Brewmasters tapped for 2010 Big Beers Festival in Vail
VAIL, Colorado – Peter Bouckaert, brewmaster for New Belgium Brewing Co., of Ft. Collins, and Lodewijk Swinkels, brewmaster for LaTrappe at Bierbrouwerij de Koningshoeven in Berkel-Enschot, The Netherlands, will be the featured brewmasters for this winter’s Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines in Vail, Colorado. The festival will celebrate its 10th anniversary when it takes place Jan. 7 to 9. Bouckaert and Swinkels will be involved in several facets of the festival, including co-hosting the brewmasters dinner with the executive chef of the Atwater on Gore Creek at the Vail Cascade Resort & Spa. They will pair beers with each course of a five-course dinner. They also will lead brewmasters seminars. Swinkels trained at both Brewery Raaf in Heumen and at Brauerei Schtzengarten in St. Gallen prior to his study at Weihenstephan. Following his formal study, he went on to become brewmaster at Oudan Utrecht and then at Kroon in Oirschot prior to joining the team at Koningshoeven in the same capacity. LaTrappe is one of seven Trappist beers remaining worldwide, its brewing overseen by the monks at the B.V.M. Koningshoeven Abbey. In fact, the brewery is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year, and a special beer called Isid’Or has been created in honor of the occasion.Bouckaert is an engineer in brewing and fermentation technology from the University of Ghent, Belgium. He worked for 10 years in the Belgian brewing industry for Zulte, Rodenbach and De Gouden Boom prior to some crazy home brewing which resulted in brewpub De Zwingel in Harelbeke, Belgium. In 1996, Bouckaert and his wife, Frezi, moved to Fort Collins, where he became Brewmaster at New Belgium Brewing Company.The New Belgium Web site says “A beer writer once referred to Peter as the Andy Warhol of brewing because he refused to be put into a box. Peter likes to let the beers speak for themselves.” For more information about either the festival or the Vail Valley Charitable Fund, its beneficiary, see http://www.BigBeersFestival.com.