From The Land Of Lambics

In the west end core of Brussels, two blocks from the train station, you'll find the inimitable Cantillon brewery. In the beginning of January we stole away to Belgium, France, and England, on a top-secret explorative mission. Sandwiched between some serious jet-lag and a few waffles, we managed to enjoy a world-class selection of beers, participate in a collaboration brew at Beavertown in London, and drop in on a brew day at Cantillon. We toured Thiriez in the north of France, and then Drie Fonteinen, Tilquin, and De La Senne in Belgium. In addition to breweries we also got a chance visit some incredible beer bars and restaurants, like Moeder Lambic, In de Verzekering tegen de Grote Dorst, and Les Brigittines in Belgium, and Duke's Brew and Que in England. Our hosts were incredibly kind, our days were too few, and now that we've returned to Toronto, we're finding it hard to readjust to a life with so little lambic.

Nothing's worse than a long blow-by-blow of some stranger's vacation, so instead, we'll leave you with a small selection of photos -- you know how many words they're worth.

Thanks Europe, you da best.

Cantillon -- Bottles conditioning on their sides.

Cantillon -- Upstairs is the koelschip, downstairs is the brewhouse.

Cantillon -- Luke explains the mash/lauter tun to his sons (wearing 3 Floyds toques!) // One of the two kettles.

Cantillon -- Jean was gracious enough to let us drop in on a brew day and add some aged hops // Garou, his brewing assistant

Cantillon -- The koelschip // Steam element in one of the kettles.

Cantillon -- Barrel storage // Main brewhouse pump // Jean checking the clarity of the wort

At a bar called "In De Verzekering Tegen De Grote Dorst" enjoying a Cantillon Mamouche

At De La Senne // Enjoying a glass of Zinnebir // Brewhouse and malt

De La Senne -- Brews gone by // Yeast strains and their generations are plotted on the wall

De Cam and De Dolle, both closed unfortunately

Enjoying an incredible beer by BFM at Moeder Lambic

Tilquin

Entrance to the brewery at Drie Fonteinen // Restaurant // Bottle Shop // Barrels aging // Kegs at Tilquin // A lone goat

Drie Fonteinen barrels // Armand

Rodenbach foeders // Drie Fonteinen

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The Gates of Rodenbach // The old kiln

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Rodenbach // More foeders

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Brasserie Thiriez in the town of Esquelbecq // Bottling line

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Brasserie Thiriez

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The site of the future expansion at Thiriez // Empty lambic cases at In De Verzekering Tegen De Grote Dorst

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Inside the tasting bar at Thiriez

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Beavertown brewhouse // Awesome Beavertown packaging // The collaboration crew

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In London: Brew By Numbers brewery // The Kernel Brewery

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The old hop exchange building in London