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Magazine names D.C.’s Belga Cafe as Best Beer Bar in the U.S.

Submitted by on March 23, 2010 – 1:14 pmNo Comment

Photo courtesy of 2911 Productions, Inc.Beer road trippers heading to the capital city of the United States may want to check out a restaurant there that has been called the best in the nation for its beer offerings.

Cheers magazine, a trade publication for the U.S. food and spirits industry, recently named Belga Café in Washington, D.C., as winner of its 2010 Benchmark Award for Best Beer Bar.

Belga offers an extensive list of more than 150 beers from around the world, with a focus on Belgian styles.

Owner and Chef Bart Vandaele said he wants to show “diversity” for the beer he serves in his restaurant.

“Beer needs to be treated with respect,” Vandaele said. “Every beer in its own glass, poured in the right way. I want to give a real beer experience to my customers, something that is much more than a long list of names on your menu.”

Belga certainly offers a long list – seven pages in its online menu, with styles that include seasonal, white beers, red and brown ales, golden ales, pilseners ,triples and Trappist and abbey beers – even some gluten-free brews.

Vandaele and Master Beer Sommelier Jens Piferoen say they have crafted Belga Café’s beer repertoire to honor and represent Belgium’s famous history and rich tradition of craft brews.

“I enjoy catering to people who claim they hate beer,” Piferoen said. “Belgium beers come in so many varieties, colors and flavors, I make it a personal goal, and point of pride, to find something for everyone that sits down for a meal here at Belga Café.”

The Benchmark Awards were created to honor those independent establishments that are true drink establishments. To qualify, entrants must be independent operators, defined by Cheers magazine as “concepts operating in no more than five locations and independently owned or part of a hotel or multi-concept restaurant company.”

Also receiving Benchmark awards are the BOKA Kitchen + Bar at the Hotel 1000 in Seattle, Washington for Best Wine Bar and Rickhouse in San Francisco, California, for Best Cocktail Lounge.

Have any beer road trippers been to Belga? Feel free to share your thoughts about it in the comments below.

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