Thursday, March 01, 2007

Cafe exteriors, Poperinge, February 2007.

While strolling through the Belgian hop capital of Poperinge, I snapped a few exterior shots of the town’s “locals” – the places where neighborhood regulars gather, the majority of whom can be spotted drinking Stella or Jupiler or Maes while having a smoke, watching a match, and chatting up their friends.

It was early in the morning, which accounts for the shuttered appearance of more than one.

It’s worth remembering that while “real” beer in Belgium remains a source of wonder, and increasing numbers of foreigners make the pilgrimage to Belgium in search of the obscure, interesting and delightful -- and average folks there certainly have a better rudimentary knowledge of beer styles and intents than their counterparts in metropolitan Louisville -- most of them drink Stella, Jupiler, Maes or another of many watery “pils” lagers on a daily basis.

The difference, perhaps, is that even if the cafes pictured here wouldn’t be the enthusiast’s first choice, there’s something inside, probably bottled, that would suffice for time spent waiting for a bus or the rain to stop falling. A Duvel would do fine, thanks.

Check back tomorrow for more on Monday’s Extreme Belgian beer dinner at Bistro New Albany. Spaces are available; call bNA at (812) 949-5227 to reserve your table.

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