Ashley’s Belgian Beer Festival- Poperings Hommelbier Release

The small Northern European nation of Belgium brews more beer per capita than any nation the world. They also have a great reputation for quality, not just quantity. One of my favorite local restaurants, Ashley’s of Westland, hosts an 11 day Belgium Beer Festival, the largest such festival of it’s kind in the Midwest. My wife and I attended (and blogged about) the Trappist Beer Dinner during the first week of the festival, and I was honored to be asked by one of the establishment’s owners, Roy More, to come back and photograph many of the events during the remainder of the festival.

The event on Thursday night, February 16th, was the US Release of Poperings Hommelbier from the festival’s featured brewery, Van Eecke. This small, family owned & operated brewery in Watou, Belgium has a reputation for producing high-quality and acclaimed beers. Watou is located in the Poperinge region of West Flanders, an area known for the growing of hops. It is appropriate that the beer being released was a dark, hoppy beer, one that is not even currently available in Belgium. 
Andy pouring the first glasses of Poperings Hommelbier in the United States

 On hand for the release of the beer was Danny Dieussaert, Export Manager for the Van Eecke Brewery. Danny’s expertise into the realms of Belgian beer was a highlight of the evening, but was still secondary to talking with the gregarious Belgian. Danny explained to us that, because of the hops, and they way they were dry-hopped, this beer was more bitter than most of the other beers produced in Belgium. There was some bitterness to it, but to my unsophisticated tastebuds, it was no where near has bitter as many of our IPAs.

Rick, Pete and Danny
Proudly displaying the ribbons on their Ashley’s Belgian Beer Festival Laynards

The release of Poperings Hommelbeir was scheduled for 7 p.m., but there was a VIP release party at 6:30 for both distributors and members of the public who had tried at least 15 Belgian Beers (out of over 160 possible!) during the festival.

It was a fun evening, with both beer experts and novices sharing their love of beer during an exciting event celebrating the release of a new beer from a well-reputed beer maker from one of the world’s preeminent beer brewing regions. The highlight for me was meeting Danny and listening to his stories. I would have another chance to enjoy Danny’s rich story-telling and Ashley’s hospitality Friday night during the Van Eecke Dinner, which I will cover in my next post.

One Response to “Ashley’s Belgian Beer Festival- Poperings Hommelbier Release”

  1. Roy More says:

    Mouth watering pictures. Great! Great beer too.

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