About Me

Belgian Beer Shrimper

There is beer, and then there is Belgian Beer … How long will it take to drink 1000 different ones?  What is left after you get through the top 100? How fat could one get? How many new friends can you make? How many globulous stains will be left on your lap when the occasional gushing brown takes you by surprise? This blog isnt about repeating whats on beer-rating websites – it’s one man’s journey from 1 to 1000 – from amateur to possibly some kind of consummate pipe-smoking moustachioued professional..  It’s about the rough and the smooth, the wheat and the chaff and whether one can finally decide on whether gentlemen really do prefer blondes?

Choosing from 1000 beers is too difficult for me. I like the concept of randomness, the fate of the gods, chance – and so decided to devise ingenious ways to generate random beers, and let the course of that fate tell a story… This is that story.

Enjoy … I know I will

I live and breathe in London and can regularly be found wandering the Belgian Countryside sniffing out the fine and not so fine of Belgium’s beverages. I have recently taken a break from writing while starting a family – although it’s fair to say I havent stopped drinking

Here is my cellar – ok.. Here is my floordrobe – a temporary measure while I move house

The Cellar

49 responses to “About Me

  1. Good work, Shrimper… Way to go !

  2. wendy littlefield

    I stumbled on your blog when doing a search on cuvee des trolls. delightful reading about trolls and you. we are importers of dubuisson, dupont, and slagmuylder beers (vanberg & dewulf) we will heartily recommend a visit to your blog. Cheerio, Wendy (will be in london in may – volcano permitting)

  3. Gav

    Love the project! As a fairly recent convert, I share your enthusiasm for all that is Belgian (beer that is)! It is also my mission to convert the Fosters drinking world to the religion that is Belgian Beer (though my steps may be somewhat smaller).

    I also appreciate your ‘speak as you find’ approach as there seems to be too much snobbery around these things.

    I would appreciate pointers on where to find some of these beers as not all seem available even on the net.

    I live in Kent and work in London so any recommendations you could make with regard to drinking establishments would also be welcome.

    I look forward to reading more and wish you luck!

    Gav

    • Gav

      Glad to hear you share the passion. Drop me your email address, and I will happily share some great bars, and the best shops in Belgium. If you are serious about the beers, then its about the best place to stock up. I aim to cover a good selection on these at some point on this site.

      Stuart

  4. Gav

    Thanks Stuart, I’ll look forward to reading your recommendations. Having read your beer reviews, I have to say I’m salivating at the prospect of the Rocheforts. I’ll have to calm down on the mail orders though – my wife already thinks I’ve gone nuts over it. I know you’re probably busy, but if you get a chance it’d be nice if you could make a guest appearance on my facebook group – ‘bbc – belgian beer collective’. It’s only me and a french guy who contribute. Humble beginnings eh?

  5. Great. Beer lovers always are welcome in Belgium!

  6. Jan Anderson

    I’m hooked on your reviews. Also your style of writing. Only thing is….here in the midwest USA, Belgian Beer is hard to find. I check everywhere we travel to find beers you have great reviews on.
    Not much luck. Any ideas?

    Thanks, Jan

  7. I am very impressed with the scope of this project! Good work!

    I am going to add you to my blogroll at http://beerisseur.wordpress.com and hope you do the same.

    I’ll tune in again for all my Belgian beer needs.

    • Cheers Gramity.. Glad to hear beer needs are being fully sated. I will get onto your site once this mad week is over !

      • I forgot to ask you something – have you ever tried any beer from Canadian brewer Unibroue? They are based out of Quebec and brew many Belgian-style Ales.

        I would absolutely love to hear your opinions on them and how they stack up to all these authentic Belgian beers you’ve been enjoying.

        I moved my site to http://www.beerisseur.ca where I am in the process of finalizing the last of five reviews I have done on Unibroue’s beers.

        I know they sell in Europe somewhere – not sure if where you are.

