Kwaktoberfest at La Trappe Cafe

14 10 2014

Kwaktoberfest with La Trappe Cafe and Brouwerij Bosteels Thursday, October 16, 2014 5pm – 11pm Kwak and Tripel Karmeleit on tap Free Kwak Glass with Kwak draft purchase while supplies last.
La Trappe Cafe will be televising The NLCS Baseball Championship street level.  Go Giants!


Belgian Beer Pipeline to Carry the Brew Under Bruges

25 09 2014

Congratulations to Xavier and the entire family and crew of the De Halve Maan Brewery and their innovations to keep the brew flowing.

De Halve

                                Belgian beer pipeline to carry the brew under Bruges

“Tired of delivery trucks rumbling near its mythic canals, Belgium’s medieval town of Bruges has approved the construction of a beer pipeline to link a five-century-old brewery to a bottling factory nearby.

The three-kilometre underground pipeline will link the De Halve Maan brewery in the heart of the “Venice of the North” to an industrial park where the beer will be bottled and shipped to thirsty drinkers worldwide, the company’s director Xavier Vanneste told AFP on Tuesday.

“The idea is born of environmental and quality of life concerns, and not economic ones,” he said.

Once fully approved and constructed, the pipeline will keep 500 trucks out of the city’s cobblestone alleys every year, about 85 percent of the town’s lorry traffic.

Beer has been brewed on the site for nearly five centuries and 100,000 tourists visit the premises every year, a major stop on tours of the town, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

“We always wanted to keep the beer brewed at the historic site,” even after the bottling was moved out of town in 2010, said local official Franky Demon.

But to avoid harming the city’s gothic facades and medieval belfry, pipeline construction will use some of the latest technologies perfected for the transport of oil and gas.

The brewery will pay for the pipeline, Belgium’s first, though Vanneste was unable to estimate the cost at this stage.

Construction is expected to begin next year.” – website

For article go to the link below

NEW! Podge Beer Tours Schedule

17 12 2013

I hope you are well. We look forward to seeing some of you at Chelmsford Summer Beer Festival which takes place in Admiral’s Park from 15-19 July 2014. Below is the latest on our beer Tours, including some new and interesting themed Tours for Spring and Summer 2015.

TOUR 72 HOPS & POPS – Thursday 18 September – Monday 22 September 2014
This five day tour is based around the Poperinge area (‘Pops’ to First World War British soldiers). This region is justly famous for its hops. We will focus on the hop plant and explore its relationship with beer in the Westhoek, staying at the friendly Oude Abdij Hotel in Lo-Reninge. This Tour coincides with the famous Poperinge Bier- en Hoppefeesten which runs every third year. For the first time Podge’s Belgian Beer Tours will be taking in this festival of all things hoppy. We have arranged visits to several different hop farms including the Hoppecruyt Hop Farm in Proven where we will have a guided tour* of the farm at harvest time and a unique opportunity to taste five different beers* each brewed using a different hop variety grown on this farm. We will have a tour* of the organic hop farm Plukker and a taste of the beer* made with their hops at the farm brewery. We hope to call in at the artisanal chocolate makers Zokola in Proven to have a taste and opportunity to buy their Hop Chocolates “Hommeknopjes” made with local Van Eecke Tripel Watou beer and hops. We plan a tour* and beer tasting* at the Van Eecke Brewery in Watou and also in this brewers village we will have a beer cuisine meal at the world famous Restaurant Hommelhof. Plans are afoot for a visit to St Bernardus also in Watou for a tour* of their brewery and their new hop field, plus a beer tasting* and a substantial beer gift to take home*. There will be some free time in Poperinge for the festival and hop parade and we may even fit in a game of boltra. Visits are also planned to the spectacular Poperinge Hop Museum for an expert guided tour* with the secretary of the museum, our friend Bertin Deneire, followed by a glass of Hommelbier*.

The price of this five-day Tour is £470 per person based on sharing a twin or double room with a single supplement of £140 if you want a room of your own. If you are travelling alone and want to share a room with another traveller, please contact Podge as we are often able to pair up travellers in a twin room to avoid the need to pay the single supplement. If you are interested in this Tour please contact me now as the is in high demand and will sell out quickly. You can secure a place by sending a £100 deposit.
TOUR 73 BEER & BATTLEFIELDS CENTENARY – Thursday 23 October – Tuesday 28 October 2014
SOLD OUT! See website Beer & Battlefields Centenary Tour for further details.

