BEER

No, I am not giving any recipes to make beer nor I am going to list the best beers in the world. There are professionals specialized in making them, some belonging to centuries-old beer makers; my “responsibility”, let’s put things this way, it is to taste them and, on occasion, take a few related pictures.

Actually, when I go to places, I always ask for a local beer or to ask for a recommendation. People serving at restaurants feel empowered and always provide the best. Points for me and points for the restaurant. Bottom line, what is the point going to Belgium, for instance, a known place for some of the best beers in the world, and then ask for the same traditional beer that I commonly find at home?

There it is, part of an interesting conversation, so interesting that even passersby put an eye on it!

These glasses were decorating a corner in a bar in Bruges, Belgium. The guy serving the beer would take one of them (if that brand was requested) and fill it with the precious liquid. In fact, serious bartenders would never serve a beer from one brand in glasses from another brand. One told me this would be a “sacrilege” as it would pass a wrong impression about the beer by confusing who appreciates.

I was there at the bar. The bartender asked what kind of beer I wanted and pointed to these shields protecting the beer taps indicating the brand and type. I stood there a few seconds, undecided. Seeing I was a foreigner, he said: “Are you ready for an experiment?”. “Indeed!”, I said. He, then, served me the most extravagant red, cold and light beer together with a cheese plate. Sorry, I had to repeat the dosage before leaving the premises… Fortunately, I didn’t have to drive that night!

It does not matter the color of the beer; it only matters when is a good beer. And a nice company. And the entertaining talk. And the surrounding sounds of joy.

No words! I just wished to be there right now in Louvain, Belgium. That is it!

Delicious and light! You are not allowed to take the glass but using that wooden handle. You savor it everywhere; here, it was in front of a 300-year old building.

Less talk, more drinking, please!

Notice the young lady at the right? She is really mad at the fact that she cannot drink beer with her friends in a bar… Even eating potato chips from a bag… In Belgium! This is sacrilege!

You are only seeing three kinds of beer that this man is tasting. In fact, there are three more at his left. Delicious, cold and well-served beer!

When we arrived at this bar in the charming city of Namur, Wallonia, Belgium, this man was already there drinking; when we left, several beers later, he was still there, drinking. No, he was not getting drunk: he was enjoying life, looking at people going by, perhaps thinking his next moves tomorrow, the day after tomorrow… Notice one interesting thing: he is not handling his cellphone and only picked it up once for a brief call. The rest of the time (99.99% of it), he was there savouring one sip at a time…

The beer! The beer! Leave the phone alone and enjoy the day, per carità!