Belgian national day beer food pairing heverlee food blog glasgow

Event: Heverlee Belgian National Day – food & beer pairing at Tontine lane pop-up

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Celebrating Belgian-style with Heverlee Beer

We were invited along to the Tontine Lane pop-up to celebrate Belgian National Day on 21st July with Heverlee Beer and Visit Flanders.

A delicious menu of food was prepared by chef Wim Dejonghe from the Het Land Aan De Overkant restaurant in Heverlee with a selection of Belgian beers specially-chosen by Joris Brams (of Heverlee Beer) who talked us through the beers he had paired with each course. We are big fans of Joris and his passion for great Belgian beer (and not all of it is brewed for Heverlee!), having first met him in 2013 and then again last month for the launch of Heverlee Witte.

Belgian national day beer food pairing heverlee food blog glasgow
Joris and chef Wim

A six-course tasting menu awaited and first up was steak tartare paired with the flagship Heverlee lager – a sweet golden pils with a crisp clean finish. I remember the days you couldn’t find steak tartare in Glasgow but we’ve had it four times in the last month! This dish was light, delicate and colourful, especially for steak tartare, with yellow, green, red, pink and black all on the plate, and this is probably the first time we’ve ever come across sprinkles of “radish snow” which was interesting though the tarragon was a bit overpowering.

Belgian national day beer food pairing heverlee food blog glasgow
Steak tartare with tarragon mayonnaise, black olive crumble, radish snow and potato chips.

Next Course, moules frites with Heverlee Witte – the recently launched witbier in the Heverlee range. This cloudy white wheaty beer had a really big head, clean aroma and sweet honey-ish taste with Hoegaarden-esque orange and coriander notes.  This dish was again artistic and colourful – an intense orange-brown setting sun on a plate! It was also very minimal compared to moules that we’ve had before with the fries liquidized into the stock! Plump mussels with horseradish cream, thin slices of pickled onion and burnt leek in an earthy broth – gorgeous.

Belgian national day beer food pairing heverlee food blog glasgow
Mussels, pickled onion, lavas oil, burnt leek and mussel sauce.

Round three was paired with Bruwerij Oud Beersel – Oude Gueze Vieille, the most difficult of the beers being a wild yeast gueuze, which means that’s made using natural yeast that’s in the air resulting in a dense beer with both a sour aroma and sour taste and an unusual salty pickle aftertaste. Some of the diners at our table struggled with this one but I quite enjoyed it. If you’re a scrumpy cider fan you’ll probably quite like it (and I have since spied this beer, along with another from the same brewery, for sale in Hippo Beers on Queen Margaret Drive). The sourness was in marked contrast to the meaty slow cooked cod cheeks and (we are told) pearl barley risotto and a sort-of healthy seed brittle.

Belgian national day beer food pairing heverlee food blog glasgow
Cod cheeks, pearl barley with fromag-frais and dill, butter milk and bacalau jus, linseed crisp.

Course four was our favourite though sadly we had a nut-allergy sufferer at our table who had to pass up on this unusual & delicious concoction! Sole cooked in hazelnut butter with hazelnut crumble and hazelnut cream. I can’t say I’ve ever had this combination before but the sweet nuttiness worked strangely well with the fish, which was matched with Kessel Blond from Brouwerij de Vlier, another sweet, dense and full-bodied beer with a vegetable earthiness but still very very sweet. It was strong at 7% but still very easy to drink.

Belgian national day beer food pairing heverlee food blog glasgow
Sole cooked in hazelnut butter, hazelnut butter powder and hazelnut crumble.

The fifth course matched tender meat with not just beer but whisky too! The entrecôte was infused with Lagavulin 16 year-old and was just as pink and delicious as it looked! It was served with Brasserie de la Senne’s Stouterik – the first Belgian stout we’ve ever come across and a pretty good attempt aside from the thin head (which on a Belgian beer is a very rare thing indeed!), it had the usual dark chocolate and espresso flavours you would expect from a stout but was perhaps fizzier and livelier than your usual stout though it was served too cold so perhaps this altered the composition somewhat.

Belgian national day beer food pairing heverlee food blog glasgow
Entrecôte infused with Lagavulin whisky, caramelised onion, potato and shallot foam and chicory salad.

The sixth and final course was a dessert Brussels waffel paired with Brouwerij Boon Framboise. It didn’t look like any waffle I’ve ever had before being more like a pancake but it came with marinated cherries and cherry ice-cream so it was apt that the paired beer would be a sour lambic. We love Belgian fruit beers, especially raspberry ones and this one was on the sour end of the spectrum, we prefer the sweeter Liefmans variety (though perhaps that’s because it’s what we’re used to as the sour ones are more difficult to come by in Glasgow?) but it was still a really good beer and worked very well with pudding.

Belgian national day beer food pairing heverlee food blog glasgow
Brussels waffle with Crème Suisse, cherries and kriek ice cream

Wim emerged from the kitchen to rapturous applause and we hung about till finishing time and missed our train up the road (oops!) but  you know it’s been a good night when that happens!

Belgian national day beer food pairing heverlee food blog glasgow
Chef Wim Dejognghe at work

This was a fabulous night with fabulous food which has left us yearning to return to Belgium.

The Tontine Lane pop-up is tucked away in the lane just behind Glasgow City Heritage Trust on Bell Street and will be serving Belgian beer and food to the public until the end of the Merchant City Festival on Sunday 2nd August. Make sure you visit before it disappears!

Belgian national day beer food pairing heverlee food blog glasgow
Joris from Heverlee explains the beers.
Likes to travel, eat weird things and read three books at the same time.
Mentioned in this post
  1. Glasgow City Heritage Trust
    Attraction in United Kingdom

    54 Bell St
    United Kingdom
    0141 552 1331
    http://www.glasgowheritage.org.uk/
1 comment
  1. […] Initially it reminded us of a Belgian lambic we’d drank the night before (see here) with ripe cherry and then perfumey fragrances like jasmine but then when you brought the nose […]

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