(Photo, above: Gert Christiaens,
Gert Christiaens doesn't get away from his Oud Beersel lambic
blendery very often. The demand for his excellent lambic,
Oude Geuze, Oude Kriek, and other beers far exceeds supply,
so he's usually in Belgium, slaving away, producing more lambic
so we beer lovers can be happy. He also runs the business, with
the help of his father, Jos.
Good news, though: Gert is headed stateside in less than two weeks.
You'll have to go to Maine to meet him, and hear a talk from one of
Belgium's hardest working lambic makers. Gert will be there with Yves
Panneels, one of the two brothers that run and own In de Verzekering
tegen de Grote Dorst, one of the Payottenland's premier lambic cafes.
(Photo, above, left-right: Yves and Kurt
Panneels, In de Verzekering Tegen de
Yves is also in charge of Public Relations for HORAL, the group that
helps protect and promote lambic beer in Belgium. Yves is also an
expert on lambic beer, and is Chairman of the "Geuzegenootschap" a
Gueuze Society that organizes several special lambic events at his cafe:
Night of the Great Thirst; Day of the Kriek; and Day of the Lambic.
I have been to all of them. See here for more info about the cafe.
(Photo, above: In de Verzekering tegen de
Grote Dorst, Eizeringen, Belgium.)
In fact, this year's Night of the Great Thirst (Nacht van de Grote Dorst)
will be on Saturday, August 24th at Ebenezer's Pub in Lovell, Maine.
"I'll be bringing a special blend that the Gueuze Society made last
December. It's drinking beautifully right now," Yves told me today.
Night of the Great Thirst is held on even years in Belgium, hence
the date in Maine for this year.
(Photo, above: Chris Lively, right, in black
shirt, of Ebenezers Pub, Lovell, Maine.)
Yves will give a lecture titled: "The Typology of Lambic Beers"
at Ebenezers on Friday evening, August 23. Gert will give a talk
"The Revival of Oud Beersel and Authentic Lambic Beers" that
same evening. Contact Ebenezer's Pub directly for details and
ticket availability. See here for their email address and telephone
Ebenezer's owner and lambic lover Chris Lively is organizing
the events. As if anyone needed another reason to celebrate, Chris's
40th birthday celebration is also the same day as
the Night of the Great Thirst, Saturday August 24th. It surely
should be a day of great enjoyment.
(Photo, above: the bar at Ebenezers Pub,
There may be a slideshow to accompany the talks. This is sure to
be a special event and sell out quickly!
Ebenezers Belgian beer festival will run from Friday, August 23,
through Sunday, August 25.