Day 14 • A wrong turn, and you're drinking French bier.

Similar to our experience with the Trappist, we find that a brewery may not be in the town indicated by the address. Such was the case with De Blaugies, which is not in Dour but several clicks away. It seems that the small villages take the name of the nearest 'big' town. The location was in site of the French border as indicated by the street name of Rue de Frontiére.

We find Pierre-Alex Carlier working the bar in the new tavern across the street from the brewery. He says that as soon as he's done grilling the lunch orders (the grill pit is in the middle of the room) he'll show us the brewery.

Now I've seen some small breweries, but this is going to be tough to beat. The whole brewery and the bottling line are in the two-car garage attached to the house. In fact you can go directly from the brewery into the kitchen. They produce only 900 hl/yr of all productsÉ. That's small! He runs the brewery and tavern with his wife Marie-Noelle (the brewer), son and the son's girlfriend… a real family operation. Pierre-Alex is still is a teacher of physical therapy.

After a quick BBB photo, acquisition of the necessary glass and beers, we head to our next destination Abbaye des Rocs.

There we meet with Natalie Eloir, the female brewer. As it was cold and drizzly, we go to the office where her mother was doing paperwork. We had the Nöel which I had never seen before…Very tasty! She told us that her grandfather and father were both brewers and she attended brewing school before starting. After a lengthy discussion on the need to have a good importer for the US market, we leave with the, by now, usual glass and beers. [check the photo tour of both of these breweries]

That evening is spent at La Cervoise in Mons, a fine drinking and eating place suggested by Jef of Van Steenberg. Anthony, our server, did an excellent job recommending beers I had not had before. I especially enjoyed the 'spicy' Bon Secours from Caulier Freres in Peruwelz nearby. The steak was served on a very hot stone that was still capable of cooking the rarely served filet. Imagine that happening in the US…the lawyers would love it. After taking a couple of photos of Anthony with his girlfriend, we were done for the day and headed 'home'.


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