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  • Writer's pictureMatt Chinnery

Bottoms up in Belgium, Book Review


Ok so maybe slightly different to my usual look at beer books but this book was born from Belgian beer, plus its hugely entertaining and interesting so any Belgium / Belgian Beer fanatic will enjoy!


Bottoms up in Belgium by Alec Le Sueur is a quest to search for things of interest in Belgium so that it can squash it’s unfairly knicknamed boring Belgium. Alec had never been to Belgium before till he met his wife while working in Tibet who happened to be Belgian! He had never been to Belgium before and in 1993 he first set foot on Belgium’s lowlands. Alec had a change of heart towards Belgium when he made the right choice of ditching his usual favourite pint of Stella and tried a Belgian beer, he has never looked back! An idea born from seeing how great and diverse (interesting) Belgian beer can be Alec then advances his search for interesting Belgian things with such subjects as Belgian food, history with both the world wars, peeing boys, chocolate, cartoons, links with Africa, sport and the very funny opening chapter on Rooster crowing competitions!

Alec’s writing style was a good, entertaining read as well as informative,  this book taught me a lot about Belgium. Alec is joined by his kids on some of his searches for interesting things but the star cameo appearances has to go to his Belgian father in law who sounds like a right old chap, some of the funniest pages will mention him!


If this doesn’t get your inner beer geek going so far then it will when you read his beer tasting notes, Alec honestly admits he isn’t a connoisseur of beer tasting notes but what he does do is describe the beers in a hilarious manner that is refreshing to read in a world full of serious (although brilliantly done) tasting notes! After that first beer which turned his head from Stella he made a pact to never try the same Belgian beer twice, a challenge that should keep him going till retirement as we all know how many beer Belgium has to offer!


So although maybe not the usual beer book review that I would usually post on my blog “Bottoms up on Belgium” will no doubt interest any Belgium fan but also does more than preach to converted and as it would attract any one who hasn’t visited Belgium also!

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