This is my first attempt at taking part in The Session. If you don’t know what that is, it’s when beer bloggers across the globe write about a common theme on the first Friday of the month. The theme this month is My First Belgian and it was set by Belgian Smaak, an Irishman who lives in Belgium.
My first Belgian beer was probably (like a lot of people) a Stella Artois. I’m fairly sure nobody is too interested in reading about that mind blowing experience.
My first real Belgian epiphany was hidden far back in the mists of time, not long after the turn of the millennium. Myself and my then girlfriend decided to take a city break. Foreign trips with girlfriends generally sounded the death knell on my relationships and this one was no different. Well, we didn’t break up until a while after we came home. The first time I went away with a girl without it ending up in ruins, she declared her love for me on the Charles Bridge/Karlov Most in Prague, dear reader we got hitched, you know may know her as my better half, The Cider Correspondent.
Back to the topic at hand, I found myself in Brussels, staying in a hotel frequented by bureaucrats which was empty at the weekend. We decided to go for a drink. The first bar I chose at random and I ordered blind and got bland. A little further down the road I ended up in a bar which had a gregarious American barman. He asked what I’d tried as it was very little, he kept lining them up. I remember that Kwak really stood out, coming as it does, in an unusual glass. He kept my lady friend happy with cocktails invented seemingly on the fly. This guy was good.
Many years later I returned to Belgium, this time I was armed with a smattering of knowledge and my homework done and I had a great time but like they (should) say, you never forget your first Belgian!
(Pictures from Bruges, as none have survived from the first trip!)