Wednesday, May 23, 2007

In France they have wine cellars

In Belgium we have beer cellars. Beer for home consumption can be had by the individual beer (people are free to break open a pack and take one or two), by the four-, six-, or eight-pack (seems to depend on quality and size), or by the case. The surprising thing for us is that the price is almost exactly the same. In other words, the price of a case is 24 times the price of a single beer. And sometimes they even round up! I guess they don't want anyone to be punished for wanting only one beer. All bottles are refillables. You see a couple of the throw-away kind, but very few. Those really nice, heavy Chimay bottles that in the States we toss in the recycling? Those would fetch 10 centimes each at the bottle return counter here in Belgium.

The yellow one on the top left, obscured by the shipping label, is Saint Feuillien, an abby style beer brewed not 20 miles from here in the town of Le Roeulx (pronounced luh roo and often called "le rolex" because it's a swanky place). It's our favorite everyday Belgian beer. We also like Chimay with the white cap. And I (David) like the Chimay blue. Leffe and Grimbergen are by US standards astonishingly good beers but by Belgian standards merely good, solid, mass-produced beers.


David and Rita said...

What he didn't say is that all these beer cases are sitting in our garage, not the grocery store. We drink a lot of beer.

Ada said...

Oh, such beer snobs--everyday beer and high-class beer! What kind of habits are you picking up over there?

David and Rita said...

hey ada, we had those habits before we left - it was just about different beers!

Anonymous said...

Your blog continues to make me quite nostalgic for Belgium. I of course had my beer and sausage (saucisse if you prefer) shed behind our house in Kortenberg. As it turned out the temperature in Flanders was idea for beer and sausages. Chimay was certainly one of my favorite beers, but I rally liked many of the German beers better. But of course all the beers in Belgium are astonishingly good as well.

Your earlier blog on Mothers Day at the Daly Bread (Le Pain quotidien) also brought back happy memories. The chain had a branch near where Ada fist stayed in downtown Brussels. When I came over for a visit, I used to have breakfast there every day enjoying the atmosphere, the good breads and bowels of coffee. Brussels is so used to foreigners that, unusual for Franco-phones, they deal effectively with nearly unintelligible French.

Everytime I read your blog I am reminded about something else I liked about living there.
Rick Wright