#SMAAKDOWN17 | 3rd Birthday Celebrations of Belgian Smaak [Video & Photos]

#SMAAKDOWN17 | 3rd Birthday Celebrations of Belgian Smaak [Video & Photos]

Three is the magic number.

On 9 February 2014 – three years ago – we started Belgian Smaak as way for us to explore beer and chocolate culture in Belgium.

Since then, we’ve visited a lot of breweries and chocolatiers, experimented with various beer and chocolate projects and made a lot of friends from both industries and across various media platforms.

To celebrate, we threw a party last week, teaming up with four breweries, two from Belgium and two from Ireland: #SMAAKDOWN17.

The breweries paired up to produce two special collaborations for the occasion based on the theme of ‘three’ and between them they poured nine beers for guests on the evening.

Werner Callebaut of Bierolade served chocolates from Chocobolic and helped people pair the chocolates with the various beers on offer.

Alvinne and Boundary produced a high gravity three-mash sour called Phi³ (11% ABV).

Siphon and Kinnegar created Rule of Three, a small beer using three malts, three yeasts and three hop varieties which finished at 3.3% ABV.

Between the four breweries, there were saisons, grisettes, IPAs, rye ales, oyster stouts and mixed fermentation projects.


There was a nice surprise for Daisy Claes, recently retired from one of the most well known and highly respected beer cafes in Belgium, ‘t Brugs Beertje.

Daisy was presented on the evening by the ‘British Guild of Beer Writers’ with a guild tankard as recognition for all the work she has done in championing beer culture in Belgium over the last 30 years.


Family and friends from Ireland and Belgium rolled up their sleeves and volunteered on the night, cleaning glasses, pouring beer, taking registrations and generally being fantastic. 

Jeroen De Wilde filmed the evening and Matt Curtis of Total Ales shot photography. The Siphon restaurant hosted warmly and served up chicken wings. Paul Walsh from Belgian Beer and Food Magazine weighed in to help publish a beautiful event programme.


We’d like to extend a big thanks to everyone who has joined us on this journey in the last three years, from the breweries and chocolatiers we’ve visited to the writers, photographers and media who have helped us out.

We’d especially like to thank our readers and everyone who has subscribed to receive our stories in their inbox.

And we’re not done yet. Tomorrow is another day. Belgium is always ready to surprise.

Beer Writer of the Year 2015 (British Guild of Beer Writers). Best Beer Blogger 2017 (North American Guild of Beer Writers). Certified Cicerone®. Accredited beer sommelier (UK Institute of Brewing & Distilling). Certified 'Zytholoog' (CVO Panta Rhei, Ghent). Professional Brewer (Siphon Brewing, Damme, Belgium).