And... We're back! (Hopefully)

Well, yes... It certainly has been an inexcusably long time since I have had an opportunity to play with this blog. I'm not going to try justify it, but as as partial explanation, there is now another Osborne, Jasper William (born 6-Apr-07) - anyone following our other (also sadly neglected) blog already knows this, of course.

How I wish I could just pick up where I left off... It is now over three years and many hundreds of different Belgian and international beers later, however, so my tastes have evolved so much that I'm quite embarrassed reading back over the beers that I used to think were nice. Perhaps serendipitously, dotphoto seems to have lost all the pictures that we uploaded, so I guess that will force me to revisit and update everything anyway. Those beers that have stood the test of time and of my evolving tastes will get a special mention in the eventual rework.

Anyway, the reason that I'm back is because my wonderful wife gave me "100 Belgian Beers to Try Before You Die" for xmas. Since I have already tried about 80 of the beers in it, and I'm not ready to die anytime soon, I have decided that this event will usher in a new era of Beery tourism.

Not satisfied to merely "Try" the 100 beers in this book, I will endeavour to personally visit all (55) breweries responsible for them, in order to experience the beers in situ, and get the book officially signed off by someone at each brewery. I will document my travails here.

This era officially started last weekend when we were joined by my best man, Shane Balzan - visiting for a long-weekend trip from his adopted home, London.

I've written up the three breweries that we crossed off the list (only 52 to go!) in the Beer Tourism section (find it on the right)

I think that Jeannie is already regretting having given me the book...

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Welcome to Jeannie and Jamie's Belgian beer blog

This is a fun blog. We set it up to share with friends and family back home in Australia and around the world, our personal experiences with the astonishing array of beer that we've been encountering since we moved to Belgium (but everyone is welcome to join in of course.)

We've tried to keep it simple by breaking the beers down into as few categories as possible, but no doubt this will change as we learn from our mistakes. The categories are on the right there. Just click on those links to go to whatever section looks most interesting to you. We haven't yet worked out how and if we'll sub-categorise. That decision will no doubt be forced on us sometime soon as the blog grows.

Note that these categories are loosely based on Tim Webb's excellent book, which I would strongly recommend to anyone planning a beer tasting trip to Belgium.

Before going any further though, it is important to realise that this is NOT intended to be another one of the dozens of sites out there dedicated to beer wankery. We are trying to make this about our personal experiences with each beer, so all opinions expressed are entirely our own (except when from guest reviewers, or are otherwise attributed). This blog is absolutely guaranteed to be entirely informal and unscientific. That means that we don't really want to hear from earnest, patriotic beer lovers who disagree of our comments about their precious beers (unless you are willing to be made fun of.) Nor do we want to hear from any brewers (unless they would like to pay us exhorbitant sums of money to change the blog. Go on InBev - why don't you try see how strong our scruples and opinions really are? :-)

Likewise, if you've got a PhD in Beer Tosserology, then, unless you've also got a sense of humour, and are willing to laugh kindly with us as we stumble (occasionally literally) through the Belgian beer landscape, you should probably just leave now and save yourself some frustration and heartburn.

We are very interested, however, in feedback and ideas on how we can make the site easier to follow. With so many beers, it is quickly going to become unwieldy for you readers as well as for us to maintain.

Thanks to Shane for some excellent suggestions on improving the layout already. I'm much happier with the way this is starting to look and feel.

Finally, if you want to know a little more about us, or the background to this blog, feel free to browse away at the links to the top-right.

We hope you share the joy we're finding in the Belgian beers, and that reading about our experiences might inspire a visit to this fascinating and wonderful country, to try some of the many hundreds of amazing beers on offer.

Cheers! Santé! Proost!

Jamie and Jeannie

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