You’re gonna love this blog post!
With my fellow Belgian exchange student friend James of Newfoundland visiting me for the first time in 5 years, it was merely a foregone conclusion that we would be drinking some Belgian beer… nearly every night. This led to the creation of Stamhuis Week, and more than a few good beers were consumed. On this particular night, we were joined by my father and my friend Gavin. We started off with some Hoegaarden, and it turned out to be the tone setter for a night full of tangy beers that were low on malt and low on hops. Sounds like a wheat beer night to me!
Ever since I returned from Belgium, we have periodically hosted Belgian beer drinking events at our home, each one known as a Stamhuis. I came up with the name by taking the Belgian term “Stamcafe,” which is a way of referring to one’s local pub, and then replacing “cafe” with “huis,” the Dutch word for house. We originally hosted several “tasting Stamhuizen” with friends who were interested in expanding their knowledge of Belgian beer. A typical tasting session involves 4 people each trying 1/4 of 8 different Belgian beers from 7 or 8 different styles. After several of these tasting events, we were able to invite people over for a”drinking Stamhuis,” where instead of having people taste specific beers, we would simply hang out and drink any Belgian beer we felt like. At every Stamhuis we use my extensive collection of glasses, serving trays, coasters etc. to create a temporary Belgian beer cafe inside the house. Stamhuis 20 was a combination of a tasting and a drinking event, with several certified tasters and 4 new recruits in attendance. Other than a bottle of Westvleteren 12 being shared between 10 people (silly I know!) the highlight of the night for me was trying the Fantôme Saison for the first time!