Belgian Beer Board

Semois region

Started by Trappist, August 03, 2023, 11:46:26 AM

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Trappist

Hi,
Last Sun-Mon-Tue, Katrien and I did a last-minute surprise trip to the Belgian Ardennes, more precise the region of the Semois valley.
I didn't have to work on Mon and Tue, and Katrien is still in her Holiday period that ends mid August.
Why not making a nice trip to that region? After all, we only live once, do we :)
It is not the first time we head to the valley of the river Semois. Just because it is such a beautiful region, where you can really unwind yourself.
Still a 3 hours drive from Bruges  ::)


We stayed at "hotel Au Central" in the heart of that cosy village Alle-sur-Semois. (https://www.hotel-au-central.be/) (Their breakfast is MAGIC !!! such a treat!!)
Belgian beer is always nearby!



At the hotel for sure, but also next door at friterie Chez Fernand et Marguerite, where we tried these beers, brewed at brasserie de Bouillon.
They came with those metallic mugs, which frankly is not my thing  8)
But tasty they sure both were!
The food was tasty and affordable too. We had frites, a frikandel special and a brochette Ardennaise.
Somehow, I didn't take a picture... strange...


Alle-sur-Semois even has a beer bar called "Au Roy de la Bière" (https://wallux.com/au-roy-de-la-biere)(https://www.facebook.com/auroydelabiere/)



We tried a Malheur 10 from tap there, and the glasses were nicely filled too.
We paired with a nice platter of Ardennes sausage slices. Smokey, garlic, and truffle flavored.
Great presentation too with this edible flowers. €4.50 for one Malheur 10 and the platter came at €4.30.

It's a place that is always full packed with many tourists. Cosy figure: 100%.
We only visited once, due to time shortness (as usual).

At nearby Vresse-sur-Semois, we went for two great Trappist beers



Rochefort 10 and Westmalle tripel. You may guess who went for the Westmalle.  :)
That was €5.00 each. A good price for the Rochefort 10.

This was tasted at Le Relais de Vresse.


We were sitting outside there on the right side, and felt hungry.
After all, it was already lunch time!



I choose the rabbit in Trappistbeer sauce. (€28.00)



And Katrien choose the rabbit croquettes, which were quite huge..... and tasty too! (€18.00)



There were two rabbit legs here. The beer sauce was quite pale in color, which suspect they used a pale Trappist beer.
The beer in the sauce was tasted, but quite subtle really.
I was mostly impressed by the creamy texture of the sauce, and the overall delicious flavor. The legs were so tender too. 10/10.

The next place we visited is as usual always a MUST TRY when in this region.
It is only 4km away from our hotel. A short drive really.

Brasserie de Rochehaut




It's a pleasure that a brewtavern and a shop are attached to this wonderful Belgian brewery  t_u
We have been there for a couple of times before, and always had great memories.
Starting with a Rochehaut tripel from tap.



With your first ordering one gets this salted smoked cured ham dish at no charge. What a great gesture!  :appauding-1:



Rochehaut Triple Blonde (8 vol%)
A sweet spicy hoppy wonder of brewing.
Nice dense flavor too and a highly satisfying after flavor. Soft on the tongue and nothing harsh.
A true pleasure and one of my favorit tripels. From tap even much more fresh and more delicious.
And... we got more than 33cl. too. One can also order a small 25cl. and a bigger half liter.





Our next order is this 10 vol% Rochehaut Hivern'ale.
Note that the Triple and the Hivern'Ale came at €4.50 for a rich 33cl. volume, both from tap.
That Hivern'Ale was such a treat!
Sweet and spicy and warming too.
At 10 vol%, this is one of their strongest beers. Although they also do that 11 vol% Icestout, which unfortunately wasn't available during our visit, even not at the beer shop. Understandable as this one is only brewed once per year. I suspect at winter period.



That Rochehaut Hivern'Ale was paired with a mixed platter of cheese and charcuterie. (€26.00)
Consider this as our dinner folks  :o
Because that platter was HUGE !!!!!!!



Not even halfway we discovered that there was another layer of meat, including a rich portion of Chorizo! (definitely a whole sausage!)
Impossible to finish that platter, even not the half, so we took the left over back to our hotel (1 kg for sure !)
At some point, we thought we ordered a platter for 4 people, but that couldn't be possible as the menu only mentioned it for 2 people.
But we were only 100% sure when the bill needed to be paid. That really was a two person platter folks  :o

Simply AMAZING !!!! and the beers were such a treats too.
Needless to say that when hitting this region, this place is a true must do.



This is a picture I took at Bohan-sur-Semois.


More precise at Café des Ardennes bij Gina and Rudy, a fixed Belgian Beer Pub Map entry.
We always try the Rochefort 10 over there at €4.50, which is a great price.
Nice to see that plastic La Chouffe cuckoo clock there hanging on the wall next to me.



This really was a very short trip this time.
See, after that short while, we were already heading back home to Bruges.
We passed beautiful village of Anseremme, close to Dinant and spotted this van.
Great van, showing a +150 beers bar, called Le Creve Coeur. (https://www.facebook.com/people/Le-cr%C3%A8ve-c%C5%93ur/100042193729562/)
But that'll be for a next time.
In the mean time, I added this beer bar to the Belgian Beer Pub Map.

Well, that's a bit what we've done there. We also did alot of walking and admiring the nature.... etc....

Cheers,
Filip

"Beer, if drank with moderation, softens the temper, cheers the spirit, and promotes health."
–- Thomas Jefferson

John B

Just wonderful! Those little villages in that area are real jewels. Full of lovely places to visit, and as always you've captured their charm so well in your report Filip. Thank you!   :appauding-1:

Cheers! - John

Viv

Hi Filip and John,

Great report, as ever!

These places look untouched, and as they have been for many many years,
preserving those distinct scenes, character, and flavour of Belgium,
and with wonderful beer and food available as tradition too.

I've only tasted Bouillonnaise once and that was quite a few years ago
but unfortunately I haven't managed to source it again. It is a fantastic
brew! And the Rochehaut brews you tasted are top quality too!

Cheers!



Viv

Trappist

Thanks guys,
I can only highly recommend to visit this gorgeous region at least once in your life!



Steps away from brasserie de Rochehaut is this amazing view from Rochehaut towards Frahan.
Frahan is that small village there in the middle.
What a beautiful panorama view ... already worth the treck..

Cheers,
Filip
"Beer, if drank with moderation, softens the temper, cheers the spirit, and promotes health."
–- Thomas Jefferson