I Agree, Joe, Vive Jean-Pierre!

In case you missed it – I know I did – Joe Strange over at the Thirsty Pilgrim offers a four paragraph tribute to Jean-Pierre Van Roy, a lion of a man and a hell of a brewer, who gave birth to his last batch of Cantillon lambic earlier this month.

There’s little I can add to Joe’s words, except to reiterate that, in addition to all he has done for the survival and betterment of traditional lambic brewing, Jean-Pierre also deserves credit for instilling in his son, Jean, the same sort of passion and tenacity that he has displayed throughout his brewing life.

Félicitations, Jean-Pierre! Et mille fois merci!!

Four Reasons to Go to Belgium

I’ve been wrestling with this for days. I profoundly want to return to Belgium before the end of the year, but I just can’t make the timing/finances/writing assignments work. So I don’t think it’s going to happen for me, but if there’s any way you can make it happen for you, well, you should. Here are just four of the many reasons why:

1) A new website, www.beerinflanders.bep to help English-speaking tourists plan their beer travels in Flanders, and it’s a pretty good one, too.
2) This weekend, the 3rd annual Brugs Beer Festival is featuring 278 beers from 67 breweries! That may not sound like much compared to the GBBF or GABF, but for little Belgium, it may be a festival record.
3) The new branch of Moerder Lambic, a long-standing, near legendary beer bar, is up and running in the center of Brussels. Reviews thus far have been outstanding!
4) One of my very favourite beer festivals in the entire world, the Kerstbierfestival in Essen, will take place on December 12 and 13. Featuring only seasonal and Christmas beers, this is a tremendous event and one I counsel every beer aficionado to attend at least once in their lives.