May 10, 2011

Beer post: 't Gaverhopke

't Gaverhopke beers
't Gaverhopke
Inside the brewery
Beers in crates 
Fermentation room
Beer samplers (with a candid shot of the head brewer); their family made the wooden holders
Yummy beers hiding a classic Belgian snack (boterham met kaas)

't Gaverhopke, located in Stasegem, West Flanders, Belgium, is a small family-owned brewery owned and operated by Bruno and Gudrun (the wife is the head brewer). To give you some context of the size, the husband-wife duo manage the brewery and cafe, which are located in the same building.

To set up a brewery visit, I had called the brewery and had spoken with Bruno. On our visit we were welcomed by both of them, and Bruno gave us the tour of their facilities. Once the tour was over, we took a seat in the cafe and ordered up 2 samplers so we could taste all of their yummy beers. Gudrun got her technical beer training in Gent, but told us that she enjoys the brewing process much more than the science. Although the Flemish dialect differs, ik was met ze aan het praten (I was able to talk to them). The cafe has food and snacks, and a nice terrace for when the sun comes out.

These guys were awesome. I'd highly recommend a visit because it's personal and friendly, and you can hang out in the cafe and watch the locals filter in. 't Gaverhopke struck me as a community brewery. During the late afternoon, the cafe began to fill with locals, and each group that would enter would be immediately recognized by either Bruno or Gudrun.

Since I didn't take extensive notes on their beers while there, I will say that I enjoyed their Paasbier (beer brewed for spring right around Easter, or Easter beer) and their Koerseklakske (a light bodied beer based off the blond and consumed in copious amounts during the bike races in the spring). They are marketing their beers more heavily outside of Belgium. You can't find 't Gaverhopke beers in any Belgian cafes (at least none in Leuven). You can purchase them in beer stores (like the ABS in Winksele), but you'll probably have more luck finding it in the US as it's being imported there.

It is best to drive to the brewery as public transit will take too long. Trains from Brussels to Kortrijk (Stasegem is nearby) run frequently, but take at least 2 hours. If you rent a car, you can easily get to Poperinge and Ieper, then do some brew touring there (St. Sixtus Abby, Struisse, and if you call ahead you could also visit St. Bernardus). West Flanders is excellent biking country. You can rent bikes and everything is flat. Just pick up a biking guide because the routes all correspond to numbers of a biking trail system called the fietsknooppunten. Which is the best thing ever (if you love biking aimlessly). Then bike, drink some beers, and stop in and get some true Belgian fries (frites met curry saus is my favorite). It's easy to see why we love it here. 

't Gaverhopke Steenbrugstraat 187, 8530 Stasegem, Belgium
+32 (0497) 76 04 12


  1. Aw, what a nice trip! The best kinds of visits, I think, are to the smaller, lesser-known family-run places.

    It's crazy how some places import to the U.S., but the beer isn't sold in Belgium! But it's still great that some stuff stays a local specialty that you have to make a special trip for...

  2. Kudos on talking to the brewers in their native language! Even I have trouble understanding sometimes when my mom & grandmother's West-Flemish dialect kicks in!