This week’s post will be a bit more personal, but I’ll still throw in a technology item that I think is interesting and is home-grown right here in Indiana! Anyone that knows me knows that I like beer and traveling. Last fall a trip to Paris, Amsterdam – and more importantly – Belgium combined both loves. So I’ll take this post to talk more about the beer part and focus on the travel part in a later post.
I’ll cut to the chase…for the best value of quality beer per square mile (or kilometer), you have to plan a trip to Bruges, Belgium. It’s a charming mid-evil looking city (stone walls around the city even!) an hour or so train-ride from Brussels. In fact, I would suggest that you skip right through Brussels and go straight to Bruges. It combines the character, sight-seeing, food and drinks that you’re looking for in Belgium all in a very walk-able town.
I knew that there’s alot of beers in Belgium but I wasn’t quite prepared for what Bruges offered. I read up on it, but it didn’t really hit me until I confirmed that a local pub was selling the famous Delirium Tremens beer for € 1.5! …and the local grocery store sold every Trappist beer like we sell Miller Lite. Let me see if I can name most of the breweries’ beer that I sampled in just 4 days: Westmalle, Rochefort, Orval, Leffe, Duvel, Karmeliet, Celis, Grimbergen, Kwak, St Bernardus and others…not to mention some of their famous fruit beers.
The beer highlight of the trip was definitely visiting Staminee De Garre. The little pub is only accessible down a narrow alley (the picture above between the two businesses shown). Their Tripel van de Garre is stunning…even though it’s rumored to be 9% ABV, it is smooth and very drinkable (not “boozey” like others). They limit customers to only 3 per visit due to how good and potent it is! Fortunately, they sell it by magnum and I successfully shipped one back to the states!
Now that we’re back to Indiana, it’s so great to see that technology innovation isn’t the exclusive territory of Silicone Valley…and it’s awesome when it involves beer! The iKeg system by SteadyServe brings real technology to the pub…and it’s right in our own backyard here in Indy. Now, I guess that shouldn’t be too surprising, because – thankfully for me – Indianapolis is a hotbed of brewery activity. Depending on how you count them, there are over 2 DOZEN micro-breweries in the Indy area and more within a short drive…and of course, the famous Three Floyd’s brewery is just a couple hours away. The “buzz”, if you will, continues in the area with a friend of mine opening a new brewery near Lucas Stadium called Tow Yard Brewery (…and should have beers to try in a few weeks). We may not be Bruges, but that’s pretty darn good for a mid-sized, mid-western city!