Beerdrinkers & Hellraisers
After a crazy Friday like that, the weekend had only just started, and on Saturday I went to the beer and punk/rock/metal music festival Razernij in Rumst.
For quite some while, I had been pondering getting a tattoo celebrating my love for some of the Brussels breweries. After mailing back and forth with the tattoo artist—Laïs at Koko Tattoo Shop—and a project discussion in person, I finally had it done mid June. After three hours on the table, I had a beautiful tattoo on my left triceps, featuring seven of my favourite breweries in Brussels: Cantillon, Brasserie de la Senne, La Source, L’Ermitage, La Mule, Surréaliste, and—being a pure brewpub, the odd one out—Mazette.
To celebrate my new tattoo, I decided to try to visit and have a beer in all of those breweries in one epic taproom crawl! I puzzled an itinerary together, created a Facebook event to invite some drinking buddies along, and I even had a T-shirt printed for the occasion… A healthy breakfast pizza to line the stomach, a cold brew tonic to fully wake up, and I was ready to start…
I arrived at the first stop, Cantillon, a little ahead of schedule, and ordered a bottle of Menu Pineau (2020) to get started. I asked for two glasses with it, since only one person confirmed her presence from the start. Imagine my surprise when somebody else already turned up first, and just before I actually planned on moving on, two more people I didn’t expect to join that early. So by the end of the second bottle, there were already five of us!
At the second stop, l’Ermitage, a sixth drinker was already waiting for us. To make up for the slow start, we stuck to only one beer at this taproom.
Almost made up for the delay, and just in time, since the Zenne Bar actually closes at 20.00. After saying goodbye to one participant in the previous bar, we welcomed a new on here, so the number stayed at six drinkers.
At the fifth stop we could start to relax a little, since none of the remaining taprooms close early. So plenty of time for more than one or two beers… We were also joined by a seventh person.
There was a band playing at La Mule, because they were celebrating their birthday. Live music here usually means beer from plastic cups only, but this evening at least then made an exception for one liter Maß glasses…
The very last stop, number seven! Five brave souls actually made it from the very first until the very last brewery, and they have the stamp cards to prove it!
It was great fun, and actually quite doable, so… maybe I’ll make this an annual thing?
Well, the weekend after my return from Scotland, it was already time for the Belgian Nash Hash: a yearly, weekend long event for Hash House Harriers, organised by a kennel of the eponymous country, but open to hashers from all over the world. When I arrived at the checkin, I did in fact receive a badge with my new name, but—ominously—with an asterisk next to it…
So after quite a bit of running—and a bit of beer drinking—in the beautiful Condroz, I was called into Circle. There I was confronted with what had happened in Glasgow, and as expected, the RA and the rest of BMPH³ didn’t agree with it, and deemed I needed a new hash name. After some debating, in true courtroom style, I was eventually found Kilty as Charged, which will henceforth be my hash name. The official naming that ensued, involved quite a bit of beer and flour… A lot more than in Glasgow, where, by the way, I will always remain Out of Kilter!
A couple of weeks later, there was a nash hash in the Netherlands, which would be my first foreign nash hash. The location was The Hague, and the weather was once again great. Only a few hashers from BMPH³ attended—the Dutch Nash Hash coincided with the German Nash Hash—but I already knew a couple of the Dutch hashers, and in general hashers are a friendly bunch anyway, so I felt comfortable quite quickly.
As a Belgian hasher, I’ve been quite spoilt when it comes to beer, and it came as a bit of a shock—especially after finding a home-brew in the welcome pack—that the only beer on offer was ‘Big Beer’, i.e. Heineken and Amstel… Since, as a matter of principle, I refuse to knowingly drink beers by AB InBev, Heineken, Carlsberg, Asahi, etcetera, it required some creativity to fulfil my beery needs during the weekend. Luckily, I had done my research, and prepared a list of craft beer bars and shops in The Hague. As luck would have it, those places were never too far from where the pack was, so I was able to sneak off every once in a while to get a proper beer to enjoy with the rest!
Oh, since the home-brew in the welcome pack wasn’t cooled when we received it, I just took the bottle home with me. I drank it a couple of days later, properly cooled, and it was actually quite enjoyable!