TOUR 74 – CHRISTMAS IN BRUGES – Monday 22 December – Friday 26 December 2014
We are once again running our popular Christmas Tour to Bruges and beyond. This five day tour will be based at the four star Hotel Academie near Minnewater in the centre of Bruges. For the third year running we will be visiting the excellent Emelisse Brewery just over the border in Holland for a full beer and gastronomic experience on Christmas Day. We will also be visiting other breweries and great beer cafes in the West Flanders area as well as a chance to experience the beautiful city of Bruges at this season. This Tour has sold out early in previous years, so if you would like to join us please send a deposit of £100 per person to secure a place. The price of this five-day Tour is £475 per person based on sharing a twin or double room with a single supplement of £140 if you want a room of your own. If you are travelling alone and want to share a room with another traveller, please contact Podge as we are often able to pair up travellers in a twin room to avoid the need to pay the single supplement.

TOUR 75 – FLEMISH BEER & CULTURE TOUR – Thursday 2 April – Monday 6 April 2015
This five day Tour offers a unique experience of the best of the Belgian Burgundian lifestyle (mostly beer) and traditional life in Flanders.

We are currently planning this Tour but it will take in some of Flanders finest and most traditional breweries, cafes, museums (usually with a bar attached) and other cultural sites. We are working on a full brewery tour, beer tasting and meal in the Brewery Rodenbach in Roeselare and a visit and tasting at the Genever (Flemish gin) producer and blender Graanstokerij Filliers in Deinze, We hope to visit the traditional Estaminet de Peerdevisscher bar attached to the Fishing Museum at Oosduinkerke and the de Ronde Van Vlanderen Cycle Museum in Belgium’s cycling heartland, Oudenaarde (which of course has a bar). We will be focusing on some cafes which have traditional Flemish games, including the inimitable Boltra (Flemish bowls) and others which specialise in Oud Bruin and Lambic beer styles. The tour will be based at the luxurious four star Hotel Park**** in the centre of Kortrijk. We are really pulling out all the stops with the accommodation on this Tour and this hotel is one of the best we have ever stayed at in Belgium. Recently refurbished to a luxury standard it has spacious rooms, a swimming pool, sauna, Turkish bath and fitness centre. It has its own bistro and separate bar plus a sumptuous dining area for a breakfast which is glorious by any standards, having everything you could wish for including a large glass vial of chocolate pieces and (on our last visit) a dedicated egg chef to cater for your individual eggy needs at breakfast. We have chosen Kortrijk as the centre for this tour as it has over the past few years become one of the top Flemish beer centres and now has five breweries surrounding the city which are Alvinne, Eutropius, Toye, Gulden Spoor and Gaverhopke. The city centre is compact and great for walking, and all bars on Podge’s Kortrijk Bar Guide are within easy walking distance of our hotel which is opposite the station. There are loads of great cafes in town including eight or nine stand-out bars with weighty beer menus plus our new favourite bar in Belgium, the Boulevard with 120 beers, friendly owners, a relaxed candlelit interior and great food. Kortrijk is famous for being the site of the Battle of the Golden Spurs (1302) and a giant golden spur sticking into the ground marks the spot in a park in the town centre. The attractive and quirky Belfry clock tower on the market square and the beginhof are both UNESCO World Heritage sites. If you have never visited Kortrijk this tour is your ideal opportunity to join us – we loved Kortrijk so much on our last research trip we can’t wait to get back! The price for this Tour will be issued later in 2014, but if you would like to register your interest in this Tour, please email Podge.

TOUR 76 – LAMBICLAND & TOER DE GEUZE – Friday 1 May – Tuesday 5 May 2015
This Tour is designed for those who love Belgium’s Lambic beers and takes in the superb bi-annual lambic day, the Toer de Geuze. Over the five days of the Tour we aim to visit all of Belgium’s lambic brewers and blenders and the best of the specialised lambic cafes of LambicLand. By popular demand this Tour is based at the newly refurbished four star Hotel Keizershof in the centre of Aalst. We will also visit the Lambic Visitors Centre De Lambiek in Beersel (Alsemberg). There will be meals at the superb de Heeren van Liedekercke and Café-Restaurant 3 Fonteinen in Beersel, plus calling in at specialist lambic cafe In de Verzekering tegen de Grote Dorst. The price for this Tour will be issued later in 2014, but if you would like to register your interest in this Tour, please email Podge.

