Zundert: how to create a Trappist beer from scratch

Zundert

When it comes to Belgian beers, those made in the country’s abbeys are almost certainly the best known. Ask the average passer-by what they know about Belgian beer, and they’ll probably talk about strong beers made by monks. While many of the abbey beers have been around for years, one has popped up in the recent past – Zundert.

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Live Beer Blogging – #EBBC15

EBBC15

I’m in Brussels at the moment for the 2015 instalment of the European Beer Bloggers Conference – #EBBC15. There will be more posts to follow, but the end of the first day (shortly before the original posting of this) saw this year’s live beer blogging session – twelve brewers, each with a beer and five minutes to present it. The bloggers listen, drink and then blog about it. Some are doing it live. I’m not. Here’s my attempt – posted immediately after the session, then proof-read at 3am, then updated with pictures the next day.

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Pilsner Urquell: Filtered and Unfiltered – #EBBC13

Pilsner Urquell Unfiltered

One of the main things I was looking forward to at the European Beer Bloggers conference was the chance to try some interesting things I wouldn’t otherwise find. The Sam Adams Utopias ticked that box early and the Toccalmatto beers carried on the theme, but the dinner at the end of the first day held a surprise for me – a pair of beers from Pilsner Urquell.

I’m not enough of a beer snob to eschew all forms of mass produced yellow fizzy beer, but I’ve not really gone near Pilsner Urquell. Jeff, landlord of The Gunmakers, sings its praises and I’ve been meaning to give it a try over my regular Polish tins, but I didn’t get a chance until #EBBC13. It was a different chance to that which I was expecting, presenting both the regular lager as well as an unfiltered version. Poured from a wooden cask…

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Birra Toccalmatto – #EBBC13

Birra Toccalmatto

When preparing to go to The European Beer Bloggers conference I did a bit of research into who else was going. Helpfully the folks at #EBBC13 put up a list of attendees and one thing immediately struck me – there were a lot of brewery folks going. Along with big names like Garrett Oliver, there were a number of folks whose names I didn’t know who made beers I like, and a bunch of breweries I’d not even heard of. During the opening pub crawl, I got talking to one of the folks from the latter category who, if I’d made a list, would have been someone I’d have sought out: Bruno Carilli, the founder of Birra Toccalmatto.

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