Friday, November 18, 2016

Take a Walk on the Craft Beer Side

Story and photos by Owen Ogletree
First published in Southern Brew News

Forget Pokémon Go. It's much more fun and delicious to venture out on foot in a new city to collect new friends, beers and experiences while searching out the best craft beer spots. With the current craft beer craze taking solid hold in the Southeast, and new breweries, brewpubs and pubs springing up like kudzu, every state in the region offers areas where the concentration of craft beer outlets makes for a pleasant day out on foot. Here are five places to start…

South Slope - Asheville, North Carolina

Once home to rows of derelict warehouses, Asheville's "South Slope" now pulses with new condos, shops and restaurants, but beer is the real reason people flock here. Start in the morning, or there's no way to complete this walk in one day. From the center of downtown, walk west on Patton Avenue, eventually heading downhill on Coxe. Stroll five blocks south to Tasty Beverage Company to peruse the range of packaged beer on offer and try a few samples from the taps to rouse the palate. Next, get in line across the street at Wicked Weed's Funkatorium a few minutes before opening to insure a prime seat at the bar to taste a massive range of sour, funky, fruited and barrel-aged brews.

Just across Coxe from Wicked Weed, Twin Leaf Brewery offers a pleasant atmosphere in which to sip through an extensive assortment of classic beer styles. Nothing beats pizza on a pub crawl, so walk a little over a block north to check out Asheville Brewing Company and pair a slice with one of their perennial favorite house brews.

Around the corner sits Hi-Wire Brewing, where a flight of solid lagers, European styles and barrel-aged tart beers is in order. Also pop next door to Ben's Tune Up to experience their regional craft beer selection and house-made sakes.

Head back south on Coxe for visits to the gorgeous Catawba Brewing tasting room and the eccentric Burial Beer Company for a flight labeled with a coroner's toe tag. Next, compare the fun, crusty, original Green Man Brewing facility with the shiny, multi-story, new brewery just a few doors down.

Lastly, hike back uphill to the corner of Coxe and Patton for a cask ale at Jack of the Wood pub and late night snacks at Thirsty Monk where craft beer flows upstairs and classic Belgian ales reign in the cellar.

Busy upstairs bar at Asheville's downtown Thirsty Monk

Nashville's Craft Beer Mile

Nashville's got country music, spicy hot chicken and marvelous craft beer. After lunch, start at Hops & Craft near the corner of 12th Avenue South and Pine Street for a warm-up beer, then walk east to Nashville's pioneering Yazoo Brewing for a tour and a couple of flights of brewer/owner Linus Hall's solid, popular recipes.

Linus Hall, Yazoo's owner/brewer

 Just for a change of pace, continue walking east to Pour House Burgers, Bourbon & Brews to try a dram from the expansive whisky list before hitting Jackalope Brewing just a block or so north. Standouts from Jackalope's talented lady brewers include Leghorn Rye IPA, Thunder Ann American Pale and Snowman Mocha Stout.

About two blocks east from Jackalope, across the train tracks, sits Tennessee Brew Works - a two-story craft brewery with outstanding ales and lagers, a sparkling brewhouse, live music and yummy small plates. Finally, meander a few blocks north to the casual and cozy Czann's Brewing to chat with loyal locals and meet brewer/owner Ken Rebman, who always seems to be there.

New Orleans' St. Charles Avenue

Board a rickety streetcar and take the scenic ride through the lush Garden District down St. Charles Avenue all the way past Audubon Park. When the streetcar makes a sharp right on Carrollton Avenue, hop off and duck into the classic Cooter Brown's Tavern to check out the "Snooty Cooter" back bar that's loaded with craft beer. For sustenance for the day, munch on fresh oysters, boudin balls or a savory shrimp po-boy.

Jump on the streetcar, heading back toward downtown, and exit at Louisiana Avenue. Walk five blocks south and two blocks east to The Bulldog pub on Magazine Street where patrons sit in the outdoor patio with a local beer and relax to the sounds of the decorative beer tap fountains. Want a beer to go? Nab a plastic cup before leaving, as it's perfectly legal (and encouraged) to walk the streets of New Orleans with a drink.

Owen relaxes on the patio of The Bulldog Pub

Turn right out of Bulldog and walk down Magazine to take a right at Seventh Street. After about six blocks, look for NOLA Brewing that offers enjoyable tours and an impressive, two-story taproom with upstairs balcony. NOLA really jump-started craft beer in the city a few years ago.