        Regards,

        gramity

  8. Gregor

    Nice project! 1000 is rather ambitious, I have lived in Brussels for five years, and have just reached 230 (http://goo.gl/MuuLK), plus a handful that I may have forgotten to write down. Don’t miss the open brewing days or Quintessence at Cantillon, and the Bruxellensis beer festival (I hope it will take place again this year, after a 3-year break). De Verzekering tegen de Grote Dorst (http://www.dorst.be/) has some interesting events coming up this year. The Proefbrouwerij in Lochristi is very interesting: they have all sorts of grains and hops, and make small batches of beer on demand for breweries that want to try out new beer recipes, or need some extra capacity to satisfy peaks in demand. Looking forward to hear more about your Belgian beer adventures.

    • Dont tell anyone but I can’t keep up with the writing these days as much as I want to .. I have recently passed the 500 mark, so halfway there !

      Thanks for tips. I must admit I am very fond of Proefbrouwerij – there are some cracking beers coming out of there. I love the Slaapmutske Christmas, and the Vicaris beers

  9. Gav

    Hi Stuart

    Still loving your work!

    Things are progressing nicely in my goal to turn my world Belgian (though I’m also finding more and more English, Scottish and American Ales that I enjoy). I have well and truely converted a few friends and passed on the link to your site.

    Took your advice and tried out The Rake in Borough Street market – there’s nothing like a Rochefort 10 at lunch time to kick off the afternoon. Loved it – thanks.

    Also tried the Old Brewery in Greenwich – they claim to have inherited Michael Jackson’s beer collection which is on display on the higher shelves behind the bar. Fantastic session there!

    Off to Zythos in March – are you going?

    Best wishes

    Gav

  10. Hello Sir

    I stumbled across your blog when I was looking at the Podge tour website.

    What can I say about your blog? It’s like Mission Impossible but set in Belgium and with more beer. I’m going to mention your blog in mine when I next post – http://bikebeerbelgium.wordpress.com – as the best beer blog I’ve read to date. I’m over in Flanders cycling next month and I’ll see how many of your list I can find/drink. You should get this published as I’m sure many folk would like to go into beer battle with your tome tucked inside their flack jacket.

    Finally, if you had to recommend one beer to try what would it be?

    Andy

    • Andy. Mission Definitely possible!
      If enough people want a book like this even about those beers that dont rank in the top 100 then I would be happy to seek this route. I really appreciate your words about my blog. I have had a little break due to a holiday and a Belgianbabyshrimper on the way soon so will be back up running as usual very soon. The good news of course though is that I havent stopped drinking the cellar. Hope to see you again soon..

  11. Shrimper–Really enjoyed your site, especially the lessons, of which I learned some. Good luck in your quest. I have the same one, albeit, less organized and documented. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and passion.

    Cheers,
    Stu Stuart
    Belgian Beer Me! Beer Tours • USA

  12. Gav

    Hi Stuart

    I’ve not seen a new review for a while, is all ok?

    Gav

  13. Hi Shrimper, Can you send me your email so I can send you a personal message? vanberg.and.dewulf@gmail.com. You have been inducted into a Hall of Fame! Congrats!

  14. seppe veltjen

    hello, i stumbled on to this page and i was really surprised. I knew that Belgium has a lot of good beers, but i didnt know that there are 1000 of em. and that is very surprising for me since i am my self a big fan of belgian beers, and furthermore i am born and raised in Belgium and i still live there. I am cheering for you and for all of the fans of Belgian beer.

  15. Mik Walker

    Damn! Just found your blog just after getting home from a weeks visit to Brugge. We keep having to go back to Belgium to take our empties & crates back from our previous visits, (I’m from Yorkshire, so the deposit on the bottles & crates you pay is put to good use!). Anyone visiting Belgium should do an internet search for “Prik & Tik”, or “DST” (Dorpsstraat 182, 8340 Sijsele), if you’re near Brugge. You can get the ‘common’ Belgian beers (Leffe, Grimberg, Palm Busch Jupiler etc.) but also ‘lesser known’ beers at VERY reasonable prices, and, (of course), the crates to carry them home!!

