beers from Boon, Cantillon and 3 Fonteinen. The prices throughout the store were very good but for my money, the bottles in the back room of lambics were the best. I picked up a few beers including a Cantillon Fou Foune (€8 or just a little over $12!), Cantillon St. Lamvinus (€9 or about $13), Boon Geuze Mariage Parfait (€4 or so), 3 Fonteinen Oude Geuze Vintage 2003 (€5 or 7) and a 3 Fonteinen Schaerbeekse Kriek for about €9! All the prices were excellent from my experience, even for a bottle shop. In addition to a handful of other bottles and a few glasses, and a €5 beer map, our total came to just about €64 which is not bad at all.

After leaving our new favorite bottle shop, we headed to the Del Haize supermarket in Arlon. Del Haize is a large Belgian supermarket chain that has stores in Beligum and Luxembourg. We had been to one in Luxembourg before and were happy with their beer and wine selection so we thought the beer would be even better in Belgium. We were right. We picked up a few additional treats there included Rodenbach Red in cans. Yes I said cans. I just had one tonight and it was just as good as the bottle. A 4 pack was €3,72. I also picked up a six pack of Hoegaarden Rosee and a six pack of their Special Ale as well. I don't usually go for Hoegaarden these days but these are 2 that I hadn't tried before. The best deal we found at Del Haize and maybe for the whole day was a nice 750 bottle of Deus for €10,20 or about $14 which is a crazy deal I think!!
See more pictures of our trip to Arlon, Belgium below....

1 comment:

Bryan said...

Can I place an order please? I've got my calculator here and have been pulling my hair out at the sight of the conversion for the prices of these gems that you've been snapping up....are you sure you've got time to work too?!

Rodenbach in cans....what's next?! Good stuff, Greg (& Paula)....loving the descriptive words that you're putting to your travels and experiences! Cheers!