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Tag: craft beer

Music, Running & Beer

The Three Leaves of my Saint Patrick’s Day Shamrock

I’ve been organising a Saint Patrick’s Day Pub Crawl for years now, in one form or another. At some point this endeavour became more craft beer focused, and the last couple of years, a run became part of the tradition as well. This year, live music was added to the mix, as a third part of the trinity.

Saint-Patrick’s Warm Up at Magasin4

The musical part actually started a week in advance already, with a concert of the French female Celtic rock band Toxic Frogs, and the Belgian Celtic punk rock band Black Tartans, and a happy reunion with a friend I hadn’t seen for a long time. Although Magasin4 announced it as a Saint-Patrick’s Warm Up event, I decided to wear my black kilt, which better fitted the not-quite-Irish groups and music.

Beer of the evening: Zinnebir!

The Celtic Seven at Brasserie de la Mule

On the eve of Saint Patrick’s Day Brasserie de la Mule invited The Celtic Seven to perform. Surprisingly, most of their songs were in French—how Irish even is Les lacs du Connemara?—but there were a lot more green clothes in the audience and amongst the staff! This time I actually did wear my saffron kilt!

As Brasserie de la Mule is specialised in German beers, that was what I drank that evening.

BMPH³ Trail 1924 – Saint Patrick’s Day Trail!

Only slightly hungover, a little after noon on Sunday—actual Saint Patrick’s Day— I headed over to Demey metro station a to run the BMPH³ Saint Patrick’s Day Trail. Plenty of green on this trail, since those who didn’t wear any green risked getting a very unpleasant ‘down down’. Exceptionally, we had to provide our own beer for circle, so I brought some beers actually from Ireland, one by Kinnegar (from Letterkenny, County Donegal) and the other one by Brehon (from Inniskeen, County Monaghan)!

Saint Patrick’s Day Pub Crawl – Craft Beer Edition

After a shower and a change, it was time for the highlight of the celebrations: the pub crawl! Once again, no bars seemed to be actually importing any Irish beers this year, so we tried to just stick to beers in Irish styles—actually just Irish dry stout—and the bars serving those beers.

First up was BBP Bailli! Ever since they opened, they’ve been serving the MC Nitro Stout, in memory of the Michael Collins bar that used to be in that location. We had it last year on the pub crawl, and fully expected it to be available this Saint Patrick’s Day as well. However, as it turns out, the beer was discontinued last year… They did have Oatly Stout though, so that hd to do. Will this then have been the last time BBP Bailli was included in the Saint Patrick’s Day Pub Crawl?

The next bar was Moeder Lambic Original, where I was hoping to find some Stouterik, or even some stouts by The Kernel! No such luck, so to stay on the black stuff, I went for Dupont’s Monk’s Stout, and when that keg was finally empty, the brand spanking new San Francisco Porter by De Ranke.

The last planned stop was L’Ermitage Saint-Gilles, where they had Ceallach, an Irish stout they made in collaboration with the Irish brewery Land & Labour, from Galway. Unfortunately they closed over an hour early, thereby sadly cutting our pub crawl short…

Next year Saint Patrick’s Day will be on a Monday, which will pose a challenge again!

CBFS24 & Frankfurt HHH

It has been a while since I have been on a trip worth blogging about, but last weekend I travelled more than 1000 km on trains, providing me with plenty of things to show and tell… My main destination was Stuttgart, for the CBFS24 – Craft Beer Festival Stuttgart. Since I would never be able to be back in time in Brussels for the BMPH3 hash on Sunday, and I had to change trains in Frankfurt am Main anyway, I decided to run with the Frankfurt Hash House Harriers instead.

Back to the ‘Dams

My little autumn break wasn’t quite over yet, after my Warszawa-Berlin trip, so on Friday I went to both Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

For the long stretch Brussels-Amsterdam, I used up all my Thalys points—mostly earned by filling out questionnaires—for the high speed option. Although officially the company is Eurostar now, my train was still adorned with the Thalys branding.

After my morning commitments—my trip wasn’t all leisure—I stopped at Quartier Putain for a coffee and a piece of apple pie. I’m not sure if that name would go down well in cities where they actually speak French!

By then it was time to discover the newest addition to BrewDog‘s portfolio of bars: BrewDog Amsterdam Centraal! It opened just a week before, when I was about a 1000 km east from here, so I missed the EFP opening, unfortunately… The shipload of EFPs—literally, since they had organised a communal ferry crossing for the opening—didn’t drink the bar dry though, and they even had one beer on draught I hadn’t had yet!

It was only around lunch time, but the bar was packed, the staff seemed to be well-trained, and handled the crowd well. Apart from a couple of beers, I had the Cluck & Satay Skewer. It’s always nice to have something ‘local’ on the food menu of a BrewDog bar!

Just before leaving, I also had a nice chat with franchisee Peter, who seemed to be confident he had found a great location for the bar. I can’t disagree with him: located right within Amsterdam Central Station, it will definitely one I’ll be visiting more often!

From the bar to the train platform was only a couple of minutes’ walk, and soon I was off to my next destination: Rotterdam!

The BrewDog Outpost Rotterdam was the only BrewDog bar in the Benelux participating in this year’s edition of Collabfest, so if I wanted to taste any of the beers, I had to make a stop there. Not every bar get’s all beers, but the selection in Rotterdam was great. As it turns out, it even included the highest rated beer, which was Rotterdam’s own collaboration with the Moersleutel: the K9 Chocolate Stout – Brewdog Rotterdam Outpost Collab!

After trying almost all the Collabfest beers, and a few others, it was time to go back to the gorgeous Rotterdam Central train station, and catch the train home again…

Warszawa & Berlin – Day 7

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Back to Brussels…

And just like that, it was time to go home again.

To keep things simple, I just had breakfast at ibis Berlin Mitte, with a view on wat seemed to be a rooftop apiary. I didn’t try the waffle maker, but I was tempted!

After checking out of the hotel, I took the M2 tram again—the tram with which every day in Berlin started and ended—to Berlin Hauptbahnhof, to take the ICE to Köln.

The ICE arrived almost in time, so I had plenty of time for a coffee at Blooming Coffeebar and Roastery, before a last beer in Germany. I was considering going for a Kölsch, like last time, but when I passed Craftbeer Corner Coeln, still well before its opening tim, there was already some movement inside, and the door was open. When I asked about their 18:00 opening, they took pity on me, and served me some beers already!

From there it was back onto an ICE, for the last stretch to Brussels. That meant the end of another wonderful trip, full of great discoveries, and happy revisits of familiar places!

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