White Beer Travels. What's in a Name?  All is revealed on the Home Page! Schneider Weisse, a well-travelled, classic Wheat/White Beer, brewed in Bavaria by Schneider.  Click on the image to go to their website This is a website featuring books on Belgian Beer, by Tim Webb, or published by him. Click here to go to Tim's 'books about beer' website that provides more information on his and other beer books, and from where they can be ordered
Belgian Beer, German Beer, British Real Ale, North American Craft Beer and Speciality Beer and Specialty Beer from around the world, are all covered in this White Beer Travels website This White Beer Travels website has been in operation since March, 2002.  It promotes Speciality/Craft Beer from around the world: Belgian Beer, German Beer, Craft Beer from the USA and Canada, Real Ale from the UK, etc
 
Click here  to reach the "White Beer Travels" Home PageClick here for Speciality Beer and Brewery News.  Also check out the "Archives" for "old" news!Click to find details of Beer Hunts that you can joinClick here to get information on Past Beer Hunts organised by White Beer TravelsClick here for information on what to expect on a typical Beer Hunt organised by White Beer TravelsCurrent "Pub of the Month". See the "Archives" page for links to the other onesClick here for John White's Beer CV (Curriculum Vitae, Résumé) Click here for past Pubs of the Month, News, etcClick here for downloadable guides to places, breweries and barsClick here for "Links" to other websites. There are many on the other pages of the site, as well!Click here for full details on how to contact White Beer TravelsClick here for information on how the site was built, including acknowledgement of any help receivedClick here for details of the French to English Translation Service offered by White Beer Travels, & for the contact details of organisations that can provide the reverse
Belgian Beer and other great Speciality/Craft Beers, these including Real Ale from the UK and Craft Beers from the USA and Canada, are promoted on this, the White Beer Travels website.  It is a big site, so to get an outline idea of the contents, click here to go to the site's Contents page
  Würzburg, in Germany, is world-renowned for its "Franken" wines. However, White (Wheat) Beers have certainly travelled to the city.  The three different ones shown here are excellent examples. All are brewed in the city's Würzburger Hofbräu Brewery. Click on the glasses to go to the brewery's website, from which the image was pasted

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Your cursor is on a reproduction of the cover of Tim Webb's 'Good Beer Guide to Belgium'. It is essential reading before, during and after a trip to Belgium, and/or selected places in London and the rest of the UK. Click on it to go to Tim Webb's website

Tim Webb's Good Beer Guide Belgium

 

The Good Beer Guide Belgium is, without question, the best and most comprehensive guide to Belgian Beer and the outlets in which it can be enjoyed at its best. One simply should not enter Belgium without it. Tim Webb, an Englishman, has been producing it since, the first edition came out, in 1992. This was endorsed by the British Guild of Beer Writers (www.beerwriters.co.uk), when, in December, 2005, for the guide, Tim won an award for the best piece on foreign beer published in 2005; click here for more information.

Your cursor is on two sample pages of Tim Webb's "Good Beer Guide to Belgium". It is essential reading before, during and after a trip to Belgium, and/or selected places in London and the rest of the UK. Click on it to go to Tim Webb's website

Above are a couple of pages (288-9) of the guide covering Bruges (Brugge). The photo on one of these pages of Daisy Claeys, in the city's great bar, 't Brugs Beertje (www.brugsbeertje.be), was taken by John White, in December, 2001, who also took the photo of these sample pages of Tim's Guide, in June, 2005. The photo of Daisy appears at the top of the White Beer Travels Web page covering 't Brugs Beertje.

At the top of this page is a reduced-size reproduction of the cover of the 5th edition of the Guide, which is published by CAMRA, the CAMpaign for Real Ale, www.camra.org.uk (ISBN 1 85249 210 4). It came out on the 30th of May, 2005. Previous editions of the Guide have covered Belgium, The Netherlands and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, but this 2005 edition has dropped The Netherlands. Note that most references to Luxembourg in the Guide are referring to the Belgian Province of Luxembourg, where can be found a good number of beery delights, all featured in the Guide, of course, including the famed Orval Trappist Brewery (www.orval.be, White Beer Travels Web page). Despite not covering The Netherlands, as per the previous edition of the Guide, this edition has 352 pages (134x210mm), and, for the first time, is in full colour throughout, with a superb layout by Dale Tomlinson, as can be seen from the example pages to the left.

