It's all about the beer and finding your way to it

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Main Event - ZBF

The main festival last weekend (at least in terms of number of breweries) was the Zythos Bier Festival. This essentially is the closest Belgium comes to a national beer fest. Zythos is technically a national group that has member clubs locally in most towns of reasonable size (they mostly happen to be in Flemish towns though). This fest excludes the big international brewers in favor of the smaller Belgian breweries (and beer firms- places that have their beers contract brewed by others) .

ZBF runs Saturday and Sunday and features brewers serving their beers from rows of boths. It gets very busy on Saturday so getting there when it opens is essential. Planning some of your beers in advance is also recommended as the number available can be overwhelming.

Some highlights for me were: Saison de Dottignies from De Ranke- a hoppy new saison; Koriala from Lupiline- spiced with coriander but still with a strong hop bitterness; and an experimental new beer from De Dolle that was light and had a hint of Brettanomyces. It was also great to see a lot of the newer brewers there like Hof Ten Dormaal, Zonderik, and Den Triest.

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