"Ride as much or as little, or as long or as short as you feel. But ride" Eddy Merckx

Beer tasting with Roger De Vlaeminck

Former professional cyclist Roger De Vlaeminck tries to eat as healthily as possible. But now and again he is permitted to sin – with a cake, for example, or a local brew. We met Roger de Vlaeminck in Carillon, the oldest ‘brown’ café in Oudenaarde.

LIEFMANS OUD BRUIN

Roger De Vlaeminck: “This Liefmans Oud Bruin smells and tastes completely different from a ‘regular’ beer. The taste is caramel and somewhat bitter, even a bit sour. That comes from the unique spring water in this region. This beer is really one to enjoy. If I were to drink three of them, I’d never make it home.” (Laughs)

BROUWERIJ ROMAN

“The Brouwerij Roman is just nearby. They’ll give you a tour – and yes, that includes a sample,” laughs Roger. “Roman brews Adriaen Brouwer, Ename Abdijbieren, Sloeber, Gentse Strop, Mater Witbier and Black Hole. By the way, did you know that brewers were keeping their kettles hot as early as the 12th century, to make Oudenaarde the most famous Flemish beer town?”

LOCAL BREW FROM THE EASY CHAIR?

“I won the Tour of Flanders in 1977, and I often came here as a spectator afterwards. I’ve found the crowds a bit too much in recent years, and I prefer to enjoy the Tour from my easy chair. Will I still drink a dark beer while watching? Yes, why not!” says Roger with a smile.

Oudenaard’s ‘oud bruin’

Do you have a preference for dark beer? Then you’ll probably like the centuries-old beer brewing tradition of Oudenaarde, where ‘oud bruin’ flows from the taps in great quantities. The four breweries that continue this rich tradition today are Roman (the oldest brewery in Flanders), Liefmans (known for its beers made from mixed fermentation in open barrels) and the old-fashioned breweries Cnudde and Smisje.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

Text: Veerle Symoens – Pictures: Jonas Roosens

You should
do this!

Go for a beer tasting in ‘Carillon’.