TOUR 77 – 1815–1915 BEER & BATTLEFIELD CENTENARY TOUR – Waterloo & Loos – Wednesday 17 June – Monday 22 June 2015
This special six day Tour takes in the centenary of the Battle of Waterloo, fought on 18 June 1815 just south of Brussels. This historical battle saw the French army under Napoleon defeated by a coalition of the British army commanded by the Duke of Wellington and the Prussian army under Blücher and was, as Wellington famously stated “a damn close-run thing”. We hope to visit the Waterloo battlefield to coincide with one of the centenary re-enactment days, which will be the biggest ever held with over 5,000 participants, 300 horses and 100 cannon. We hope to see part of the battle re-enacted, also go amongst the military camp and open bivouacs, and also see the newly restored Hougoumont farm. We also hope to take in the evening sound and light show.

We will also be visiting some of the 1915 First World War battle sites, particularly the little known Battle of Loos in which the British Army suffered casualties of just under 60,000 men. Known at the time as ‘The Big Push’ this allied offensive was planned and fought over the mining district and slag heaps of Northern France, near Lens and was an early large scale attempt to break the German lines, gradually strengthening on the Western Front. We will visit Dud Corner CWGC Cemetery and Memorial to the Missing from which a panoramic view of the battlefield can be had from viewing platforms built into the cemetery. Our battlefield guide, Siobhan McGinn will tell us about the famous Footballer of Loos, Frank Edwards, a rifleman with the London Irish Rifles and a member of their football team who smuggled a football in his haversack – against orders – and dribbled it into no mans land, determined to boot it into the German lines. We will hear about the battle of Loos, how it formed part of the costly learning process on the Western Front and why it has been overshadowed by the later Somme and Passchendaele battles. We will also visit sites associated with other 1915 battles on the Western Front including the Second Battle of Ypres and the first use of poison gas on the Western Front.

The price for this Tour will be issued later in 2014, but if you would like to register your interest in this Tour, please email Podge.

TOUR 78 – TRAINS & BOATS & INCLINED PLANES – Thursday 27 August – Monday 31 August 2015
We are really pleased to announce this new Tour based in downtown Ghent and staying at the fantastic Novotel Gent Centrum. As many of you will know Ghent is one of the top beer destinations anywhere in Europe and we have been working on getting back here for some time. On this Tour we will be focusing on beer and transport. We are hoping to take a 14 kilometre steam train ride on the Dendermonde-Puurs line, a voyage on the Ronquières inclined plane on the Brussels-Charleroi Canal, an evening cruise through the historic city of Ghent and a pub crawl of the entire 68 kilometre coastal length of Belgium by tram. There will be visits to breweries both old and new, plus plenty of opportunities to enjoy top quality food and the best beer in the world which this Tour will help you to discover.

The price for this Tour will be issued later in 2014, but if you would like to register your interested in this Tour, please email Podge.

Included in the cost of our Tours are:
Hotel accommodation and breakfasts.
All local tourist taxes
Luxury coach travel on a 49+ seater coach with toilet.
Pick up from Ipswich (Crown Street Layby), Colchester (Southway Chapel St South Layby) or Chelmsford (The Woolpack, Mildmay Road).
Arrangements can be made for different joining points on the way to Folkestone or even on the other side of the channel.
All Brewery visits, tours and brewery beer tastings.
Entrance fees to all group attractions, museums and historical sites.
All items marked with an asterisk on individual detailed tour itinerary.
Copies of Podge’s City Bar Guide & Map for the town or city where we stay or spend some time on Tour.
Free still and sparkling water on the coach.

Personal insurance is not included but is strongly advised, as is carrying the European Health Insurance Card available online, by phone or via the Post Office. If you would like to join us on any of the above tours or if you need more information please contact Podge on 01245 354677 or email Places are limited to the number of rooms booked, so book early to avoid disappointment.

