Dirk and Karin van Acker are the driving force behind ‘Toppezot van Bier’ (Crazy About Beer). This Belgian couple has a shared passion for Belgian beer. They completed numerous beer courses and acquired a deep knowledge of all things beer. They want to share their knowledge and passion for Belgian craft beer with you.
Read the below interview with Karin to find the backstory behind their current beer-related ventures, and their passion for beer.
“From early on, Dirk has had a passion for Belgian beers. Through him I also got bitten by the beer bug.”
How we started
We had three companies, and each successive one became more beer-centric. Our first one was a store in which we had a small area where customers could purchase and even drink beers. After that we owned a coffee shop, and we built on our earlier experience to put together a specialty beer menu. It was here that we started doing beer tastings. We only worked with small, select breweries instead of the big commercial breweries. Our next venture was to start beer cafe/specialty beer shop Den Toogoloog in Middelkerke. We again only worked with small breweries that had a real passion for their craft. This passion for authentic craft beer is what we want to pass along to our customers.
Courses and beer tasting events
We didn’t want to get complacent and decided to enhance our knowledge of craft beer and breweries. We took and completed several beer-related courses and built an extensive knowledge of beer. To share our passion for beer, we started to hold beer tasting events in our cafe Den Toogoloog as well as in other places. We still offer beer tasting experiences through our company ‘Toppezot van Bier’ (Crazy About Beer).
A passion for Belgian craft beer
We sold our specialty beer shop in 2014. Not because our love for beer had disappeared, on the contrary. We decided we wanted to focus on sharing our passion for Belgian craft beer more directly with our customers, and in a more original way. We knew all these great beer-related places, ones that we have visited ourselves, and we thought we should share those with others. So we started our company ‘Up Toer’ (On Tour) and bought a retro Volkswagen T2 van. We organize tours of all these wonderful breweries and other places, using our retro van, so that our guests don’t have to worry about drinking & driving.
Since 2015 we have our one-room B&B Lupuline, where guests can stay in our lovingly decorated Orval room.
Our favorite beers
My favorite beer? I can’t possibly tell you what my favorite beer is as it depends on the moment, the mood, the circumstances … so it can vary a lot.
Yet I do think we have a slight preference for Orval beer, for which we were Ambassador Cum Laude for several years. For Dirk it is just as hard to choose a favorite beer.
What counts is that a beer is brewed with a true brewer’s passion! And that is the passion that we’d like to convey to our guests.
Phone: +32 59 31 53 13