Head back north on Seventh Street to catch another streetcar toward downtown and disembark at the Euterpe stop for a bite and a mind-blowing beer menu at Avenue Pub - THE 24-hour Big Easy craft beer destination run with love by beer fanatic Polly Watts.

Before or after Avenue Pub, seek out beer flights at Courtyard Brewery and the new Urban South Brewery - both just a few blocks away by foot or taxi. Check brewery opening hours to decide which to visit first.

Decatur, Georgia - Atlanta's Craft Hotspot

For this walk, be sure to visit on a Saturday and start with an early lunch and beer sampler at the neighborhood's much-loved Twain's Brewpub & Billiards, then summon a taxi or make the 30 minute walk on East College Avenue toward Avondale Estates to My Parents' Basement to enjoy a pint and poke around the pub's comic book shop. It's where craft beer geeks and comic book nerds collide.

When exiting My Parents' Basement, take a right to head back toward Decatur, turn right on Maple Street and look for Wild Heaven Craft Beers where brewer Eric Johnson crafts a range of phenomenal and unconventional ales.

The guys of Wild Heaven

From Wild Heaven, walk west on East College Avenue for more beer sampler gratification at the laid-back Blue Tarp Brewing and the beautiful, Belgian-themed Three Taverns Craft Brewery before ending the night with pints and plates in downtown Decatur at Brick Store Pub, Square Pub and/or Leon's Full Service gastropub.

Sunny St. Pete

Start the morning in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida soaking in avant-garde art at The Salvador Dalí Museum before seeking out lunch at the amazing Z Grille just north of the gallery.

Now the brewery visits begin! Walk west on Central Avenue North or 1st Avenue North to find Cycle Brewing and St. Pete Brewing for succulent local brews, then continue west about six blocks to the award-winning Green Bench Brewing for an exceptional range of hoppy, dark and sour ales.

Beer sampler trays are pouring a bit farther west at Pinellas Ale Works and Cage Brewing - just across from each other. Next, trek three blocks to 2nd Avenue South for 3 Daughters Brewing, where the idea of making beer began when the owners, who are former chefs, brewed an original beer for their fish batter. Today, 3 Daughters' tasting room offers 14 taps of outstanding ales and lagers.

Finish the night at the Urban Comfort Restaurant & Brewery location that once housed a gas station along St. Pete's "Automotive Alley." Pair a house-made brew with fried green tomatoes, "hott" chicken or meatloaf with smoked gouda and bacon gravy.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

I'm Dreaming of a Craft Beer Christmas

- First published in Southern Brew News in December of 2015 -

By Owen Ogletree

This holiday season, forget the champagne, mulled wine and eggnog. Craft beer mania has gripped the nation, and the massive range of styles, colors and flavors offered by craft beers means that there's a delicious, perfect beer for every holiday occasion. Pairing wines with winter holiday cuisine often proves a tricky task, but not so with craft beer. With its mellow smoothness, malt sweetness, creamy carbonation and malt character ranging from mild cereal and toast to caramel, toffee, chocolate and espresso, there's a craft beer to pair with any food item - even dessert.

New breweries are springing up across the Southeast, struggling to meet demand for booming, thirsty craft beer markets from Louisiana to North Carolina, and creative southeastern brewers are producing world-class, award-winning products. We've tackled the difficult task of choosing only one sumptuous craft beer from each southeastern state to pair with various winter holiday fare. Try these pairings, or come up with new matches to enjoy with friends and family during this festive time of year.

Loup Garou from Louisiana's Bayou Teche Brewing features a scary label with a swamp werewolf, but this rich, 8% ABV Belgian-style imperial stout that's aged with licorice root in whiskey barrels makes a splendid pairing for holiday sweets. This limited edition winter seasonal ale is brewed with malts that include crystal, chocolate and rye, and the beer is infused with French hops and brown sugar, providing an impressive depth of flavors that meld well with all types of holiday spiced desserts like gingerbread, carrot cake, rum cake or chewy molasses cookies.