  16. love the writing, chanced after doing two days of local sampling at our sadly overpriced belgian beer cafe in brisbane. it’s not as busy when it was ‘trendy’ but the interesting Block6 special was new to me and always want gueze.
    great writing, i have sampled everything that australia can import but sadly so many have dropped away in my local brisbane like rodenbach…oh how i miss thee grand cru… congrats on the babybelgianbeershrimper. my 2.5 year old daughter does love a sip of orval…

    • Thanks Scott. I keep suggesting booze to help the baby sleep but as yet this is unsanctioned.
      Good luck with the beers in Australia. I forget how lucky I am sometimes to live just a short ferry ride away from all those brews!

  17. Hey Mr Shrimper, I too share your your love of Belgian beers, for me it was after an impromptu visit to Belgium last year, before that eye-opening holiday I had only tried Leffe and Duvel and not really known what I was drinking. On my return to the UK I decided I needed a quest to taste them all (An undertaking of herculean proportions as you well know).

    Being fairly new to the Belgian beer cause I was wondering if you knew any good places to drink and stock up on Belgian beers in London? Also how did you get such an impressive collection in your floordrobe?

    George

    • Hi George. If you’re in London then the only real solution is to get either the ferry or tunnel to Belgium with the motor and stock up there. Plenty of great shops within an hour of Dunkirk. If you dont fancy that then prepare to bite the bullet on cost here, especially with the recent daft increase in tax on high strength beers. Beers of Europe have a great selection and deliver from Norfolk. In London, there is Kris Wines, and Utobeer is decent in Borough Market.
      If you want to get near to 1000-1500 beers though then you will have to get to Belgium on a regular basis. Good luck sir

  18. Good to meet you, we will definatly meet soon. Just getting my act together and went back studying for a while. But in 6 weeks time I will have more time to work on my dream again. Have a good Belgian Beer Day or even a Belgian Beer Weekend. Enjoyi !!!!!
    Belgian Vic
    Captain Cheers
    Vickske
    CHEERS

  19. Great! The floordrobe is great. Nothing like displaying all those bottles out. Look forward to reading the blog for some good advice!

  20. Jim

    I will be visiting Belgium in late September for 4 nights (2 in Brussels… the other 2 who-knows-where). Living in the middle of the desert southwest of New Mexico, I (and many others on this island) are tired of paying premiums for Belgian prizes which are not always treated well on their perilous journey. I am considering putting together a Belgian-style Picobrouwerij of my own and want to spend some time with Belgian brewers who might share some of their magic regarding blending and conditioning, especially regarding barrel-aged beers. Any recommendations? One choice on my list is Brouwerij Alvinne… any others?

    • I wonder whether the Struise Brouwers might also be amenable?
      They like to experiment. T’Smisje have reduced amount of beers but were always making magical little beers. Alvinne is a good call too.

      Will think some more when free.
      Do you speak French or Flemish? That often helps too

      • Jim

        Ich kann ein bisschen Deutsch sprechen…Ik kan niet spreken Vlaamse. But, from what I’ve seen online… low german is a near perfect hybrid of hoch deutsch and english. I won’t be able to speak it, but I will be able to understand with some effort. Quant à parler français, impossible sans l’Internet. I’ll just focus on “impossib-luh!” (First time for me in Belgium).

        I’ve been accepted on FB by brewer Castelein (Alvinne) but have not yet arranged a meeting with him. I know he’s familiar with de Struise and T’Smisje, maybe he can grease my wheel there. Thanks for the info.

  21. Hey Shrimper,

    I’m heading to Belgium in a few weeks, any suggestions for places to pick up a load of singles on the way back from Brusselles?