Podge’s Belgian Beer Tours
Driving people to drink since 1994
01245 354677


10 12 2013

Dear friends of the Chrismas Beer Festival, 

To heat up the fire a bit more: Our beer list is getting more and more refined. At the moment is says 157 times “OK” on our work list of 185. The rest of 28 beers contains quite are dubbed ‘almost OK’. Some of them are however really unsure of even OK, but “top secret”. (“code 14″ on our list) 

Not too much beers that disapeared from the list: only Tsjeeses Port Barrel Aged (Struise Brouwers) on draught is worth mentioned, but we still have it bottled and the Bourbon Barrel version on draugt as well as bottled. Lots of new Mikkeller beers on the list. “Easy” to get a lot of your beers on the list if you age them in different liquor barrels.  Santa’s Little Helper & Fra-Til-Via are on the list in 4 different versions. Strikingly a lot of barrel aged beers on the list,  also by Belgian brewers themselves. Gulden Draak Brewmaster Edition, Melchior Bourbon & Monbazillac Barrel Aged, Bon Homme d’Hiver Oak Aged, Kleveretien Oak Aged (Het Nest), and of course “our” Kerstvuur 2012 Oak Aged by Pirlot for the 20th anniversary of our club O.B.E.R..

3 More odd beers out come from White Pony microbrewery, an Italian brewer who contracts his brews at ‘t Gaverhopke. 

See for yourself. The updated list is at 

Due to the succes of last year the Raffle and election Best Beer of the Festival will follow the same formula as last year. With your glass you get a ticket to vote for your favorite beer of the fest. The tickets go in a bucket and a week after the festival we pick ten winners and make them happy by sending a nice prize to their home.

The green tokens from last year will still be valid this year, and are not raised in price. Tokens are 1,70 EURO each or 6 for 10 EURO (reduction of 0,20EURO). If you buy a combined package at the fast desk you get a glass, booklet with tasting notes and 9 tokens for 20€ 30cent reduction) (please use correct change at the fast desk)

As per last year we’d like to know where you’re from and we want to reward our visitors coming from afar. You can stick a pin in your country on our world map and the first one from each country gets a free token. Last year the result on our map was 30 countries and 17 American States. Bear in mind: you have to show a pasport, driver’s licence or other proof concerning your homecountry. Members of Zythos, PINT, CAMRA or other EBCU associated organizations will get one token for free for the weekend, as it was the previous years.You can get your free tokan at info stand between the exclusive beers bar and the book shop.


Gunter Mertens 
chairman O.B.E.R. – 

La Trappe Schedule for Saturday 11.16.2013

17 11 2013

La Trappe Cafe would like to extend a warm welcome all members of
The Belgian Club for The Annual Dynasty Dinner beginning at 6pm this evening.

Street level only will be open to the public from 5pm to midnight.

Basement level will be closed to the public until the festivities have ended

and the Belgians have left the building……..

First of the Holiday brews have arrived!

24 10 2013

Xmas Brews

Fantome de Noel – Fantome – A very dark and entirely unique holiday seasonal saison style beer. Reportedly spiced with honey,
caramel, coriander, black pepper, and other secret ingredients. – 10% abv

Nøgne Ø/Jolly Pumpkin/Stone Special Holiday Ale – Batch 2 Brewed at Nøgne Ø
 This is the second release of Special Holiday Ale, which was first brewed in San Diego in 2008. Each brew is following the same recipe,
including Michigan chestnuts, white sage from southern California and Norwegian juniper berries, but differences in brewing and aging
practices produce different beers. Cheers to being different! Skål! – 8.5% abv

A dark medium bodied brown ale that pours a frothy creamy tan head with light lacing.  Predominant sage and fresh mint aroma with light
roasted chocolate throughout. A sweet malt flavor with undertones of roasted chestnuts and herbs that ends pleasantly dry. – 8.5% abv

Tjeeses 2012- Struise –  A strong, blond, winter beer with a fluffy white head and elegant aroma.
It has flavors of dried fruits, spices, refreshing herbs and noble hops. – 10% abv  

Tjeeses Reserva 2011- Struise – A special barrel aged version of Tsjeeses, aged this year in bourbon barrels. – 10% abv

