Thursday, September 22, 2016

Cantillon temporarily stop production!

Climate change blamed for putting Belgium beer business at risk

Unusually warm autumns mean traditional open air brewing can no longer take place causing concern for artisan brewers
A leading Belgian artisan brewer said Tuesday he had been forced to temporarily halt production because of an unusually warm autumn, blaming climate change for his business losing its fizz.

The Cantillon craft brewery in Brussels traditionally allows its spontaneously fermenting sour lambic beers to cool in the open from the end of October, but this year after a brief start they have had to stop again.
“We had to pour away three brews for today, Thursday and next Monday because the nighttime temperatures are currently at between 10 and 15 C (50 -59 F), which is far too warm,” boss Jean Van Roy told AFP.

Like many breweries in this beer-obsessed country, Cantillon, which produces around 400,000 bottles a year and receives 50,000 visitors, uses old-fashioned methods to produce its beers.
Lambic spontaneously ferments in wooden vats and produces a very sour, flat beer that later acts as the base for a fizzier Gueuze that ferments further in bottles.

It is also used as the base for Kriek, the famed Belgian cherry beer.

Tradition dictates that the fermentation mixture must be left to cool “in the open air so that it is naturally infused with the wild yeasts present in the air”, said Van Roy, whose great grandfather founded the brewery in 1900.

“Ideally it must cool at between minus 3C and 8C. But climate change has been notable in the last 20 years. My grandfather 50 years ago brewed from mid-October until May – but I’ve never done that in my life, and I am in my 15th season.”
The brewing period is getting shorter every year, he added.
“Last year we didn’t start until November 10,” he said, adding that they never go past the end of March. “I adapt because I don’t have any option, but obviously it’s a shame.”
Van Roy said he now feared for the future of his business.
“We only have five months to brew and our production is very limited. If we lose a week we can survive but three weeks or more would be more complicated.”

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Southeast Asia Beer

Beer In Southeast Asia: A Matter Of Taste

Southeast Asia is currently experiencing one of the fastest growth rates in beer consumption in the world, according to a study by market researcher Euromonitor.
By Arno Maierbrugger

Why? Mainly because it’s so hot, say those who enjoy a cold beer to wash down spicy food at stalls and open-air restaurants between Bangkok and Manila.

Certainly. But this is not the only reason. The world’s top beer-drinking nations include the Czech Republic, Austria, Germany, Ireland and Poland, and it’s not too hot there.
The main reason why Southeast Asia’s citizen are gulping more booze is the growth in the number of young people with higher disposable income in recent years. There is a clear correlation between the consumption of beer and economic dynamics, let alone Western influence through the growing influx of tourists, Western-style restaurants and international beer brands. All this lets Southeast Asian people turn away from their traditional distillates, be it rice whiskey in Thailand, arrack in Indonesia or various sugar cane or coconut brews elsewhere.
The survey also found that beer is increasingly being consumed in times of prosperity, while people were seeking solace in cheap domestic liquor during harder times in the past.

Asia overtook Europe and the Americas in beer consumption already in 2007. In 2011, the continent drank 67 billion liters of beer, against 57 billion in the Americas and 51 billion in Europe, according to the latest available figures by Euromonitor. The survey predicts that beer consumption is expected to grow 4.8 per cent in the Asia-Pacific region each year up to 2016.
The top beer-drinking nation in ASEAN is
Vietnam. Vietnamese drinkers downed 2.6 billion liters of beer in 2011, followed by Thailand with 1.8 billion liters and the Philippines with 1.6 billion liters, nearly double the total amount of beer consumed in Indonesia (236.4 million liters), Malaysia (171.4 million), Cambodia (136.3 million), Laos (134.3 million), Singapore (108.2 million) and Myanmar (30.4 million). No figures were available for Brunei where no alcohol is officially sold, but certain restaurants in the small Chinese quarter in Bandar Seri Begawan would serve booze in tea cups upon request at unknown volumes.
For expats and travelers the question arises which beers in Southeast Asia are the most satisfying for the discerning palate.

Below is a sample of beers I tried during my trip to Southeast Asia in September 2016:

Singha Beer- Country of origin: Thailand
 - Alcohol volume: 5%
 - Style: Lager

Chang Beer
 - Country of origin: Thailand
 - Alcohol volume: 6.4%
 - Style: Pale lager

Tiger Beer
 - Country of origin: Singapore  - 
Alcohol volume: 5% 
 - Style: Lager

Mandalay Strong Ale Beer 
- Country of origin: Myanmar
  - Alcohol volume: 6.5%
 - Style: English Strong Ale (this one is my favorite).

Myanmar Beer - Country of origin: Myanmar
 - Alcohol volume: 5%
 - Style: American Adjunct Lager.

In September 2016 I found an average of two brand of beer served in Myanmar and Thailand, and some places you could find Heinenken, Tuborg and/or Carlsberg ! (no signs of Interbrew (ABI)).