When In Belgium, Drink Beer!
I can’t drink beer, because it’s a veritable carb bomb, but luckily Eric can and does. Therefore he got to drink the beer, and I got to have tiny sips of some really special brews. Normally I only miss beer on the hottest of hot days, but that was before I tasted some of these Belgian beers, which are super delicious, and different from any I’ve had before. I think I could miss these any old time.
Of the ones I tasted, my favorite was this Forestinne, which tastes of pine in a totally delightful way. It also has an adorable label and glass, for indeed, in Belgium, every single beer has its own glass, and is served in that glass and only that glass.
For example, Eric discovered on the very last day that his favorite so far was this Satan Red, whereas until that moment it was the Brugse Zot that he’s shown drinking up above.
If I’d taken a picture of every beer he drank I’d have run clean out of pixels, but suffice it to say that he drank deeply and often of Belgium’s best.
We went twice to Cambrinus in Bruges, where they serve 400 different beers and good food as well. The good food is important, because eating out in Bruges can be really expensive. If you happen to find yourself at Cambrinus at lunchtime, we proved today that three people can make a lunch of the “cold snack plate” pictured here, along with copious liquid refreshment of their choice, and escape with a bill under 30 Euros, a real bargain.
This beautiful old beer pump is at Café Vlissinghe, Bruges’ oldest pub, established in 1515. We didn’t eat there, but it’s a charming place for a drink, and I appreciated the way they served my jenever correctly, filling the glass up and just over the brim.
We also went on a fascinating tour of De Halve Maan brewery, the last remaining one in Bruges, and a real beauty. This was a serious tour, involving climbing lots of ladders up into the attic storage spaces,
and poking our heads into all the corners of the old production facility,
learning some of the secrets that make Belgian beer so unique.
The view from the brewery’s roof is one of Bruges’ best, unless of course
you prefer the sight of shop after shop, windows artfully arranged, selling nothing but beer. I’ll leave that up to you.
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