The city of Antwerp has some of the best beer bars in the world: Het Kathedraalcafe; Kulminator; t' Antwaerps Bierhuyske. So it's hard to imagine how it could be any better.
Brasserie d'Achouffe, Brasserie De Bastogne, Brasserie De Blaugies, Brouwerij De Ryck,
Brouwerij Pirlot, Charlevoix (Canada), De Cam, De Dochter van de Korenaar, De Glazen Toren,
De Halve Maan, De Koninck, De Scheldebrouwerij, De Verhuisbrouwerij, Dilewyns,
Donum Ignis, Dupont, Duvel Moortgat, Fort Lapin, Gruut, Het Anker, Hof ten Dormaal,
Huisbrouwerij ’t Pakhuis, Huyghe, Inter-Pol, Lefebre, Liefmans, Maredsous, Palm Breweries,
Roman, ’t Paenhuys, ‘t Smisje, Timmermans, Van Eecke, Wieze. Note we do not believe any Club-Belgique member attempted to try them all, as has happened in the past.
The festival was - as always - awesome. De Koninck was quite charitable to allow dozens of competitors to have space in their bar. There was a horde of beer fans, enjoying all manner of good beer, good food, and overall good camaraderie.
We did pass out Club-Belgique branded bottle openers, as a way of getting the name out there. Many brewers were somewhat surprised, and they were told it was just a way of our saying "thank you".
Some of the highlights included the De Koninck marching band, as well as several beers that were new and not on Untappd.
We also met several like-minded people from smaller "second-tier" websites, so we will see what develops. The beers personally sampled at the festival were:
8 - Fort Lapin [#3,233]
La Troufette Rousse - Brasserie de Bastogne [#3,234]
Zuider - Dominim Ignus [#3,235]
Blonde Kwibus - Brewery Danny [#3,236]
Hubke Au Phare - Anders [#3,237]
Oesterstout - De Scheldebrouwerij [#3,238]
Zwarte Zjef - 't Paenhuys [#3,239]
Vintage 2010 - Rodenbach [#3,240]
Lustem - Verhuisbrouwerij [#3,241]
Teisser - Verhuisbrouwerij [#3,242]
Belgian Wit Gruut - Gentse Stadsbrouwerij [#3,243]
Zearte Pol - Inter-Pol [#3,244]
Later in the day, after the festival closed, we went to dinner at Antwerp's own brewpub, Huisbrouwerij 't Pakhuis. A fairly modern brewery by Belgian standards (1996) it nonetheless ascribes to the belief of producing great beer.
The food and beer was very nice; service was very 'European' if you catch my drift. The owner or brewmaster came over, as he noticed the Club-Belgique shirts, and remembered seeing us at the Modeste festival.
He offered to send over a glass of their relatively new Winterbier stout, very Belgian with a pronounced Brett flavor. We sampled these at the brewery:
Antwerps Blonde [#3,245]
Winterbier Stout [#3,246]
Antwerps Bruin [#3,247]
Nen Bangelijke [#3,248]
All in all a very "gruit" day.