Sunday, July 29, 2012

Bzart Lambiek, a Lambic/Champagne-style beer



Geuzestekerij Oud Beersel has been quite a success story
since it was purchased by Gert Christiaens and his father
Jos in 2005. The old brewery has been beautifully preserved,
and they have added much more lambic fermentation capacity-eg,
more barrels, in the last couple of years.

Photo, above: Gert Christiaens in front 
of a foeder at Oud Beersel.


Gert works closely with the new Lambic Beer Visitor's Center,
De Lambiek, and is running tours from Brussels to De Lambiek
and Oud Beersel on Saturdays this summer. See here for details.

Another exciting new project is one that I can tell you about now.
Beer and wine enthusiast Luc Dirkx, originally of the Maasland
region of the Netherlands, just over the border from Limburg
Province in Belgium, has partnered with a winemaker in Limburg,
and the Oud Beersel lambic blendery in Beersel, to create a sort of
lambic  champagne beer.

"Bzart Lambiek" is a 13 month old lambic from Oud Beersel,
finished with a champagne yeast. The lambic was placed in
barrels in December, 2009. The Champagne yeast and sugar
were added at bottling, to spark a refermentation in the bottle.


Image, above: the back label of 
the Bzart Lambiek. 


Prior to this, the 1,300 bottles in the 75 cl size of this brew
underwent what is referred to as "M├ęthode Traditionnelle."
This would be called the "Method Champenoise" when
dealing with a true Champagne.

A sparking wine maker, Guy Geunis, performed the riddling and
disgorgement process at his location in Borgloon. Geunis sold his
wines under the clever name "Champinnot" for years, before being
recently forced to change the name by champagne producers in
France. The new name is "Optimbulles" meaning "Optimum
Bubbles."

You can see photos of Dirkx and Geunis, and articles about the
venture (in Dutch) at these websites:

nieuwsblad.be
limburg-actueel.be
madeinlimburg.be

Geunis, with childhood friend Dirkx, and the local wine club,
Domus Ad Fontes, will market the beer in top Belgian restaurants.
These include De Karmeliet in Bruges, Couvert Couvert in Heverlee,
near Leuven, and Brasserie Latem in Sint-Martens-Latem, among
others.

A photo taken at the Michelen-starred De Karmeliet shows it is
offering glasses for 15 euro and bottles for 75. Certainly, a
Champagne price.

Photo, above: Bzart Lambiek. I received a bottle on
May 1st, before they were labeled. 


Gert presented me a bottle on May 1st, which I enjoyed with
friends a few weeks later stateside. I found it to be a fine beer,
very well balanced, with a mild tartness, and very bubbly. In
fact, Dirkx, Geunis and the wine club were aiming for maximum
effervescence, and they certainly hit the mark.

Gert tells me they have 250 bottles on hand for sale at Oud Beersel
as of yesterday, and that another 1,000 will be sold in restaurants
in Belgium.

None is slated for export this year. "More will  be produced in 2013,
and we hope to export some then," Gert added. Better get yourself to
Beersel asap if you want a bottle!

Some even better news is that other versions of Bzart are already
in the works. Limburg Province is Belgium's primary fruit growing
area, and hence, Dirkx plans fruit-infused brews. Cherries,
strawberries, and perhaps other fruits will be among those used.
I look forward to tasting the "fruits" of his labors!



Friday, July 27, 2012

Beautiful Maine


We found Maine to be loaded with intriguing family attractions, amazing and fresh seafood, unparalleled scenery, and upscale shopping options.  Not too far of a trip for us traveling from Vermont either!  Visiting the Northeast provides tourists with a chance to experience the best of the Eastern Seaboard by offering windswept beaches, beautiful lighthouses and scenic driving routes through the rural areas of Maine.  Rich in heritage and history, this is a fantastic state for people who have diverse tastes and preferences.


Here are my two cents about Maine:


•           Known for maple farms and sweeping pastures in its rural areas, visiting Maine can offer families some refreshing outdoor opportunities.  Apple orchards and farmers markets are in abundance, and you can also choose to visit wildflower fields to explore the beauty of the state with the entire family.  Outdoors at its finest! :)


•           Embrace the coastal part of Maine in the summer by visiting the historic lighthouses or taking a fishing expedition.  Boat rentals are found at various marinas up and down the shoreline of Maine, or you can also schedule a guided fishing expedition.  Windjammer cruises offer something posh and indulgent for people who prefer the finer things during their vacation getaways.  Maine is also known as an exquisite place to comb beaches.  You can plan on enjoying a relaxing beach picnic while the kids run up and down the shoreline collecting shells and searching for starfish!