Started in 2013 with the goal of bringing amazing craft beers to Mississippi, Southern Prohibition Brewing sits in a downtown Hattiesburg space that was once home to a furniture showroom. Now the owners show off popular brews such as Mississippi Fire Ant - an imperial red ale matured in oak barrels. This ale boasts an intense, dark ruby color, flavorful malt complexity and elegant, earthy, spicy hop aroma and flavor. Folks will welcome this "Fire Ant" into their holiday kitchens, as the beer's biscuity, toasty, dark caramel tones complement the caramelized character of roast beef or pork. Mississippi Fire Ant scored a silver medal at the 2014 Chicago Festival of Wood & Barrel-aged Beers.

Head to the Nations Neighborhood of West Nashville to visit the new 28,000 square feet tasting room of Turtle Anarchy Brewing Company. Turtle Anarchy's Permafrost ranks as a splendid brown ale loaded with spice character from additions of ginger, clove, cinnamon and nutmeg. With 6.2% ABV and 20 IBUs, this malty brew offers notes of roasted nuts, treacle, caramel and raisin toast that go extremely well with rich holiday fare like baked sweet potatoes topped with syrup and marshmallows.

Back in 2008, the founders of Good People Brewing quit their day jobs to take on the arduous goal of pioneering a craft brewery in Birmingham, Alabama. Known to regular Good People drinkers as "C-O-S," the brewery's popular Coffee Oatmeal Stout contains 5.7% ABV, 51 IBUs, five specialty malts, oats, smooth Octane Coffee, authentic British ale yeast and Willamette and Columbus hops. Expect a rich, slightly sweet coffee taste, viscous mouthfeel from the oats, balancing hops and fruity esters. Any holiday grub that goes down well with a cup of coffee will complement this brew. Try fruit pies, scones or aged gouda or warm brie and crackers.

The guys at Atlanta's Monday Night Brewing stashed some Drafty Kilt Scottish-style strong ale in Kentucky bourbon barrels for a few months and then sent some bottles off to the 2014 Great American Beer Festival, where the beer took the coveted gold medal in the barrel-aged category. Bourbon Barrel Drafty Kilt is filled with notes of vanilla, charred oak tannins, toffee, burnt sugar, dark fruit, cocoa and cherry-wood smoked malt. This Christmas, drink this warming, malty ale with anything and everything chocolate.

At Christmastime in sunny Tampa, the brewers at Cigar City will most likely still be in shorts, but this doesn't stop them from churning out Cigar City Sugar Plum - a delightful winter seasonal brown ale that's accentuated with rose hips, cinnamon, ginger, chamomile, chicory and carob. The nutty, malty profile provides hints of bitter chocolate and roasted malts, and the full body forms the perfect canvas for esters and spices. Grab that fruit cake that's being used as a door-stop and try a slice with a snifter of Sugar Plum, or sip the beer with chestnuts roasted on a open fire.

Who says that hops don't go with Christmas? Westbrook Brewing in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina gets off on experimenting with unusual ingredients, but Shane's Big DIPA ranks as a 9.6% ABV imperial IPA packed with 80 IBUs and a mammoth dose of flavoring hops. This ale brings a glow to the cheeks and a warmth to the tummy, while providing a conversation-provoking libation to serve with Parmigiano-Reggiano or blue cheeses with a dollop of holiday jam. Also pair with roast duck, ham and prime rib.

With their wildly adored sour ales and award-winning hoppy brews, Asheville's Wicked Weed can't seem to make enough beer these days. Visitors can check out the brewpub restaurant, cellar bar or separate Funkatorium barrel warehouse and taproom a few blocks away. Wicked Weed's orange-hued XLIX Maple Sweet Potato Saison seems quite suited for the winter season. Notes of spice, maple syrup, fresh fruits, local sweet potatoes, mild acidity and Belgian character form a perfect marriage with the beer's luxurious mouthfeel, and this specialty saison would be heaven alongside roast turkey with sage dressing, Cornish game hen and even caviar on melba toast.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Owen Ogletree Discusses Oktoberfest on Beer Guys Radio

CLICK HERE to listen to's Oktoberfest show with John “JR” Roberts and Owen Ogletree – Episode 41.

Hear Owen's interviews from the Hofbrau tent on the opening day of Munich's Oktoberfest 2016 - the world's largest and most famous beer festival.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

A Beer & Cheese Collision

Owen Ogletree, Ashton Smith, The Beer Wench, Ian Meents and Thel Melton gathered on October 2 to evaluate and score six beer and cheese pairings. Comments and scoring focused specifically on how well each beer and cheese worked together on the palate. 

