Raise up your chalice, it’s time for a toast! Today marks the second annual Coast to Coast Toast, a celebration of the greatness that is Belgian beer. Belgium is much more than the place that brought us waffles and fries; it’s the Bordeaux of beer. It’s not uncommon for Belgophiles to make almost religious pilgrimages to the breweries of Belgium, many of which are still operated by Trappist monks. While it’s certainly a recommended travel destination, thanks to Donald Feinberg and Wendy Littlefield, founders of the Vanberg & DeWulf importing company, we don’t have to go to Belgium to enjoy its rich brewing traditions.
The occasion is Vanberg & DeWulf’s birthday, but it has become a loving tribute to Belgian beer itself. While you may not be familiar with their names, chances are you’ve had a beer that Vanberg & DeWulf helped import. Duvel, Dupont, Rodenbach, Affligem and Boon Lambics are just some of the brands they brought to the US, and it doesn’t stop there. Feinberg and Littlefield are the founders of the now-legendary Cooperstown, New York-based Brewery Ommegang, known for turning out Belgian-styled beers to rival any of the best originals. We recommend grabbing a bottle of Three Philosophers, Belgian quadrupel-style ale brewed with cherries — it’s delicious!
The celebration kicks off today at over 500 bars and shops around the country, but out of respect to those affected by Hurricane Sandy, Vanberg & DeWulf have pushed back New York’s celebration to January 15th (we’ll be there to cover it). Many participating establishments have also generously pledged to donate some of the profits to relief efforts.
Beer Pulse made a list to prepare you for the event: you can host a party with a dish from their official cookbook (check it out, it’s awesome and free!), hit up one of the official participating bars and shops (the extensive list is here) or simply crack open a delicious brew to share with a friend. Happy Birthday, Vanberg & DeWulf and santé!
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