•           Golfing and hiking are two popular outdoor sports for Maine locals.  Consider embracing the wild beauty of the state by hiking through one of its rugged and beautiful national parks.  You can follow up this afternoon with a relaxing evening on the golf course before going back to your bed and breakfast to enjoy a cocktail and some fresh Maine lobster.


•           If you love to dine out, you’ll be pleased to find award-winning restaurants throughout the entire state of Maine where the freshest of seafood ranges from scallops, lobster, shrimp and snow crab.  (Tiffany didn’t mind wining and dining with some of these seafood options!)


If you are unsure what type of accommodations you should choose in Maine, bed and breakfast inns are in abundance and offer themed, romantic rooms that take you back in time.  These inns are available in major cities as well as in rural areas.  Planning in advance will also give you an option to rent a beach house if you desire to stay near the coastal portions of Maine.  No matter where you choose to stay, you’ll be sure to find something intimate and relaxing!  Maine is a great place to go for a long weekend or an extended stay!


Have a great trip!


-Cliff and Tiff

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Like that ...

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                                                                                              sandals: zara,
                                                                                              jeans: zara,
                                                                                              shirt: thanks to Romwe (here),
                                                                                              sunglasses: ray ban,
                                                                                              watch: michael kors,
                                                                                              ph. Maja

Quick late night post before my offline vacation ... ;)
I picked my ultimate summer piece, ripped baggy jeans, then i added some sequins, matched sandals with this shirt, and took a black strapless bra, cause im that kind of person! Rule breaker! ;)
Just to mention, that i want be able to reply on your questions and emails in next couple days (it will wait for me to come back), but be sure to follow me on the Instagram (@vanjaam), Twitter or on Facebook page, which will try to update!
Enjoy in July! 

p.s. huge thanks to my beloved sister Maja for making these photos!



Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Brasserie d' Achouffe and Chris Bauweraerts

Photo, above: Chris Bauweraerts, Brasserie d' Achouffe

Well, back after two weeks. Summer is tough, eh? With Belgium's
Independence day last Saturday, and other events all last week, no
time to update.

But good news: I just had an article, "Thirty Years of Chouffe Beers,"
published in the August/September issue of Celebrator Beer News.



55,000 copies were printed. You can also read the entire issue on-line
here. See page 7 for the start of the article, and page 45 for the end.

I wrote about Brasserie d' Achouffe, its founding, and a short outline
of its history throughout the years. For a full history of the brewery,
you only need to buy a copy of the book, shown below.


Photo, above: Chris inside the new Chouffe shop.


Authored by Chris Bauweraerts, "My Chouffe Story" was recently
published, and Chris will be selling and signing copies at the
"Belgium Comes to Cooperstown" beer festival the weekend
of August 4. He will also be at the Modeste Bier Festival in Antwerp,
Belgium, on October 6-7.


Photo, above: Larry Bennett of Brewery Ommegang 
(left) and Chris Bauweraerts at the "Belgium Comes to 
Cooperstown" beer festival,  2011


The book contains 224 pages, and weighs in at nearly three pounds.
It is loaded with photos, and printed in four languages. It should be
available shortly in the U.S.
So get a copy...and enjoy!

Photo, above: Chris and I outside Les 3 Fourquets
in Gouvy in 2004.



Summer jam ...

                                                                                              CLICK TO SEE MORE

                                                                                              sneakers: h&m,
                                                                                              shorts: primark,
                                                                                              t-shirt: zara,
                                                                                              shirt: new yorker,
                                                                                              bag: marc by marc jacobs,
                                                                                              hat: h&m,
                                                                                              necklace: swarovski,
                                                                                              watch: thanks to Urban watch,
                                                                                              ph. Maja


One sunny post on a rainy day in July  (i gotta admit, it feels good to be cool down by this rain in the middle of summer). Turquoise shorts, mixed with plaid shirt and cotton sneakers, perfect for a whole day city rush!
Do you like it?



Monday, July 23, 2012

Week(s) through Instagram 4 ...

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Perfect time for one quick instagram post! You know how much i love these snap shoots from everyday life!
So, shall we start? 

1. collage - Tiramisu at Comunale restaurant; details from the outfit post; home made American pancakes;
               - long legs for a one day; almost like Jersey shore ;) (fair); berries with ice cream at Coffee dream.

2. - One of my dearest friends (my camera) and I at Square Nine hotel. ;)

3. collage - Rainy day in June; makeup from the photoshoot; The Cathedral of Saint Sava;
               - Chocolate ice cream cone; leopard sneakers pull&bear and h&m; my favorite flower hydrangea in the garden at my grandparent`s house.

4. collage - Raspberries at the afternoon; morning ride with my pimped bike; b-day cake for my sister;
               - cocktails at the bloggers night out in Soho Republic; home made creamy coffee; lemon/lime ice tea at Coffee dream.

