In December, Annie and I made the arduous trip to Belgium to visit friends, sample some beer and do some Christmas shopping.
While we were over there, we made the trip to De Dolle Brouwers at Esen in West Flanders, to pick up some Stille Nacht (12% blonde Christmas beer) and to present them with the certificate for Foreign Beer of the 2012 Norwich Beer Festival for Arabier.
We also had the chance to sample a version of the 2010 Stille Nacht that had been maturing in oak for 25 months - superb.
The brewery was originally started by 3 brothers, one of whom, Kris Herteleer, is still at the helm. He opens the brewery for tastings and sales only at weekends and claims that it is a hobby that got out of hand.
His 95 year old mother leads the brewery tours every Sunday and says that her health and long life are due to drinking a bottle of Arabier a day. You can't argue with that!
Foreign & Bottled Beers Manager
Norwich Beer Festival