Slice & Pint The Greatest Decision You'll Ever Make - Calvados Barrel-aged Trippel
Cowgirl Creamery Red Hawk Brie

Pairing Notes:
The funky brie blends magnificently with the apple, spice and fruit notes of the tripel; a gorgeous pairing; the calvados barrel note is elegant with the complex cheese; both the beer and cheese are amazing; the rind of the brie really adds to the beauty of the pairing; the sweet tripel and rich cheese are perfect together; there's a slight funk in the cheese that goes beautifully with the malty, sweet complexity of the beer.

Overall Pairing Score (1-10): 9.6 - FIRST PLACE


Gate City Gourd Vibrations Chocolate Pumpkin Porter

Beehive Cheese Co. Barely Buzzed Espresso/Lavender Rubbed

Pairing Notes:
Coffee notes work well with the cheese; lavender gives the beer added herbal complexity; dark malt is pleasant with espresso and herbs; pumpkin notes work well with the herbal, coffee quality of the cheese; lots of spice flavors blend beautifully; pumpkin, chocolate and pie spices are a fantastic marriage; the cheese brings out the chocolate nuances of the beer.

Overall Pairing Score (1-10): 7.9 - SECOND PLACE

Het Anker Gouden Carolus Classic
Gruyere AOP

Pairing Notes:
Both cheese and beer are sweet and nutty, but the powerful beer overwhelms the gruyere somewhat; a very pleasant combination overall; nutty cheese flavor is complemented by the strong, sweet, alcoholic flavor of the beer; a delicious pairing, with the beer being a bit too boozy and sweet for the cheese; a similar beer with less malt richness would be perfect for this cheese.

Overall Pairing Score (1-10): 7.8 - THIRD PLACE


Wild Heaven White Blackbird Saison with pink peppercorns & Asian pears
Vermont Creamery Herb Chevre

Pairing Notes:
Herbs blend interestingly with pear and pepper notes; like a fine Chenin Blanc wine paired with the tartness of a chevre; the spicy notes of the beer are appealing alongside the herbs of the cheese; the cheese seems to influence the flavors of the beer, but not the other way around; herbs may overpower the beer a little; the pear and peppercorn pair well with the complexity of the cheese.

Overall Pairing Score (1-10): 7.0


Game of Thrones Seven Kingdoms Hoppy Wheat Ale
Bucheron Aged French Goat Cheese

Pairing Notes:
Hops cover the cheese a bit; somewhat of a clash; both the beer and cheese are delicious, but hops overpower; beer was also a little malty for the cheese; sharpness of the goat cheese does complement the hoppy wheat ale.

Overall Pairing Score (1-10): 5.0


Cantillon Gueuze 100% Lambic Bio 

Rothkase Buttermilk Gorgonzola

Pairing Notes:
Both are acidic, funky and sharp; fantastic complement; tartness of beer cuts through the complex cheese; the beer might be too complex for the cheese; the lambic cleans the funk from the cheese on the palate and finishes with a pleasant tartness; these are two funky, strong flavors that work well together.

Overall Pairing Score (1-10): 6.8

Monday, October 24, 2016

Beer Styles Best-of-Show Tasting Results

Owen Ogletree picked ten craft beers from around the Southeast - each representing a different BJCP style - and worked with craft beer enthusiasts Ashton Smith, Ian Meents, Thel Melton and The Beer Wench to conduct a totally blind "best of show" tasting and ranking.

Comments are based on how well each beer represented its BJCP style description.

Here are the results...

FIRST PLACE - Best of Show
Sunshine State Pils
Florida Beer Company
German-style Pils

- Sweet; smooth; nice pils malt; good hop flavor for style; clean, light bread crust note; slight cereal grain note in the finish; wonderful example of the style.

Last Place Stout
Blue Tarp Brewing
Imperial Stout

- Port wine nose with raisins, rum and espresso hints; mild dark tan head; boozy; notes of dates, prunes and figs; rich malt sweetness and dark malt complexity; sweet cocoa and latte notes; spicy, cinnamon character with dark fruit complexity and roasted malt depth; burnt bread crust; ends moderately sweet and satisfying.

Lyric Ale
Orpheus Brewing

- Dark gold; hazy; gorgeous white foam; cloves; sweet spice; slight pepper; fruit; nice hop note; pears and lemon juice hint; wheat cereal nuance; mild acidity; pleasant dry finish; light clove phenol touch with white pepper undertone.