Pere Noel
– DeRanke – A Christmas ale, though very different from any other Christmas ales you might know.
While most Christmas ales are rich & sweet, this one is amber-colored, . Strong and tastes quite bitter.
The complex taste is completed with the addition of liquorice. In the recipe we can also find pale malt, Munich malt,
Caramel malt, Brewers Gold hops and Hallertau hops. – 7% abv

Noel des Geants
– Des Legendes -The beer is a dark plum color that shows a lightly hazed, red / pale amber hue when
held up to the light. The aroma smells spicy (sort of like pepper, coriander and a touch of elderberry) up front backed
by fruit and rich malt notes. This smells a bit like a dark, sweet, spicy, holiday sweet bread. The malt has a nuttiness to
it and almost smells of port or even sherry in the finish and perhaps even a touch of toasted grain character. – 8.5% abv

Kloster Andechs Brews at La Trappe Cafe

24 09 2013

Andechs logoAndechs Kettles

Andechser Doppelbock Dunkel is “reminiscent of dark copper with nuances of fiery red. Its clear gleaming look harmonizes with its firm, fine pored head.”
“Soft roasted accents and a nuance of dried fruit carrying a vein of caramel” in the nose This Doppelbock Dunkel has a pleasant effervescence with unmistakable flavors.  “Mouthcoating and velvety, strong and yet pleasantly malty – a powerful, robust body. At the same time, it develops an easily recognizable sweetness, embraced in roasted cocoa and a light, bitter hoppiness.Concluding with a powerful punch with a lingering aftertaste of quality plain chocolate.” – Andechs

ANDECHSER VOLLBIER HELL- LAGER – 4.8% – 500ml Bottle – 9
“A product of traditional multiple mashing, Andechser Vollbier Hell presents a bright straw yellow and clear gleaming look that cannot fail to fascinate.
Its head is firm and fine pored. Its aroma is pure and fresh from the cellar, with soft malty accents imbued with floral hoppiness.
Its light and soft body leaves a pleasant, tangy taste in the mouth. The mild sweetness marries well with the velvety bitterness of the hops. It concludes on a rounded, harmonious note.
Andechser Vollbier Hell is therefore a classical Bavarian Vollbier.” – Andechs

ANDECHSER WEISSBIER HELL – HEFEWEIZEN – .5L Draft / 500ml Bottle – 10 / 9
“First, distinctive fruity aromas like banana and honeydew melon come to the fore, followed by fine cloves. Andechser Weissbier Hell is a very tangy, refreshing treat with the conviction of a full, soft body. It concludes on a finely balanced interplay of light sweet honey and a delicate acidity with undertones of bitter hoppiness that quickly subside into a harmonious aftertaste.” – Andechs

“Largest economic operation of the monastery is the Andechs Brewery. It belongs solely to the Benedictine monks of Saint Boniface in Munich and Andechs.

Monasteries have always been spiritual, cultural and economic centers, which were in a lively exchange with their environment. “Ora et labora” is the motto under which the Benedictine according to the Rule of St. Benedict of Nursia (480-547) work.

To finance the monks of Saint Boniface and Andechs their farms by the pastoral, cultural and social commitment of the Abbey in Munich and Andechs. This is even more important since the monastery receives no compensation from church tax.

Like all other farms working the monastery brewery profit-oriented and white at the same time the monastic rules of organic and sustainable growth required. On operation of the monastery brewery is clearly: the overflowing technical infrastructure at the Holy Mountain is not aimed at profit maximization, but to the preservation of monastic identity.

The monastery beers brewed in Andechs are the culmination of centuries old Benedictine brewing tradition and ultra modern brewing technology.

They are the ambassadors of traditional Benedictine hospitality, still practiced today, and the monastery’s long history as a place of pilgrimage, without which the brewery would never have come about. Against this backdrop, the Andechs beer specialities provide a “taste” of the successful meld of Benedictine hospitality, Baroque culture, and the Bavarian lifestyle.

In brewing our premium beer, we exclusively use high quality Bavarian ingredients. In addition, we give our beer specialities plenty of time to develop their aromas.

Over 100,000 hectolitres of beer are brewed each year at the foot of the Holy Mountain.” – Andechs website


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