    George

    • Ruben

      Be aware that prices in Brussels city center will be high. If it has to be in the city center, the following shops have a wide range of choices:
      – Beer Planet, Rue De La Fourche / Greepstraat 45
      – De Biertempel, Grasmarkt 56
      – Delices & Caprices, Rue de Bouchers 68 (smaller shop but occasionally has some less commonly found interesting stuff; I’ve been told they’re less pricey than most other shops in Brussels)

      If you happen to come by car:
      – Carrefour supermarket in Evere (a commune in the Brussels suburbs) and the Delhaize supermarket opposite the road – decent selection of beers and much more reasonable prices
      – Cora supermarket in Woluwe (a commune next to Evere)
      – A bit further out but 400+ beers and again, far better prices than in Brussels itself: ABS drinks, Vilvoordsebaan 29, 3020 Winksele (about 30 minutes East of Brussels by car)

  22. Jim

    Thanks for those tips. Beginning Wednesday 26/9, I will be going to Brussels for a couple of days, then off to Kortrijk in West-Flanders for a few more to sample smaller upstart breweries. I do plan to stock up on a dozen (or so) trophies and will forego purchasing in Brussels, except probably at Cantillon. How are the prices at the brouweries themselves? Also, there are a few “beer” shops in Lille, I am told. Any idea about those? They seem to carry a lot of what Europe holds, from England to Scandinavia to the High and the Low countries.

  23. Hi Shrimper, is there an email address we can reach you at? We have an offer we would like to extend. Please drop us a line at whitney [at] belgique.co.uk

  24. Ruben

    A late response but if other people would have the same question: the vast majority of the breweries have reasonable prices, in some cases even surprisingly cheap; occasionally you’ll find their beers cheaper in beer stores or super markets but those price differences shouldn’t be significant.

  25. Pat hayes

    Just found your site absolutely excellent. As a now ageing racing cyclist have been going to Belgium for years and a long time ago developed a taste for what are undoubtably the best beers in the world . Your reviews are spot on and some much other great info keep up the good work . Just bought a new copy of Tim Webbs guide so will compare and contrast his entertaining but rather acid style with your more tolerant approach.

    Best wishes

    Pat

  26. Hi Stuart, a quick greeting to see if you are still fermenting in 2013 and to say how pleased I was to discover your blog and all the wonderful gems of info it holds within. Well done on a great project! I have been collecting Belgian beer glasses (and of course something to put in them!) since I was stationed in the German/Dutch/Belguim border area in the late 1980s with the RAF. Over twenty years on and the passion remains; my new job has me travelling the world, but always on the look out for a Belgian beer serving establishment. Whether Hong Kong, Shanghai, LA or Cape Town, you can always track a good one down! Last night in New York I found 3 places serving good Belgium beers within a few yards and ended up with a Chimay White at Lillies on 17th St, a Wittekerke at the lovely little Belgian restaurant called Petite Abeille also on 17th and then a Steenbrugge Tripel at Markt on 6th Avenue, which led me to your blog. I love it when one good thing leads on to another!
    All the best Steve

  27. Ralph

    Fantastic project, and I love your reviews. I am currently living in Canada (but born in Belgium) and I am returning this summer with my son who just turned 21, and loves Belgian beers almost as much as I do. We are planning a three week “Tour de Biere”, also catching the F1 race in Francorchamps and the Bruxelles Beer Fest. Your thorough notes and reviews will definitely help us with our planning. Can’t thank you enough!

  28. sfn

    Wonderful comprehensive site you have created. I work for http://belgium.beertourism.com/ and we might like to send you some beer to review. Please drop me an email if you are interested. Many thanks!

  29. Gav

    Re: sfn’s post – Shrimper, I want your job!

    • Gav

      Also @sfn, I had a quick look at your site – very informative. Does it contain up to date info about festivals? I’ve not found good comprehensive info on the Belgian beer festivals that easy to come by in the past.

  30. Brent

    What a great site! I just managed my first trip to Belgium (I’m from the US), on what my wife dubbed the “Beer and Battlefields Tour”. Concerning the latter, I was lucky enuf to visit Ypres, Bastogne, Eban Emael, Malmede, et al and was seriously moved by what devastation this small country has suffered. On the lighter side — I indulged in 52 unique Belgian beers!!! From Mort Subite to Cuvee van de Kaiser (2002), I was absolutely in beer heaven! Now, anxious to go again with even more knowledge under my belt, I’m delighted to find your website. Thanks for sharing your journeys with us!!! Brent

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