Gaelic Ale
Highland Brewing Company
Strong Bitter

- Light aroma of caramel malt; hints of toffee; pleasant fruity esters; biscuit note; melon hint; sweet malt nuance; good balance of malt and hops; hops are there for support to the malt; a delightful hop presence at the end.

Pale Ale
Eventide Brewing
American Pale Ale

- Deep gold with a nice, light hop aroma; good balance; slight tannin astringency in the finish; overall a tasty APA with elegant, mild hops and a lingering dry bitterness in the finish; hops seem piney, resiny and slightly citrus-like and floral.

Truck Stop Honey Brown Ale
Back Forty Beer Company
Specialty British-style Brown Ale with wildflower honey

- Mild honey, caramel and roasted nut aromas; like a slightly sweet UK mild ale; toasted bread; scone-like; honey comes through and dominates the brown ale character a bit; clean and light in flavor; light honey is the star of this show.

Emergency Drinking Beer
Wild Heaven Craft Beers
Specialty Gose with sea salt, citrus and additional hops

- Clear in appearance with light, bright, gold color; great carbonation; big stand of foam; aromas of minerals, citrus, slight spice and acid; only mildly sour with a subtle lactic note; there is a touch of sweet malt; refreshing, with just a hint of acid on the sides of the tongue; lemon, orange and tangerine hints; mild salt; slight spiciness from hops; an interesting ale.

Big Easy IPA
Abita Brewing Company
Specialty Session IPA with lemon peel

- Dark gold in color with clear, white foam; hoppy, lemon, fruity nose with flavors of tannin-like citrus zest; mouthfeel and body are light and good for style; more lemon presence than hops; dry finish; lightly fruity; well balanced with light malt; hops seem restrained; mild and clean; refreshing.

Reviver Red IPA
Starr Hill Brewery
Specialty IPA: Red IPA

- Dark red in hue; almost brown with tan foam; aromas of malt, browned biscuits, and sweet wort; herbal note; dark fruit; toffee note is apparent; light hop hint in the finish; moderately dry finish; might benefit from more aroma and flavoring hops.

Milk Stout
Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
Sweet Stout

- Beautiful jet-black color with light tan foam; sweet roasted malt aromas; espresso with rich cream; smells sweeter than it tastes; comes across like a slightly sweet dry stout; body may be a touch light for style; mild fruity esters are pleasant; ends with a hint of hazelnut and toffee on the palate.

Brewtopia's Belgium Group Beer Tour - October 2016

The Best of Belgian Ales!

Owen Ogletree took a group of 22 beer writers, beer retailers, pub owners and beer enthusiasts on an epic tour of all corners of Belgium on October 9-15, 2016.

Spots visited included: De Cam, Beersel's Lambic Visitor's Center, 3 Fonteinen Restaurant, 3 Fonteinen Lambik-O-Droom, Brouwers Verzet, Hommelhof, Poperinge Hop Museum, Westvleteren Abbey, Orval, Brewery Interpol, Achouffe, Het Anker, Duvel, Westmalle, Brugge, Huisbrouwerij De Halve Maan, Cantillon, Lindeman's, Oud Beersel, and the many delightful beer pubs of Brussels.

Our next beer trip with available slots will take place in October of 2017 to Bavaria and Franconia, Germany. To see more information and register, CLICK HERE.

Video highlights of our October 2016 Belgian beer adventure:

Check out the full PHOTO ALBUM of our Brewtopia Belgian beer tour. Here are a few samples...

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Lincoln Fill Station in Belgium!

Tiny, Steph, Brad & Tara just returned from a beer tour in Belgium.

Summary by Tiny McClannan of Lincoln Fill Station
in Snellville, GA.


This amazing beer tour was booked through Brewtopia Events via Owen Ogletree.

We traveled through cities and country sides to find the origins of Lambic, Gueuze and Belgian Style Beers.

Our brewery visits included...

De Cam - Pure passion keeps this Lambic mixer driven.  Blending and aging De Cam was founded in 1997 by master brewer Willem van Herreweghen, and was later taken over by Karel Goddeau.  Karel brews for Brouwerij Slaghmuylder by day and blends lambic by nigh at De Cam 
Verzet - Joran Brewmaster at our very own Three Taverns got his start here.  There are only three Belgian brewers working in the U.S., and two of them are related. Joran Van Ginderachter follows in the footsteps of his uncle Peter Bouckaert, who today works at New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins.

