Breandán Kearney set up Siphon in a shed. Now it’s Belgium’s best new brewery
Guild Member Profile
- Full member
- Blogger, beer writer, beer historian, tour guide
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Award-winning beer writer, Eoghan Walsh founded the website Brussels Beer City in 2017. In 2018, he was awarded the Best Young Beer Writer by the British Guild of Beer Writers, and the European Beer Blogger of the Year in the BrewDog Beer Geek Awards. He has won silver and bronze medals for his beer writing by the North American Guild of Beer Writers.
He work has featured in Belgian Beer and Food Magazine, Original Gravity, and The Irish Times, and as well as writing, he organises beer-themed tours and tasting events in Brussels under the Brussels Beer City banner.
Originally from Ireland, he has lived in Brussels for 10 years.
Pieces of work by Eoghan:
“The main thing we focus on is balance, because balance means drinkability, and that’s the joy of drinking beer. It’s as simple as that.” Yvan De Baets is sitting in an office-cum laboratory on the first floor of Brasserie de la Senne, ruminating on the philosophy behind the brewery he co-founded in 2003. From the brewery’s very first beer, it’s a philosophy that’s guided de la Senne from home-brewing in a squat, to brewing on recycled milk vats, and eventually to achieving their dream of opening their own Brussels-based brewery.
From the very first Zinnebir to the release of their latest beer, Schieve Saison, in January 2019, each of Brasserie de la Senne’s beers has a story to tell about this journey. As the brewery prepares for its next big move – to a larger, purpose built facility on the banks of the Brussels canal – here are five of those stories.
In early May 2018, behind a jumble of corroded neon signs touting a long-departed Greek restaurant, a group of artists and activists opened something Brussels hadn’t seen for 15 years: a lesbian bar, run by and for the city’s lesbian community. At a time when lesbian bars in Europe and North America are disappearing, Mothers & Daughters is pushing back with a pop-up bar. But calling it a bar doesn’t really do it justice. As they say themselves, Mothers & Daughters is “an art space, a safe, inclusive, feminist, queer, lesbian place – run by lesbians, queers and feminists for lesbians and their friends”.
Summer 2018 in Brussels was hot. Bushes spontaneously combusting, train engines exploding, dogs and cats living together hot. Okay, maybe not that last one but Brussels did experience its warmest summer since records began in 1901. While the city melted in the heat, at Brasserie Cantillon brewers were in a cold sweat over the state of their lambic, the spontaneously fermented beer that is blended to make gueuze. Heat waves can be death for lambic, forcing brewers to discard thousands of litres of spoiled beer.