Sunday, 30 September 2012

Schieven IPA

Sometimes, I see a bottle of beer in a shop that I’ve never encountered before, and I think, “oh, maybe I’ll try one of those”. It’s a natural enough reaction for a beer blogger, after all. If it turns out to be delicious, then I’ve found an unexpected joy, and if the new beer ends up tasting like pickled aardvark droppings, well, I figure I’ve only wasted a few coins, so no great loss.

But when I saw Schieven IPA at my local provider’s, I bought a whole case without giving it a second thought.

Though a decision made in haste and relative ignorance, it was nevertheless logical. From the label I saw it was an IPA produced by the fantastic Brasserie de la Senne in Brussels in collaboration with Americans Jeff Bagby, of Bagby Beer and Mike Rodriguez of Lost Abbey. I just knew it was going to be great.

And, hey, no surprise: it is.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

British Ales in Belgium

For those living in Brussels, finding high-quality British ales isn’t easy. Short of jumping on the Eurostar, in fact, it’s nearly impossible. Nearly.

The assumption is, perhaps, that Belgium has such great beers already, who needs to look elsewhere? Well, those of us who enjoy a bit more variety, for one, and in particular, those of us who crave super-hoppy IPAs, which are only just starting to catch on here.

This was the thinking my friend Bob had when he selected his beers for Deliciously Different, his online shop and roaming market stall offering great British ales, as well as cheeses, chutneys, spices and other things rare on this side of the Channel.

He invited me over for a tasting a couple weeks back, and I have to say, he’s got some great beers on offer. Here are just a few: