No more Duvel on Eurostar
on classic Belgian golden ale
If you enjoy the fast-track journey to Brussels or Paris from London on Eurostar, the ride has just gone dry: the rail company has stopped selling the divine strong Belgian ale, Duvel.
I'm indebted to Stephen D'Arcy, long-standing CAMRA member in Brussels, who has passed on this sad missive from Andy Grant:
"On Saturday 6 June, I travelled by Eurostar from St Pancras to Paris, where I met Kathy, who had been on a two-day euro-seminar in Brugge (lucky girl!), before continuing together to Tuscany for our summer holiday. On the Eurostar train I enjoyed my traditional bottle of Duvel from the buffet car (expensive -- but better value if paid in Sterling, as Eurostar's exchange rate has not kept pace with the pound's recent freefall.)
"On the return journey on Monday 22 June, I was dismayed to discover that Eurostar had re-vamped the buffet car menu -- not only with a much-reduced choice of food and drink and corresponding hike in prices -- but they had also discontinued both Duvel and the bottled beer of the month (which was usually London Pride or Moortgat Vett). The only 'beers' now available on Eurostar are cans of Kronenbourg 1664 or that hoary old whore from Leuven called Stella -- who is so embarrassed about her fallen credentials that she tries to make out that she is French in UK televison commercials."
But, Andy, don't knock Stella too hard -- according to a hastily-withdrawn TV commercial last year, this was the beer that used maize in its recipe several centuries before the grain was discovered in Africa. Such prescience!
Lobby Eurostar hard to bring back Duvel. If they claim lack of demand, they lie through their teeth. On my most recent visit to Belgium, to Het Anker brewery, I caught a rush-hour Eurostar home and discovered that people use the train to commute between Brussels and Lille. The amount of Duvel being consumed in the buffet car that evening was phenomenal.