In the Guide, over 120 working breweries and their 800+ beers are described in full, along with 600 outlets that have been hand-picked by a team of inspectors. Then there is related information given on topics such as Belgian Beer styles (which includes superb, second-to-none information on Lambic and its derivatives, such as Gueuze and beers produced by steeping fruit in Lambic, such as Kriek (Cherries) and Framboise (Raspberries)), how to get to Belgium, where to stay, and where to buy Belgian Beer to take home with you. There is also an expanded and improved coverage of Beer Shops/Warehouses in Belgium and pubs, restaurants and shops offering Belgian Beer in the UK. The Guide is not simply a list of bars and breweries, but is also a really good read.

Your cursor is on a photo featuring 'The Good Beer Guide to Belgium & Holland' by Tim Webb. Click on it to go to Tim Webb's website, which includes a sample page from the guide. The guide can be purchased from the site

The above picture was taken by John White's son-in-law, Paul Skinner, in November, 2002, at a special signing by Tim Webb, for White Beer Travels Beer Hunters, of the previous edition of the Guide, the Good Beer Guide to Belgium & Holland, on the day of its Belgian launch. The venue was the Oud Arsenaal, in Antwerp (Maria Pijpelincxstraat 4, tel 03 232 97 54), one of the city's very best Speciality Beer bars. From left to right are Ginge, Diane Hall (partly hidden), Geoff Cropper, Stuart Simpson, John White (with glass of the magnificent Gouden Carolus Christmas, which is brewed by Het Anker, www.hetanker.be), Keith Leggate, Tim Webb (with guide in his hand), an unknown (not in party), David Spencer and Tom Rierson from the USA. With their back to the camera are Stuart Lowe and Steve Horswell, next to an unknown. In the 2005 edition of Tim's Belgian Guide, I could not help but notice that two tour companies are listed on page 25: Podge's Belgian Beer Tours, which are covered on the White Beer Travels Contacts page, and see below; and White Beer Travels! The above photo is used in the Guide to illustrate this page.

Note that, now that Tim's Guide no longer covers The Netherlands, but should you need information on this country, don't worry, as it is superbly covered by Amsterdam resident, Ron Pattinson's on-line "Dutch Pub Guide", www.europeanbeerguide.net/hollpubs.htm. This is part of Ron's European Pub & Beer Guides website, www.europeanbeerguide.net.

The first edition of Tim's essential Guide to the Belgian Beer scene evolved from a gathering of beer writers that took place in one of the world's greatest Speciality/Craft/Specialty Beer bars, the already mentioned 't Brugs Beertje, in 1987. The top half of the cover above was taken from the top of the Belfry (Belfort), in the Markt, the main square in Bruges by Bob Krist (Corbis, pro.corbis.com). The bottom half was taken in 't Brugs Beertje. Note that the second building on the right is the Hotel "Café Central", at Markt 30. Bruges resident, Filip Geerts, has identified this as a place that was formerly called Trappistenbrau - Deutsches Bierhaus. Filip runs a renowned message board/website covering Belgian Beer, the Belgian Beer Board, www.belgianbeerboard.be, and has his own, excellent website, also covering Belgian Beer, surf.to/beer. Filip, yours truly, and fellow Beer Hunt organiser, Podge, see below, are typical of the "hand-picked by a team of inspectors", of the previous paragraph, who contribute to Tim's Good Beer Guide Belgium, both pub leads, etc, and many of the photos that illustrate the Guide, such as the one above in 't Brugs Beertje; my grandson, Jack Skinner, is especially pleased that my photo of him studying the huge beer menu for the Café Botteltje, within the Hotel Marion (www.hotelmarion.be), in Ostend, has been used to illustrate some prose on children in pubs, on page 164 (the photo can be seen at the top of the White Beer Travels Contents page). Photographic Credits appear on page 2 of the Guide, these showing that eighteen White Beer Travels photos were used in the Guide.

In the 29th of May, 2005 edition of the English quality Sunday newspaper, The Observer, there was a feature on the Guide, which leans heavily on the Brussels entries in the Guide; click here to see it.

