Wednesday, July 27, 2011

"Belgium Comes to Cooperstown" is this weekend!

One of America's premier Belgian beer festivals is just a few days away.

Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, NY has been organizing beer
fests on the site of their farmstead brewery for many years.

This year's event is called "Bringing it to 11 in ‘11” and will feature
beers from 75 different breweries from Belgium and the USA.

Ommegang Marketing Director Larry Bennett informed me today that
the brewery will debut "11" a strong dark porter/oatmeal stout just
for the fest. 11 weighs in at....11% abv. Take care with that one!

Other special brews on tap will include 2011 Belgian Independence
Day Saison, Aphrodite, and Gnomegang.

Liefmans Goudenband and Duvel Tripel Hop we be available in

No doubt the rest of the Ommegang lineup as well as those from
the Duvel-Moorgat family of beers (Achouffe, De Koninck,
Duvel-Moortgat, Liefmans and Maredsous) will be well
represented this weekend.

There will be a multi-course VIP beer dinner on Friday night.

The beer fest will run from 3 to 7 pm on Saturday July 30.

Most of the photos shown here are from the 2010 weekend.

See: Ommegang for more info!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Orval's brewery cafe/restaurant reopens

(Photo, above: the new A l' Ange Gardien at Orval.)

After eighteen months, The Guardian Angel is back.

Orval's brewery taproom/cafe/restaurant, l'Ange Gardien,
renamed "A l'Ange Gardien" reopened on July 1st.

(Photo, above: l' Ange Gardien in 2003.)

Only the façade of the original café remains.

The new café has a very futuristic look and features

bars, terraces (patios) and rooms for visitors. There

is a main dining room on the ground floor, and there

are also two rooms that can accommodate 140 people

on upper floors.

(Photo, above: a fine meal enjoyed during a 2006

visit to l'Ange Gardien.)

The Guardian Angel has reopened with a full restaurant

menu, with small plates like bread, sausage and cheese,

up to full meals including pastas, steaks, lamb, pork and


(Photo, above: John Allison of Boulder, CO pouring

an Orval Vert in the cafe in 2003.)

The Orval Vert/Green table beer is available on tap (for the

first time!) and in bottles, and fresh Orval and one year old

vintages are offered in bottled form.

(Photo, above: Brasserie Orval from the outside.)

The cafe will be open from 11am to 9pm. Closing day

will be Wednesdays, except in summer.

See: for more info.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Stillwater Artisanal Ales on tap in Brussels

Brian "Stillwater" Strumke has been brewing beer in Belgium
for over a year now, at various breweries.

Now, two of his beers are available on tap in Brussels, at
Delirium Cafe's Hoppy Loft.

Ironically, both are brewed stateside, here in the Baltimore area.

Stateside Saison, Brian's first commercial beer, as well as Cellar Door
(my favorite Stillwater far, anyway!) made their first
appearances in Brussels last week.

Assumedly, other bars on the cutting edge will have these brews
available as well. Moeder Lambic Fontainas comes to mind.

Mikkel Borg Bjergsø, of Mikkeler beer fame, is importing the
beers into Belgium.

And there is other good news from Delirium: as of July 1st,
all their bars are non-smoking. In fact, I believe all
Belgian bars are non-smoking. What a pleasure it will be to
visit next time!

(Photo, above: Brian "Stillwater" Strumke" on the left
and Mikkel Borg Bjergsø on the right.)