26 October, 2009

Brassigaume Beer Festival in Belgium

The weekend of 17 and 18 October was the 9th edition of the Brassigaume beer festival, a great gathering of some regional brewers from the Luxembourg province of Belgium but also beyond this area including some UK beers and a good number of craft beers from Italy. Paula and I attended the festival last year and had to go back this year.

The festival is held each year in Marbehan, Belgium which is conveiniently located only 5 minutes walk from a train stop less then 30 minutes from Luxembourg!

We arrived late in the afternoon on Saturday the 17th and quickly had a beer glass in our hands and some wooden tokens to purchase samples. The entrance fee was only €3 per person including your glass and samples (about 15 cl each) were only €1.40 each.

Over the course of the next 4 hours or so we had several nice samples including some from Belgium (La Rulles, Sainte Hélène, Val Dieu, Brasserie de Cazeau), some from the UK (Brasserie Great Heck and Tiger Top) and some from Italy (Birra del Borgo, Brasserie Panil and Birra Orso Verde). I think our favorites of the night were a few from Birra del Borgo as they had an interesting porter with tobacco, an ale blended with Cantillon Lambic (how can you go wrong there?) and another lambic-ish beer with peaches.

We also spend a good deal of time chatting with old friends and new friends. I ran into 3 Belgian friends from work, a few beer friends from the UK, another American living in Luxembourg that I met at Mi-Orge Mi-Houblon just a few weeks earlier, a few American G.I.'s stationed in Italy that just happened to be Phillies fans. We also spent a bit of time talking to our friend Chris that is the owner of the great beer store Mi-Orge Mi-Houblon. Chris is a man of many hats. In addition to running a beer shop, he is also a school teacher, a sometime brewer and he also is heavily involved in the planning for Brassigaume it seems. Chris has a min-store setup at this festival so between selling beer, we talked about beer and tasted beer! He was kind enough to invite Paula and I to try a few very interesting lambic blends made by a Germany guy who attended the festival. All of his blends were very interesting and gave me some thoughts for my own lambic blending project that is in process.

All in all, another successful beer festival in Belgium and we were home before midnight to boot.

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