Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Taste Travel Vacations is offering a Belgium Beer Tour this summer. It will be July 26 - Aug 1 2015, starting in Brussels, the highlight of that day will be going to Cantillon Brewery for a tour and tasting of their wonderful beers. Then a conversation with Jean Hummler of Moeder Lambic. It will be a world wind vacation, 7 days in 7 cities in Belgium but it will be worth it. Belgium is a small country that travel within doesn't take too much time on the road, for instance it's only two hours travel from Brussels to Bouillon. 

The cities that are in the itinerary are; Bouillon, Dinant, Ghent, Mechelan, Watou, and Brugges. Each of these cities has famous breweries and tap houses that will astound your beer taste buds. The tour includes 10 breweries and two museums with enough time for you to go off and explore.

The Belgium Beer Tour is $3,300 which includes accommodations, transportation within Belguim, and breakfast and dinner. You will get to experience the cuisines of these cities along with locally made cheeses and chocolates at Laurent Gerbaud. 

There is also different options in addition, such as public or private tours that are either classic or deluxe. For private tours, you can book it with friends, colleagues, and the like on any day with availability of accommodations. Public tours are all classic. 

All you need is to book the flight, bring extra for personal expenses, gratuity of tour guides, and unfortunately transportation to and from destination.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Beer Brunch at West Flanders Brewing

A sunny Saturday morning is a good start to the weekend and even better time with a breakfast beer pairing. Barley’s Angels hosted a brunch and beer event at West Flanders Brewing Co on the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder. We were seated in the upstairs where sun streamed through the large easterly positioned windows that look onto the pedestrian mall.  
Inside West Flanders Brewing Co.
Upstairs overflow room.

Lauren Hoff, event coordinator for West Flanders was there giving us the vital information about the beers and the food pairings. Deborah Cameron, founder of the Colorado chapter of Barley’s Angels was also there.

Lauren Hoff
Deborah Cameron

The first beer was really a beermosa,
an aperitif to brunch. It was their Trippel Lutz, a 7.8% ABV Tripel with a splash of orange juice. It was really good for a starter.

The first course was a homemade Granola Parfait with Greek yogurt, fresh fruit and mint which was then paired with the Tres Rubias, a six-month Tequila barrel-aged Tripple Lutz. I thought this course went well together. It was a contrast of flavors that worked.

Second course was Eggs Benedict with a 6.5% ABV Canniption Pale Ale. This was also a contrast of flavors with the richness of the Eggs Benedict with a hoppy sweetness of the pale ale. The pairing was well balanced.

The last course was Chicken and Waffles: fried chicken strips on a cornmeal waffle topped with a pickled apple salad. The Wee Hefty Strong Scotch Ale was paired with this course. The higher alcohol, 9.7% ABV overshadowed the flavors of the chicken waffles but went well with the pickled apple salad.

We were given a tour of the brewing system which is a ten barrel system. 

West Flanders Taproom and full bar.

Then we were introduced to Bethany Labbe, who with her husband is opening a brewery, Periodic Brewery  in Leadville, Colorado. It will be the highest brewery at 10,152 ft above sea level. This brewery should be opened late 2015. The name Periodic Brewery is pb (lead) on the periodic table, nice play with words. Their building was dormant for 5 years before they acquired it and has been a brewery twice, hopefully the third time’s a charm.

Bethany Labbe.

Overall the brunch was filling, full of flavor and the food courses were really good too!