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First Belgian Beer Café In U.S. Market To Open This Month

September 6, 2012

The first Belgian Beer Café in the United States is slated to open September 20 at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Shanken News Daily has learned, followed by a second travel venue at Newark Liberty International Airport in early October. Full-service Belgian Beer Café locations will be unveiled next spring in New York City and Port Chester, New York, with additional units planned for New York City and Philadelphia later in 2013.

Anheuser-Busch InBev owns the rights and licenses to the Belgian-themed chain in markets outside the U.S. and Canada, while Creneau International NV, a Belgian concept and design agency, holds the licensing and franchise rights in the U.S. and Canada. HMS Host is licensing the concept from Creneau for the two U.S. airport locations.

The Belgian Beer Café in Atlanta will offer five Belgian beers on tap: Stella Artois, Hoegaarden, Leffe Blonde, Chimay Blue and Omer Traditional Blonde. Bottled beers will include Delirium Tremens, Saison Dupont, Chimay Triple, Budweiser, Corona Extra and the local Sweetwater IPA. The beer list at the Newark location wasn’t set at press time.

The New York City Belgian Beer Café will be located at 220 Fifth Avenue and will encompass 6,500 square feet, according to Creneau franchise director Erwin Himpens. The Port Chester, New York location, meanwhile, will be approximately 5,500 square feet. Creneau marketing manager Filip Janssen says the beer selection at the two New York venues will be similar to that of the other 60 Belgian Beer Café locations around the world—about 60 different Belgian brews, representing styles such as abbeys, ambers, fruits, gueuzes, lagers, trappists and wheats. Among the Belgian brewers whose products are typically carried at Belgian Beer Café are Bockor, St-Feuillien, Palm, Van Honsebrouck, Brasserie de Silly, Bosteels and Dubuisson. Regional brews may also be offered to complement local trends, Janssen says. While the cafés feature full bars, the focus is expected to remain on Belgian beer.


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