5. - My heart and my soul, my beautiful sister at her prom night ♥

6. collage - Ripped jeans and arm swag; strawberry ice cream cone; Coca-cola addict;
               - addict II; bloggers at British residence with Elle fashion editor; home made focaccia.

7. - My fluffy love is tanning.

8. collage - Look of the day; fair in Po┼żarevac (we celebrated there sister`s b-day); addict III;
               - cotton candy; look of the day; sunset in Belgrade.

Happy Monday people!


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Fine by me ...

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                                                                                             sandals: non branded (old),
                                                                                             dress: thanks to Queen`s wardrobe (here),
                                                                                             jacket: zara,
                                                                                             bag: marc by marc jacobs,
                                                                                             rings: non branded, custom made,
                                                                                             sunglasses: thanks to Queen`s wardrobe,
                                                                                             ph. Maja


Couple years ago i fell in love with these peep toe plaid sandals, and i immediately knew that they will be mine! ;) And today, here they are for the first time on my blog ... I paired it with the simple white dress, which i got thanks to the Queen˙s wardrobe online store  (already wore it Here and Here) but this time i added a denim jacket, cause it was a windy day. Coral nails and lipstick, bunch of rings on my fingers and new white/cream sunglasses. It works for me! ;)
Tell me, do you like it?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Pink summer ...

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                                                                                              sandals: zara,
                                                                                              belt: vintage,
                                                                                              bag: aldo,
                                                                                              dress: thanks to Quenn`s Wardrobe (here),
                                                                                              sunglasses: ray ban,
                                                                                              ring: Lovely (here),
                                                                                              ph. Maja

Hot summer in pink.
Favorite lipstick on my lips, comfy dress and killer high heels. Song on repeat in my head ( press PLAY).  Ocean on my mind. Nothing else.
What are your thoughts on days like this? ;)


Friday, July 20, 2012

Making of ...

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                                                                                               sandals, blazer, blouse, pants: mango,
                                                                                               hat: accessorize,
                                                                                               bracelet: mango, accessorize, ringeraja,
                                                                                               watch: michael kors

                                                                                                shoes: jeffrey campbell,
                                                                                                shorts: bershka,
                                                                                                shirt: koton,
                                                                                                necklace: accessorize,
                                                                                                bracelets: accessorize

                                                                                             shoes: jeffrey campbell,
                                                                                             pants: zara,
                                                                                             shirt: zara,
                                                                                             vest: custom made,
                                                                                             necklace: karim rashid

                                                                                              sandals: new yorker,
                                                                                              suknja: liu jo,
                                                                                              blazer: zara,
                                                                                              top: mango
                                                                                             
                                                                                         Anastasija: koton dress, new yorker sandals,
                                                                                         Me: new yorker dress, shoe box sandals,
                                                                                         Zorana: koton dress, shoe box sandals,
                                                                                         Madlena: new yorker dress, shoe box sandals
                                                                                         --------------------------------------------
                                                                        make up: Srdjan Petkovic (hair and make up studio Minibar)
                                                                        hair: Ana Spasojevic (hair and make up studio Minibar)
                                                                        fashion editor and stylist: Vanja Pantin
                                                                        photo: Andreja Damnjanovic
                                                                    
Guilty as charged!
Photos arrived on Wednesday, but i had so many things to do, so i took a short, three days offline vacation!
But i`m ready on Friday for a new post! ;)
Now, you have a chance to see the "making of" photos, and how much fun we had! I also added the original photos, and i tagged all the clothes for those who didn`t get their copy, or live abroad, but still wanted to know what we were wearing on that day.
Let`s talk about my outfit now: it was an instant love, it could be called love at the first sight. I found the whole combination at Mango store in less than five minutes. Something between harem and regular pants in print, electric blue loose shirt, and gorgeous coral linen blazer as a perfect summer piece for a chilly nights, windy days or for a strict company dress code as a smart twist to get away from a boring rules and black&blue clothes (some women still needs to cover their hands during the summer). Cherry on top was definitely dark blue hat and my favorite Michael Kors watch. At the beginning we started with a braid on my head (i love how it looks like ), but it didn`t match to the outfit so we decided to ruin it, and make a messy hair look! ;) I`m really glad that you like it, and i wanna thank you for your lovely comments that you left! Hoping we will be able to repeat something similar in the near future and try to be even more creative.

These four ladies were stars for a one day, and it couldn`t be possible without all the people behind this project, so huge thanks to Vanja, Andreja, Srdjan and Ana! ;)


p.s. the Romwe giveaway winner is email:  laurapferre@hotmail.com , congrats!
p.p.s. new outfit post will be up tomorrow!