On a cool spring night every other May, beer lovers of all stripes gather in the small town of Itterbeek. This singular evening is called the Nacht Van de Grote Dorst, or the Night of the Great Thirst. The event is a celebration of spontaneously fermented beers in their homeland.
This year, a small group from Allagash, including our founder, Rob, and our brewmaster, Jason, headed out to Belgium for the festival. This year’s festival marked the fifth time that we’ve poured our Coolship beers at the Night of the Great Thirst, an honor we definitely don’t take lightly. To give you a feel for the festival, and our trip through Belgium, we’ve put together this gallery of our trip’s highlights.
What a gorgeous city Brussels is.
Ahhhh, the glory of that first sip.
Ahhh, the glory of that second sip.
On our second day (we didn’t do much more on the first day), we paid a visit to our good friends at Brasserie Cantillon.
The coolship at Cantillon. Just a beautiful piece of equipment, which, not coincidentally, is responsible for a lot of beautiful beer.
Cantillon brewmaster Jean Van Roy was kind enough to pour us a sampling of those beautiful beers.
Rob, Jean, and Jason just talkin’ Lambics . . . y’know. (Actually they were probably talking about the hotel or something.)
In all serious, Cantillon is such a storied facility. Feels like there’s beer history around every corner.
A view of Ghent.
The Night of the Great Thirst in full swing.
This image is what it’s all about for us. Walking into the festival, we happened upon these two gentlemen casually enjoying some Coolship. We never could have imagined our beer would make it back to Belgium, let alone be appreciated there, when we brewed our first batch in 2007.
Of course we enjoyed the fruits of our labor as well.
The range and amount of excellent beers available sets this event apart.
There’s an almost palpable feeling of authenticity around this event. It’s hard to describe the feeling of being among so many beer enthusiasts in such a beautiful and historic setting.
Had to enjoy one last beer before the flight home.