Wesvleteren - a brewery founded in 1838 at the Trappis Abbey of Saint Sixtus.  The brewery's three beers have acquired an international reputation for taste and quality, Westvleteren 12 being considered by some to be the best beer in the world.  It doesn't hurt that the Monks are not brewing for commercial demands making the small quantites that are sold weekly coveted by locals and travelers from around the world, like us!   

Inter-Pol - This tiny, and I do mean tiny Brewery is owned and operated by Pol and his lovely wife who also have a charming Bed and Breakfast.  Most everyone, except me had to duck to enter this adorable brewery.  Every inch is covered with eye catching details and Pol is happy to tell you a story about every one!  

Het Anker - started brewing beer 5 generations ago in the Grand Beguinage of Mechelen. In the whisky distillery they are working on the Gouden Carolus Single Malt, which is the perfect combination between the family traditions of brewing and distilling. They also have a brasserie where we enjoyed lunch along with a tasting of their fantastic beers.
Duvel-Moortgat - These folks have been busy!  Moortgat brewery was founded in 1871.  In the early 1970s, when the company was struggling financially, Moortgat bottled and distributed the Danish beer, Tuborg.  In June 1999 they to set up massive distribution channels for their flagship beer, Duvel. 
Over the years they have aquired many of our most well known Belgian and American Belgian breweries, such as Ommegang, Brasserie d'Achouffe, DeKonick, Boulevard and Firestone Walker.

Stephanie and I both agreed that watching the bottling line was probably our favorite part of this tour.  Don't get me wrong our guide was fabulous but the OCD in all of us cannot help but be mesmerized by this massive line, cleaning recycled bottles, filling, labeling and crating this huge distribution.
Brewery Achouffe -  This is my happy place, gnomes, mushrooms, the valley of the fairies and amazing beers, yes please!   The entire tour whas gnomey goodness, just the cutest place.   In the late 1970s two brothers-in-law, Pierre Gobron and Chris Bauweraerts, decided to create their own beer, in their own brewery.  In the summer of 2006, the brewery's founders opted to entrust the fate of their beloved dwarves to the Duvel-Moortgat Brewery. The group is willing to invest in Achouffe and to develop the brewery's potential.  A must visit if you find your self in Belgium

De Halve Maan Brewery - The ‘Halve Maan’ (Half Moon) is an authentic and historic brewery in the center of Bruges. This brewery is a family business with a tradition stretching back through six generations to 1856.  You can totally tell, this brewery tour literally had me hanging on by my finger nails.  I am still overjoyed I managed not to fall down one of their extremely narrow and steep staircases winding throughout this ancient facility.  One of the highlights was a visit to their roof top where the cooling ship has open air to cool their beers overnight prior to barreling for fermentation. In 2016 a unique two-mile underground pipeline was built to connect the brewery in the city centre to its out-of-town bottling plant, just crazy, a beer pipeline.  They did mention locals were happy to help urging that everyone should have a personal tap along the route.

Cantillon - Need I say more?  This was certainly a highlight to our trip, all of us very much relishing the idea we would be standing in this brewery.  The brewery was founded in 1900 by Paul Cantillon, whose father was a brewer as well.   As of 2011, the owner is Jean-Pierre van Roy, fourth-generation brewer at Cantillon. Since its foundation the only major change has been a shift to organic ingredients in 1999.  Cantillon was one of more than one hundred operating breweries in Brussels  when founded, but the only one remaining through the 2000s.  Our tour guide was Cedric and he was by far the most energetic delightful and educated tour guide.  As we were on a very tight schedule Cedric manged to have us laughing and enthralled in the process of Cantillon's brewing, so much so that we returned the day after our official brewery tour ended to taste more!
Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen - Last but certainly not least on our tour.  The head of 3 Fonteinen, Armand Debelder, was our tour guide.  What an honor it was to have him guide us through their new facility. The founding of Drie Fonteinen dates back to 1883.  In 1961, Gaston Debelder, purchased the building and expanded their lambic blending business into the inn.  His two sons, Armand and Guido helped manage the Inn and Lambic blending.  Gaston eventually handed the business over to his two sons full-time in 1982. Armand became the head blender (and eventually brewer), while his brother Guido managed the Inn restaurant.  Listening to Armand talk about his triumphs and falters was amazing.  Such a passion for the culture of this beer and his family tradition.  I was very pleased this was our last stop and loved sharing a dusty bottle with him and our group!