Fri, Sep 14, 2001 - Page 9 News List

Belgium beer flows through Kaohsiung

By Gavin Phipps  /  STAFF REPORTER

Over the past several years Belgium native, Geert Anthonis, has made a name for himself while traversing Taiwan selling and promoting the consumption of hundreds of very different and unique brands of Belgian beer.

Last February the smiley and cordial Anthonis, who is now often referred to as "The Belgian Beer Guy," decided to broaden his horizons and make his many beers available to Kaoshiung residents and, at the same time, give them a taste of his European homeland. To do this, he opened his own Belgian theme bar.

Located in his warehouse in Kaoshiung's Gushan District, The Old Belgian Inn has proven extremely popular with residents of the southern city and visitors alike since opening its doors.

There's no pomp, not much in the way of decor with the exception of a Belgian flag and several beer posters, no TV and no air conditioning in the bar. But then the scores of parched customers who descend on the joint aren't there to enjoy the ornamentation. They're there to eat some of the finest and certainly tastiest beers produced anywhere in the world.

While several brands of Belgian beers are now available at bars around the island, the selection Anthonis has stashed away in his cold room is vast and far exceeds that of most local watering holes.

Anthonis ensures that there are roughly 100 different bottled Belgian beers available at all times. There are fruity beers, dark ales, light, or blond beers, chemical free ales brewed by monks and beers with an alcohol content far exceeding 8 percent.

Alongside well known brands of Belgian beer such as Duvel, Augustijn and Karmeliet, The Old Belgian Inn stocks some rather bizarre sounding beers including Mad Bitch and Rochefort 10 Trappist, which happens to be the most potent drop with an alcohol content of over 11 percent.

On occasion, Anthonis offers patrons some beer from his own private stock. Some of these beers have only been brewed once and can no longer be found anywhere.While the copious amount of tipple on offer can make choosing your poison quite a time-consuming affair, The Belgian Beer Guy is happy to intercede should customers be blinded by the choice.

The Old Belgian Inn is usually open from 7pm to 10pm Mondays through Wednesdays and from 7pm until the last customers have left during the weekends. Those who wish to pay a mid-week visit to Anthonis's bar are advised to call beforehand to be sure the bar is open.

The Old Belgian Inn is located at 116-8 Gushan 3rd Road, Gushan District, Kaoshiung (高雄市鼓山區鼓山三路116號), tel: (07) 587-6330.

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