In UK book shops, the guide costs £12.99. Signed copies of the Guide can be ordered from Tim's website, www.booksaboutbeer.com (Bookmark). Single copies cost 19.99 plus postage and packing, in Europe, and $29.99, including postage and packing in the USA. The website contains a sample entry - for Leuven. One can also purchase the Guide direct from CAMRA. From Tim's website, updates will be available until the 6th edition comes out in 2008. Click here for the September, 2006 one.

Your cursor is on a photo taken in the Mahr's Bräu Brew Pub, in Bamberg, Germany. At the top there is a plaque giving some information on the role that Mahr's will play in 2010, when Bamberg is the European City of Culture.  Click on the photo, to see a larger, higher resolution photo of the plaque Your cursor is on a photo of Tim Webb signing a copy of his 'Good Beer Guide to Belgium', for White Beer Travels Beer Hunter, Mike Robinson.  The venue is a Brew Pub in Forchheim, where Mike was very much taken by a dog in the pub's corridor.  Click on the photo, to see a photo of Mike and the dog

In the back (page 349) of Tim's Good Beer Guide Belgium, there is an advert for a companion CAMRA guide covering Germany, the 576-page Good Beer Guide Germany (www.german-breweries.com, White Beer Travels Web page) (£16.99 (£14.99 for CAMRA members), ISBN 1 85249 219 8), by Steve Thomas, which was published in May, 2006, i.e. in time for the 2006 Football World Cup, which took place in Germany, in June, 2006. It is the first ever comprehensive guide to Germany's brewers, their beers and their principal outlet. It covers more than 1,250 breweries, 1,000 brewery taps and 7,500 beers. There is information on how to get to Germany and travel within it, and introductory essays on German beer and brewing. Despite being Steve's first book, the Good Beer Guide Germany is a first rate effort. It is described as a companion to Tim's Good Beer Guide Belgium, but from a practical point of view, it cannot be an exact like for like, since there are far more bars in Germany than there are in Belgium. Therefore, unlike the Belgian guide, it does not have a town by town listing of pubs selling decent beer. What it does have, is an entry for all the breweries in each town in Germany, with the name and address of their principal outlet. However, it does have some general pub information for towns/cities with a special beer interest, and/or were world cup venues: Augsburg, Bamberg, Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Karlsruhe, Köln (Cologne), Leipzig, München (Munich), Nürnberg (Nuremberg) and Stuttgart. Yes, this book, is an essential addition to the collection of anyone who is remotely interested in good beer in Germany; I am confident that it will not be lost on your book shelf, but will be out on view, so that it can very regularly referred to. Updates to the guide are available from its companion website, for which there is a hyperlink earlier in this paragraph.

Why mention the Good Beer Guide Germany here? Because this Guide to German Beer has a Tim Webb involvement. Tim met Steve Thomas in 2003, by chance, on a train that they had both got on, in Marktredwitz, in Bavaria. Steve is a CAMRA member, based in Wales, who has compiled a database of all the brewery taps and brewers in Germany. He received advice and help from Tim, who passed him on to CAMRA, with a view to it being publishing by CAMRA. The above two photos featuring Tim in Brew Pubs in Franconia, in Germany, were taken by John White, in July, 2005; Tim was one of a number of members of the British Guild of Beer Writers (www.beerwriters.co.uk), who were on a trip based in Bamberg and Nuremberg, that John White organised for them and for White Beer Travels Beer Hunters; the trip is covered in the Past Beer Hunts page. In the photo, above left, Tim is in discussion with Stephan Michel, the Brew Master at the renowned Mahr's Bräu Brew Pub, in Bamberg (www.mahrs-braeu.de). In the photo, above right, Tim is signing a copy of his Good Beer Guide Belgium, for White Beer Travels Beer Hunter, Mike Robinson. The venue is the superbly atmospheric Hebendanz Brew Pub in Forchheim (Sattlertorstrasse 14, GPS: 49.720132o N, 11.056883o E). The poster above Tim's head is advertising a "train" that takes one to Forchheim's renowned Annafest Beer Festival (www.anna-fest.de or www.annafest-forchheim.de), which was on at the time of the visit. This is covered in the White Beer Travels Guide to Forchheim, which is available from the Downloads page.

