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Stéfan Cauwenbergs and Billie: a story of survival and hope

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Video: The Beer Idiots talked with Stéfan Cauwenbergs about the survival of Billie’s Bier Kafétaria and Billie’s Craft Beer Fest in Antwerp, Belgium, and also about Billie, a plucky French bulldog, who had a miraculous recovery from brain cancer last year.

Stéfan Cauwenbergs and Billie, a French Bulldog, are well known in the craft beer world, for Billie’s Bier Kafétaria and Billie’s Craft Beer Fest in Antwerp, Belgium.

We talked with Cauwenbergs at his bottle shop, a seven minute walk from his bar, where he is doing all he can to keep afloat during the pandemic lockdown, which he describes as “very painful”. 

He considers himself luckier than most, as he can still sell to survive until he can open the bar, which he opened seven years ago, and host the festival, for which he is selling tickets for the 2021 edition.

“What you have built up in those seven years…every month you see it disappear,” he said.

Billie’s Bier Kafétaria, Kammenstraat 12, 2000 Antwerpen

In addition to getting pleasure from still meeting people who visit his bottle shop, he also has Billie, his constant companion for almost 12 years.

Billie’s recovery

In our interview in the video above, he talks about how Billie miraculously recovered from brain cancer, after the vet wanted to put him down.

It is a story of devotion and commitment, a tribute to Cauwenbergs and Billie, who has become a recognisable symbol of his bar and festival.

Cauwenbergs found specialised animal clinics in France and the Netherlands to treat Billie, at one point travelling every day to University Animal Hospital of Utrecht for radiation therapy.

As Cauwenbergs says on his Facebook page: “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”

Do not forget to get tickets for Billie’s Craft Beer Fest 2021, featuring about 50 brewers and 300 beers.

Below are some of our previous interviews with Cauwenbergs.

The voice of Billie

Interview: Billie’s way

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