HB&B Blog — Belgium

The Beer Lover's Table: Spiced Brownie Cookies and Oud Beersel Oude Kriek Vieille

Belgium Claire Bullen Kriek Lambic Oud Beersel

The Beer Lover's Table: Spiced Brownie Cookies and Oud Beersel Oude Kriek Vieille

Maybe you’ve noticed. The cherry trees that seem to march along every London street, the ones that emerged in pom-poms of blossoms a month or two back, have begun to fruit. Most of the cherries are still firm and green, but a few are starting to redden and blush. I keep mental tallies of when they’re likely to ripen, so I can steal some when no one is looking. Cherry season is the reason humans were put on this Earth, probably. And while other produce tends to take a starring role in summer’s bumper crop – your tomatoes, your strawberries –...

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Fundamentals #97 — Brasserie Dupont Saison Dupont

Belgium Brasserie Dupont Fundamentals Matthew Curtis Saison

Fundamentals #97 — Brasserie Dupont Saison Dupont

What can I possibly say about Saison Dupont that hasn’t been said a thousand times before? This is a beer of special magnificence. One that has inspired countless journeys into deeper explorations of the beverage, as well as an entire genre of beer styles. Chances are if you’ve ever tried a beer that says “rustic” or “farmhouse” on the label, you can likely trace its inspiration back to Saison Dupont in some shape or form. This is also the beer that properly introduced the word “saison” to the modern drinkers’ lexicon. The term comes from the French word for “season” and...

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The Beer Lover's Table: Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies and St Bernardus Christmas Ale

Beer Lover's Table Belgium Christmas Claire Bullen St Bernardus

The Beer Lover's Table: Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies and  St Bernardus Christmas Ale

There is no better December beer than St Bernardus Christmas Ale. Redolent of winter spices and dried fruit, this 10% quadrupel is well-suited to festive indulgence. It’s become such a cult favourite that, as I recently learned from fellow beer writer Eoghan Walsh, it’s even got its own themed Christmas jumper. (Santa, if you’re listening: Send me a medium?) Last year, I decided to take a page from Black Axe Mangal chef Lee Tiernan and pair St Bernardus Christmas Ale with deep-fried mince pies. But this year, I looked overseas for inspiration. In a normal December, I’d be hopping on...

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Fundmentals #82 – Burning Sky x Brasserie de la Senne New Alliance

Belgium Brasserie de la Senne Burning Sky Fundamentals Matthew Curtis Pale ale Sussex

Fundmentals #82 – Burning Sky x Brasserie de la Senne New Alliance

I approach this beer with a deep sense of anticipation. And rightly so – it’s not often the giants of Sussex’s Burning Sky and the titans of Brussels’ Brasserie de la Senne come together, making them both seem normal size… Mitchell and Webb references aside, I am genuinely thrilled to be able to review this beer. Those who follow me, either through my writing or on social media, will know that I’m a huge fan of both breweries, and before I dig into New Alliance – the beer they have come together to brew – I’m going to remind you...

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The Beer Lover’s Table: Deep-Fried Mince Pies And St Bernardus Christmas Ale

Beer Lover's Table Belgium Christmas Claire Bullen St Bernardus Trappist

The Beer Lover’s Table: Deep-Fried Mince Pies And St Bernardus Christmas Ale

There’s been a lot of discussion on the food internet lately about what constitutes a mince pie. The controversy kicked off two weeks ago, when US food website The Spruce Eats posted (and swiftly removed) a bizarre misinterpretation of the dish. The team mistook “mincemeat” to mean “beef mince” and so prepped a full-sized tart filled with mince, topped with apples and served with custard. UK commenters laughed and recoiled in horror in equal measure, though that wasn’t the end of it. As Eater London posited: When is a Mince Pie No Longer a Mince Pie? Does a mincemeat-stuffed doughnut...

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