Details of the Dutch-language version of the 4th edition (2002) of Tim's Guide follow.

Tim Webb's Biergids voor België, Nederland en Luxemburg

Your cursor is on a reproduction of the cover of 'Biergids voor BelgiŽ, Nederland en Luxemburg', which is the Dutch-language version of Tim Webb's 'Good Beer Guide to Belgium & Holland' (4th edition, 2002). This is essential reading before, during and after a trip to The Netherlands and/or the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Click on it to go to Tim Webb's website

The publication of the English version of the fifth edition of this essential beer Guide is covered above. Kosmos-Z+K Uitgevers (www.kosmoszk.nl and www.boekenwereld.com, ISBN 90-215-3898-9) published a Dutch version of the fourth edition, called Biergids voor België, Nederland en Luxemburg, at the end of October. It retails at €19.99. Note that some out of date stuff has been removed and some additions (up to February, 2003) have been made over and above the ones to be found in the English version (4th edition).

On the afternoon of Saturday, the 25th of October, 2003, Tim signed copies of Biergids at PINT's Bokbierfestival, in Amsterdam. This takes place in 2006 on Friday, the 27th, Saturday, the 28th and Sunday, the 29th of October. PINT (www.pint.nl) is The Netherlands' premier beer consumers' organisation. Their website gives further information on the festival, The Netherlands' best. There was a White Beer Travels group of Beer Hunters in Amsterdam for the 2003 festival, click here for more details.

Updates to the Good Beer Guide Belgium

Click here for the September, 2005 update.

Click here for the June, 2006 update.

LambicLand LambikLand, a book on Lambic Cafés (Bars) and Lambik Brewers and Blenders

Your cursor is on a reproduction of the cover of a book called LambicLand LambikLand, by Tim Webb, Chris (Podge) Pollard & Joris Pattyn.  Click on it to see a higher resolution version of it

LambicLand LambikLand (Cogan & Mater Limited, ISBN 0-9547789-0-1, £6.95/€9.95) is Tim Webb and Chris (Podge) Pollard's essential book covering Bars (Cafés), Breweries and Gueuze Blenders in Lambik Land. Lambic Land covers part of Belgium's capital, Brussels, plus an area to the SW of it called the Payottenland (Pajottenland in Dutch), in the Belgian Province of Flemish Brabant (Vlaams-Brabant). This essential book is packed with original material on around a hundred bars in Lambik Land, including full details on how to get to them, along with information on accommodation. All currently produced Lambic beers are described, along with details of their brewers/blenders; information on how to visit them is included. Outlets for purchasing Lambic beers to take home are covered.

LambicLand LambikLand can be purchased from Tim's "books about beer" website, www.booksaboutbeer.com. One can also purchase the book using a UK sterling cheque. Podge is the contact for this and can thus provide you with full details of this option and also tell you about discounts for bulk orders. Podge can be contacted by e-mail by clicking on the following:

Your cursor is on an image of Chris (Podge) Pollard's e-mail address. Click on it or use it to send an e-mail to Podge

Based on its pedigree, see below, and a proof read of the biggest section of the book, "The Lambic Cafés of Payottenland", I knew that the book was going to be excellent, but my perception of it was staggeringly enforced when I got a copy in my hands on the day of its launch. The sixty-four page (136x210mm), two language book (English and Dutch) is superbly laid out and illustrated, in full colour; all inside photos are by Podge. The excellent design of LambicLand LambikLand is down to Dale Tomlinson, who was also responsible for the equally good work in this area for the latest (fifth edition, 2005) of Tim's Good Beer Guide to Belgium, see above, and for excellent publications such as Geoff Brandwood and Jane Jephcote's The CAMRA Regional Inventory for London. Pub Interiors of Special Historic Interest (ISBN 1-85249-204-X), a 2004 booklet that is available from CAMRA Books (www.camra.org.uk). Dale told me that LambicLand LambikLand is the first book to use Peter Verheul's Versa font, this being available from www.ourtype.com.

