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Saturday, September 01, 2007

New Goal: Beer Knighthood

The Belgian Brewers Guild knights Americans. I kid you not. Scott Simon discussed it this morning on NPR, so you know it's gotta be true. One of this year's awardees is a beer steward from Brasserie Beck in Washington DC. The practice apparently started in 2004, when the Belgians tapped Brewery Ommegang's Randy Thiel as the first-ever beer royalty:
Thiel was recognized for his ongoing contributions to the art of Belgian brewing as practiced at Brewery Ommegang and in the U.S. He has been brewmaster at Brewery Ommegang since its inception in 1997, and has been responsible for the development and ongoing production of the five highly regarded Belgian-style ales the brewery produces.

The ceremony in Brussels was presided over by Grand Master Jack Van Antwerpen and attended by the Knighthood of Brewers, as well as Laurent Demuynck, president of Duvel Moortgat USA and Brewery Ommegang. Other Americans inducted were Tom Peters, co-owner of Monk's Café in Philadelphia, Eddie Friedland, owner of Edward I. Friedland distributorship in North Philadelphia; and Joe Lipa of Merchant du Vin Importers. All are credited with helping create rising interest in Belgian beer in the United States.

"Inclusion into the Guild is an inspirational and humbling occasion all at once," Thiel said. "The members of the Belgian brewing community take great pride in their unique heritage and current achievements in the international arena. To be in the presence of people I respect so much, sets a higher standard to shoot for. It truly is an honor."
This just raises so many wonderful possibilities. First off, I'm scrapping this blog post haste--it's all Belgium all the time from here on out (Beervana, pah!). Second, I'm starting a Belgian beer blog that will feature a lot of words like "post haste." Third, I will begin a Portland society of Belgian-beer knights, and we will parade around the Oregon Brewers Fest in robes that look like tulip glasses of Flemish Red Ale. We will call ourselves the Western Royal Order of the Duchesse.

Or perhaps I should just pioneer the Knights of Beervana and then we can selectively knight Belgians and hope for reciprocity (sort of like link-trading among bloggers). It may go nowhere, but the meetings would sure be fun.

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