GTG Extra! : Brussels Countdown 

A Special Daily Supplement from

 The Grey Town Gazette 
Seven Days : Seven Beers : Seven Reasons to Live
Sun 29th Aug 2010
T minus 2
and counting...

Wish you were there?
Heaven's Door

Its that time of year again: the time when the devout don their drinking boots, pack their beer resistant clothing, dig out  last year's surplus bottle tops*, pick up some bulk packs of aspirin and head off on the annual pilgrimage to the Brussels Beer Weekend.
Organized by the internationally renowned  the trip -  like any worthwhile challenge - is sometimes arduous, often hazy, but always a fulfilling experience allowing true aficionados to connect with their beer induced spiritual side.
The GTG is keen to support cultural events and our reporters will be there on the ground, reporting from the frontline.
Countdown Reviews
To help those of you who are making the trip get in the mood and as a general celebration of the event, we're publishing a special series of  7 daily bulletins featuring reviews of our favourite beverages and bars. Who knows, perhaps we might also entice those who aren't joining us this time to make the effort next year!
But its not just about Belgium. All serious athletes know its essential to follow a disciplined and balanced training regime ahead of major events and so this year's programme includes expert designed warm up excursions to Amsterdam and Antwerp.
The Beer Weekend itself starts Friday 3rd September.
We can't possibly cover all of the worthy beverages in seven bulletins, but we hope these little tasters help wet the appetite and get the heart pounding.
* those in the know, know... those who don't, need to find out!
 Beer of the Day 
 Rodenbach Grand Cru
 Tart with a Big Heart
Tart with Big Heart 
Better by the Litre
Vital Statistics
Brewer:                         Palm Breweries NV 
Style:                            Flanders Red-Brown Beer 
Strength:                      6% ABV 
AI Value:*                   6
Killer App:                   Keeps its fans happy for hours
Medicinal Qualities:    It probably contains vitamin C 
Tasting notes:             Like Marmite: you either love it or hate it
 Grey Scale Rating:**  Platinum 
* AI, or Alcoholic Index is a key parameter in the temporal equation defining  (perceived) Drink Time. Ref. Alcohol Induced Time Dilation Effect, 'Quantum Qorner' GTG Dec 2009 
** The official GTG product review Grey Scale ratings:
Coal (pants)  Charcoal (bearable)  Gravel (average)  Ash (good)  Platinum (ace)
In This Issue
Beer of the Day
Vital Statistics
Brew Basics
Watering Hole: Recommended Bar
Brew Basics 
Rodenbach Grand Cru is a signature Flemish beer brewed by Palm Breweries NV a mini conglomerate producing a number of historic brands using a variety of traditional Belgian brewing techniques.


Interestingly, Rodenbach is another classic Belgian beer with English influences. Although the Rodenbach family first started its brewery in 1821 it was not until the late 19th century that it started to produce the beers for which it's now famous. Eugene Rodenbach, grandson of one of the founders, travelled to England to study the brewing of Porter beers, a style that uses an intentional souring with maturation in oak vats. He built his first cellars with oak vats in 1870s and went on to develop this unique beer. 

What's so special?


Rodenbach Grand Cru is a blended beer consisting of one third young beer and two thirds 2 year oak-matured beer. The resulting beer has a very intense oak-infused flavour, and has been likened to red wine.
By Belgium standards Rodenbach Grand Cru is not too strong and consequently seems to be enjoyed in copious quantities by those who love it. 
More info:
  Palm Breweries - Rodenbach
Footnote: La Lunette
If you want to enjoy this drink in the king-sized glass shown above you will need to visit La Lunette,
Place De La Monnaie 3, Brussels 1000, an establishment offering numerous different beers in huge forearm-developing
glasses. We'd love to tell you more but it's a policy of the GTG not to review establishments we haven't visited (well, unless paid to do so).
Watering Hole  
A great place to enjoy a vintage drinking experience 
Instant Death
Instant Death
A la Mort Subite
Mort Subite means Instant Death and refers not to the effects of drinking too much local beer (though it conceivably could) but was the nick name given to the final round of a game called '421' enjoyed by lunch time customers at this and its predecessor establishment, La Cour Royale.
Established in 1928 by Theophile Vossen, A la Mort Subite continues to be run by the Vossen family and retains the original 1928 decor. As you look at the nicotine tinted walls you can't help wondering who's heads and fingers have contributed to the polished patina of the walls and tables: 1930s sophisticates; 1950s existentialists; countless bureaucrats; sultry 1940s cabaret singers, dapper SS officers relaxing after a hard day at the office...
The establishment serves its own ranges of 'Mort Subite' Gueuze (Lambic) beers as well as a good selection of Trappist and other Belgian favourites.
At first the staff, who are traditionally attired, can seem a little distant and disinterested, but if you show you're willing to have a go at the local language and boldly ask them something along the lines of "bonjour mate, could we have deux Westmalle III s'il vous plait? Cheers" they soon soften and treat you like they've known you all their lives.

A la Mort Subite, rue Montagne-aux-Herbes Potageres 7, B-1000 Brussels

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Small print:
Copyright August 2010 The Ministry of Light.
All Rights Reserved etc.
The Grey Town Gazette is published by The Ministry of Light, a division of Borg International Ltd, London.
The Grey Town Gazette is published in good faith. The accuracy of the stories is questionable and is certainly not guaranteed. If you think any are true we respectfully suggest you consider therapy. Any reference to persons living or dead is unintentional and purely coincidental.
Product and venue reviews are purely subjective and reflect the views of the reviewer(s). Product and supplier details are based on published sources and not guaranteed to be correct. 
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