LambicLand LambikLand was the first book to be published by Cogan and  Mater, which is Tim's own company, see below; it has the slogan "Publishers of the world's finest beery texts - we only bother with the best". The full contents/section headings are as follows: Payottenland map (inside front cover); Dedications and Acknowledgements; Foreword (by Sven Gatz (www.gatz.be), a Member of the Flemish Parliament, click here for a page on Sven's site featuring the book); Introduction; Lambic beers; HORAL (Hoge Raad voor Ambachtelijke Lambikbieren (High Council for Artisanal Lambic Beers), www.horal.be); The Lambic Makers; The Guide's use of Terms; Payottenland; The Lambic Cafés of Payottenland; The etiquette of Lambic drinking; Lambic in Brussels and elsewhere; The Cantillon Brewery of Brussels (www.cantillon.be, White Beer Travels Web page); Museums and brewery visits; Buying beer to take home; and (on the rear inside cover) The Definition of Lambic. The latter has comments on the "legal" definition of Lambic; the "Lambic beers" and Terminology sections provide more detailed explanations of what Lambic Beers are, this being the book's term for Lambic and its derivatives such as Gueuze (a blend of Lambics of different ages) and Fruit Beers, for example Kriek (Cherry) and Framboise (Raspberry). I henceforth use this term.

Clearly, the book is a must-not-leave-home-without item when entering Lambic Land, this area being justly revered for a particularly famous Belgian Beer style: Lambic Beers. These, quite unusually, are produced by spontaneous fermentation by wild yeasts present in the air that are unique to Lambik Land. As one can see from the front cover, above, Lambic Beers are the world's most complex of beers, but they are often partaken of in the most simple of bars, albeit often coming in the "absolute gem" category. This book will get you to them and give you the knowledge needed to order something off the beer menu, should one exist in the place of your choice.

The back cover of the book provides short resumés of the co-author, Podge, who is a Beer Hunt Organiser and a prominent member of the UK's beer consumers' organisation, CAMRA, the CAMpaign for Real Ale (www.camra.org.uk), who " ... has organised numerous beer festivals, pork scratching exhibitions and beer tastings." As already stated, Tim is the author of the don't-enter-Belgium-without Good Beer Guide Belgium.

Tim was the co-founder of CAMRA's first publishing company, Alma Books, an inspiration for the name of Tim's company, Cogan & Mater, that published LambicLand LambikLand, i.e. Alma Cogan (1932-66) was a UK 1950's and 1960s pop star, and Alma Mater (Latin for "Bounteous Mother"), in English, is usually used to refer to the School or University that you attended. Alma Cogan is also the title of a book by Gordon Burn (Faber and Faber, ISBN: 0571222846) that Tim likes a lot; it can be purchased from www.amazon.co.uk (£6.39).

There are, of course, a number of other reviews of LambicLand LambikLand, including one in the October, 2004 edition of CAMRA's What's Brewing magazine, on page 8. I can't resist giving one quote from this review: "Nobody in the world with the possible exception of Michael Jackson, John White, and CAMRA's Brussels brigade, knows more about the subject than these three [Tim, Podge and Joris], so if Lambics are your thing this is a must-buy." Of course, it is very flattering to be mentioned in such a away in the same sentence as the World's most famous beer writer, Michael Jackson (1942-) (www.beerhunter.com), who I dedicate this website to (jointly with the King of Belgian Wheat/White Beer, Pierre Celis (see the Home page)), but clearly there are people who know more about Lambic than myself and Michael, starting off with the renowned producers of it in Brussels and the Payottenland!

Should one buy LambicLand LambikLand when one already has Tim's Good Beer Guide Belgium?
Answer: An Emphatic Yes!

One very important point to bear in mind with regard to LambicLand LambikLand is that it is not merely an illustrated sub-set of Tim's Good Beer Guide that covers the whole of Belgium, for which a requirement for main bar entries, in Flanders, is that they have sixty or more different Speciality/Craft/Specialty beers. Only a handful of the entries in the Lambic Land book meet this target. Therefore, without this new book, you will be missing out on some life-enhancing places that serve perhaps only a handful of beers, albeit exceptional ones. Some of the places are fairly basic, but totally atmospheric; others are quite grand, with top-class food to boot. Of course, the research for the book has unearthed some places that qualify for an appearance in the 5th edition and beyond of the Good Beer Guide covering the whole of Belgium. In conclusion, if you already have the latter, and are a lover of truly good beer, you really do still need this new book, believe me!

