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8th February 2017

Beer writers honour Belgian beer hero

Roger Protz presents Daisy Claeys (left) with a tankard from the British Guild of Beer Writers. Photo: Matthew Curtis

The British Guild of Beer Writers has honoured Daisy Claeys, the former, legendary owner of Brugs Beertje, in Bruges, Belgium.

Brugs Beertje, which opened in 1983, is one of Belgium’s great beer cafes. It was run by Daisy for more than 30 years and has played a key role in promoting Belgian beer worldwide.

Presenting Daisy with a commemorative trophy in the packed Siphon Inn in Damme, near Bruges, Guild founder member Roger Protz said, “In 1988 the newly-formed British Guild of Beer Writers travelled to Belgium and enjoyed a memorable tasting of Belgian beers at the Brugs Beertje.

“This tasting inspired Michael Jackson and Tim Webb to write their guides to Belgian beer.”

The tankard’s engraving thanked Daisy Claeys “for inspiring a generation of British beer writers”.

The presentation took place during ‘Smaak Down’ at the Siphon Inn, on the eve of the Bruges Beer Festival. Smaak Down is organised by Guild member Breandán Kearney who, with Franklin Verdonck, installed a five hectolitre brewery at the Siphon last year that is now producing IPA, saison and oyster stout. (Gasthof Siphon, 1 Damse Vaart-Oost, 83400 Damme).

British Guild of Beer Writers Chairman Tim Hampson said: “The legendary Daisy Claeys has played a key role in promoting Belgian beer worldwide.”

Daisy Claeys has sold Brugs Beertje to a new owner who has pledged to follow her policy of selling only speciality Belgian beers and no Pils brands.

Photo: Matthew Curtis