Belgian Brewery Coasters and Glasses
Collected on Various Trips to Belgium
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Grand-Place, Bruxelles, Belgique
Anyone who appreciates good beer is aware of Belgium's reputation for excellent brewing, and anyone who know me probably realizes my feelings towards the brewing arts. The ability to sample a large contingent of Belgian beers conveniently and inexpensively was definitely a bonus to our several visits. Getting the glasses is also a lot easier than someone might think. Most large supermarkets like Delhaize have a selection of them in the beer aisle. Belgian brewers want consumers to be able to appreciate their product in a proper glass that will accentuate its best attributes and enhance the overall experience. So glasses are pretty easy to find.
You can also view an interactive map of the breweries and brewpubs I have visited
|Belgian Brewers' Guild: The Brewers' Guild runs a museum in the basement of their building on the Grand' Place in Brussels. For something like 100 Belgian Francs (about three bucks... we visited before the introduction of the Euro) one could tour the facility and enjoy a free beer at the end. The exhibit outlines brewing processes, shows brewery locations, and provides several interactive displays. Our Belgian friends particularly liked the museum because it's about the only place in the country where the toilet facilities are free. The coaster above cames with the free beer. Very roughly translated it says something like: The knighthood of brewers -- the guild house of brewers, 10 Grand' Place, Brussels. Here's how it reads in its original languages, "CHEVALERIE DU FOURQUET DES BRASSEURS - MAISON DES BRASSEURS - GRAND' PLACE 10 - BRUXELLES - RIDDERSCHAP VAN DE ROERSTOK DER BROUWERS - BROUWERSHUIS - GROTE MARKT 10 - BRUSSEL"|
|Abbaye de Leffe: I got the Leffe coaster in Dinant where we relaxed after a full day of touring. We sat on an outdoor patio along the Meuse River on a sunny late-Summer afternoon enjoying the breeze, and considered ourselves truly fortunate.|
|Brasserie Belle-Vue: This delightfully fluted glass reminiscent of something originally associated with champaigne, is designed to serve Belle-vue's framboise lambic. Framboise translates to "raspberry" and lambic is a spontaneously-fermented beer particular to a small geographic area near Brussels. While these highly-commercialized versions of lambic (in this case an InBev product), serve a purpose they are considerably different than what one would experience at the very traditional Cantillon Brewery and Museum.|
The glass includes the Belle-Vue logo, with a man stooping over to fill a pail of beer from a huge wooden barrel. It is also marked "PH. VANDENSTOCK"
|Chimay: This may be one of the best known Belgian brewery glasses, and certainly one of those at the forefront of the increasing prominence of Belgian beers across the world. It's the trademark Chimay goblet. I particularly like the heft of the base. It feels like one is holding something quite substantial when raising it up. The two ringed slots along the stem provide a great grip, too.|
Chimay, of course, is one of the few remaining traditional Trappist breweries. Cistercian Trappist monks of the Abbey of Notre-Dame de Scourmont have made beer here since 1850, part of a line of monastic tradition that dates back to the middle ages.
|Delirium Tremens: This is a Belgian Strong Pale Ale brewed by Brouwerij Huyghe. "Delirium Tremens" is also Latin for "shaking delirium" or what is sometimes colloquially called the DT's. It can happen to a severe alcoholic during withdrawal. A pink elephant is somewhat stereotypically associated with DT hallucinations and those are also a symbol of the beer, and prominently displayed on all of their packaging including this snifter-style goblet. The elephant even wears a Santa hat on their Christmas beer!|
It seems a little counterintuitive to name a beer after a serious medical condition and poke fun at the abuse of your product. However this is part of the quirky Belgian sense of humor that I so much enjoy. This same sense of irreverence extends to Belgian brewing and results in so many delightful and unanticipated styles and variations.
The pink elephants that follow your cursor on their website are also lots of fun.
|Duvel: The name of the beer translates from Flemish into English as "The Devil" and is a strong, golden pale ale. Duvel is intended to be served in a tulip-shaped goblet glass. It is the flagship beer of Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat and is exported to more than 40 countries. In another interesting note, Duvel Moortgat took over the American brewery Ommegang as a way to further branch out to beer lovers in the United States.|
|Verboden Vrucht / Le Fruit Defendu: Translating to "Forbidden Fruit," this specialty dark beer from Hoegaarden is part of the InBev family.|
The beer and its goblet feature an Adam and Eve theme. In this case, however, Adam is tempting Eve with a beer instead of an apple. Vegetation covers the couple in strategic places to preserve their decency... well, for the most part anyway. Some might consider the Eve portrayal a little risque.
|Grimbergen: The Grimbergen glass is a true goblet. It features the Grimbergen logo with an eagle and a notation of "ANNO 1128" in recognition of its founding when St. Norbert built an abbey for the Norbertine order in the Brabant town of Grimbergen. I got this glass as part of a Christmas set. The glass plus a bottle of each of their beers came in an attractive wooden box that now houses a portion of my coaster collection.|
Today Grimbergen is part of the Alken Maes brewery group (Brouwerijen Alken-Maes Brasseries).
|Kasteel: Kasteel uses a very interestingly shaped goblet, with the volume contained in a wide vessel skewed towards the upper vertical portion of the glass. It's produced by Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck that owns the castle in Ingelmunster after which the beer is named and the logo portrays. I remember a number of years ago when I first came across Kasteel Bruin while in Belgium, and carried a couple of bottles all over Europe to get them home, only to discover upon my return that they had started exporting. Now I can obtain Kasteel anytime I like, for which I'm grateful.|
|La Chouffe: La Chouffe is a strong golden ale, the flagship beer of Brasserie d'Achouffe. The little gnome character on this tulip-shaped goblet is a common feature of their packaging. What is a little more unusual about this glass is that the "Magic Choufee" lettering is actually printed in reverse on the back side, and comes into view through the front of the glass as it empties.|
In September 2006 Duvel Moortgat bought Brasserie d'Achouffe
|Orval: The glass designed for Orval is a rather substantial goblet with an interesting set of ridges crafted vertically into the bowl. This is a Trappist Ale associated with a Cistercian monastery. Today laypeople working in the brewery but it is still very closely aligned with the abbey. Profits are designated for community and charitable causes. Orval is light in color and has some rather distinct flavors due to the use of a locally wild Brettanomyces yeast.|
|Scaldis: The Belgian beer Bush which is produced by Brasserie Dubuisson Frères is sometimes labeled Scaldis for export. This bulbed goblet is for their Christmas beer. Notice the snowflakes and holly leaves.|