Your cursor is on a photo of the authors of LambicLand LambikLand.  Click here to go to a website from which it can be purchased.  A further payment option is provided below
Your cursor is on a photo of two of the three authors of LambicLand LambikLand.  Click here to go to a website from which it can be purchased.  A further payment option is provided below

The above photo of Tim Webb, Podge and Joris Pattyn, the two authors and translator of LambicLand LambikLand, was taken by JezzaP.

The above photo of Tim Webb and Podge was taken by John White at the annual dinner of the British Guild of Beer Writers, in London, in December, 2004. They are reading a copy of the Guild's Directory of its members for 2005. Click here for an on-line list of these members. This is a rare photo in that it features Podge in a suit and tie, and, in particular, without one of his trademark patterned, coloured shirts; click here for an example.

LambicLand LambikLand was launched, see the photo, above left, on Saturday, the 29th of May, 2004, at a most appropriate beer festival, the "Spontaneous Fermentation Weekend der Spontane Gisting". This festival is organised each year by De Opstalse Bierpallieters (www.bierpallieters.tk), the Zythos branch based in Buggenhout, in East Flanders, The festival is held on the last Saturday and Sunday in May of each year. The venue is the Tapperij 't Beukenhof, Broekstraat 18, Buggenhout-Opstal. Zythos is Belgium's premier beer consumers' organisation; click here for a White Beer Travels page giving more details on Zythos and a major beer festival that it organises, which is truly one of the world's best.

Around Bruges in 80 Beers,
by Chris (Podge) Pollard & Siobhan McGinn

Your cursor is on a scan of the cover of Chris Pollard and Siobhan's 'Around Bruges in 80 Beers', a truly wonderful book covering 80 Belgian Beer places in Bruges; there is a different beer recommendation in each of them, to give, er, eighty different beers to try. Click on the scan to go to the publishers website, from where it can be purchased

Bruges (Brugge), the capital of the Belgian Province of West Flanders (West-Vlaanderen) is a world-class tourist venue, which also happens to be a real Mecca for the Specialty Beer fan. And who better to cover this aspect of it than Podge and his partner, Siobhan. This essential, truly wonderful book covers eighty pubs (well seventy-nine bars/restaurants/hotels/shops and a boat) in Bruges, and as you may guess from its title, there is a different beer recommendation in each of them, to give, er, eighty different beers to try, these all featuring on the book's front cover. Naturally, for a book by Podge and Siobhan, these are all beers of the highest order, with none, of course, from that load of Bankers, InBev. In addition to the book's main theme, there are sections on beer styles, Belgian bar (café) cuisine (with a very useful translation/explanation of the most usually menu items encountered), and a map of the city, which pinpoints all the entries in the book. It is lavishly illustrated, and has the top class layout that is the hallmark of Dale Tomlinson.

The main entries are in alphabetic order, so you would not expect to need a list of them at the front, but there is, and its very useful, since it is categorised into "Beer Shops", "Hotels and Hostels", "Restaurants", "Specials", "Family Pubs", and "Cafés with Great Beer Lists". The latter includes classics, such a 't Brugs Beertje (www.brugsbeertje.be, White Beer Travels Web page), and Cambrinus (www.cambrinus.eu), this 400 beer bar/restaurant only opening in March, 2006, only a few weeks before the book was published, which testifies to the up-to-date nature of the book, and the research used to produce it. This truly is a book that you should not enter Bruges without! Well done and thanks, Podge and Siobhan. Around Bruges in 80 Beers (Cogan & Mater Limited, 2006, ISBN 0-9547789-1-X, £7.99/€10,95) can be purchased, in the same way as LambicLand LambikLand, i.e. from Tim's website, or direct from Podge, see above.

Podge is also working on similar format books covering Merseyside and London, in England. Further information on Podge, a fellow Beer Hunt organiser, is provided in the White Beer Travels Contacts page, which can be reached by clicking here.

John White (1945-), Your cursor is on an image of John White's e-mail address. Click on it to send an e-mail to John.

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