De Proef • Belgium
Working in his ultra-scientific brewery in western Flanders, Dirk Naudts is one of Belgium’s leading brewmasters. For years, Dirk has been coming up with winning beer recipes for breweries large and small throughout Belgium and Holland. (You would be amazed at how many beers with other people’s labels on them were actually created by Dirk.) It was only natural that when he finally put together his own tiny brewery, it would be called De Proef – “the Prof” – Dirk’s fond nickname.
If you get a chance, visit the brewery, which sits most disconcertingly in the middle of a cow pasture, like a shiny techno-modern spaceship that crash-landed hundreds of miles off-course. Remember, however, that this is Belgium, where space aliens hold high positions in government, and meteorites crash and burn next door on a nightly basis. No one paid much mind at the time.