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Belghik: Brew day Fantôme and ‘t Hofbrouwerijke


BelgHik pioneers Dany Prignon of Brasserie Fantôme in Soy and Jef Goetelen of ‘t Hofbrouwerijke in Beerzel brewed together on 29 July. Their collab is called Garden Fantôme and was released this weekend 9-11 September at the Villaggio della Birra festival in Rapolano Terme, Italy.

BelgHik is an initiative to bring brewers from Flanders and Wallonia together.

Brew day on 29 July was incredible to watch and fun to participate in. Although Dany had to sell most of the beer to the US, some ended up at Villaggio della Birra. The idea was to have fun and I think both brewers enjoyed their time together. 

What is BelgHik?

When Steven Goedhart of Brouwerij Gistgeest approached us with an idea to bring brewers in Flanders together with brewers in Wallonia we knew it was an idea just right for the Beer Idiots.

Steven described the idea as “breaking the last beer boundary in Belgium” — the one between between Flanders and Wallonia.

“And that’s such a pity,” he said. “Because Belgium can be a heart of craft, without boundaries. Let’s revitalise the greatest beer brand ever: Belgian Beer.”

Being Idiots, Dieter and I immediately thought of it as a kind of ‘Tinder dating for brewers’. Together with Steven, we developed the concept, which has led to our first announcement of a collaboration brewing between two of our favourite brewers: Daniel Prignon of Brasserie Fantôme in Soy and Jef Goetelen of ‘t Hofbrouwerijke in Beerzel.

They’ve had the first meeting online on 15 June 2021, and discussed where (Fantôme).

For Dany and Jef, it was a mini-reunion. They had met previously, some time ago at an Italian beer festival in the mountains, back in the time when it was a relatively insiders brewers fest, before the Villaggio della Birra was moved to Siena.

Yes, BelgHik is a grandiose and not so idiotic attempt to encourage a series of collabs between Flemish breweries and those in Wallonia. Or, why not, between a brewery based in Brussels and one in the German-speaking part of Belgium.

Why? To have fun. To get to know each other. To expand our horizons and learn from each other. To make this brewing country even greater than before.

We are not saying that such collabs are not happening at all. They are, but we would like to introduce more cross-cultural collabs, and show how they work. It’s a great adventure for all of us.

BelgHik is a pun. If you speak it out loud, you hear the word Belgique. But written, it says ‘Belgian hiccup’. Exactly the thing we do when we drink too much beer.

We welcome brewers teaming up, large and small. You fill in your details at the BelgHik registration page. We are in the process of creating a page on Beer Idiots where you can choose a brewer “from the other side”, so as to speak. For now we are suggesting matchups based on the six brewers who have already signed up (more on those soon!).

Steps to a collab:

Register here.
We will let you know when your details go online with others on a dedicated page. You choose a brewer of your choice. If you are from Flanders, you choose one from Wallonia and vice versa. Contact them and let us know.

Once the other brewer agrees – have fun brewing and we will film and promote the collab, including the beer you produce.
You do the brewing; we’ll spread the word

What you both get, other than the pleasure of getting to know each other and making great beer, is the promotion of your collab by the Beer Idiots. With your agreement we will publish videos and articles during the collab, from when you meet to discuss what to brew, the brewing day, and then the release of your collab.

We will help arrange venues (depending on the lockdown rules in place) for the release day and promote it on Beer Idiots and social media.

If you’re interested, please fill in the form at: https://www.idiots.beer/belghik/.

We’d love you to join: together we’ll express our love for craft beer – and this crazy country called Belgium.

Steven and the Beer Idiots Dieter and Ahmed

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