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PLOEGSTEERT - Saturday 18th January 2003

Posted by Thom Aikman on 01/21/2003 01:17:59 PM

PLOEGSTEERT - Saturday 18th January 2003

The plan was to visit Drinks Vanuxeem in Ploegsteert to update my Belgian beer stocks.

We loaded our empties up the night before and completely filled the boot.

Paulette, myself, and her sister Sonia left Mitcham early on Saturday morning to catch the 8:45 Eurotunnel crossing to Calais. This was also the first time my car had been on a motorway since I bought it, so it had a good early morning run and we made the terminal with plenty of time to spare.

On reaching Calais, we soon sped through France before turning off the A25 at junction 10. I did notice that there was a sign past the exit for Ferme-Brasserie Beck, which I hope to visit on a future trip, once the days get longer.

We arrived around 11:45 at the Drinks Vanuxeem warehouse after only one slight detour (we knew we had taken the right turning but there was no street name to confirm, so we continued on to Nieppe and found an alternative route to Ploegsteert.)

We then spent over 2.5 hours in the warehouse including checkout time. (Please note that if you are buying loads of mixed beer, it is a very manual and time consuming process to get it through the checkouts, even with 3 people involved, plus the operator).

We achieved a record 67 (sixty-seven) inch till receipt. Jeremy, this is the new challenge! The value of our returns was 32 Euros and the total cost of beer was just under 200.

Here is how we achieved this:

213 individual bottles

21 x 25cl, 147 x 33cl, 2 x 37.5cl and 43 x 75cl)

90 litres Approx

45 different breweries

We also managed to get some Christmas beers that were still available:

> Abbeye des Rocs Noel

> Regal Christmas

> Bush Noel

> Carolus Xmas

My glass collection was also extended with:

> Achel

> Regal Christmas

> Grottenbier

> Quintine

> Gouden Carolus

> St Bernardus Witbier

> Deus Champagne glasses (plus bottle and ice bucket) - 21.27 EUR

Unfortunately, during this load process, Paulette picked up the 4 pack Regal Christmas (with the cardboard collar) by the middle two bottles. Very quickly, the two outer bottles crashed to the ground, smashed, and deposited 1.5 litres of Christmas ale around checkout number 4. The staff kindly replaced the two bottles. My only worry now was whether my credit card would be approved (from the conversation our operator had with her colleague, I think she was thinking the same). The card passed and we left the warehouse with our 3 trolleys.

At the end of this, we were exhausted and we still had to get the crates into the car. Sonia managed to squeeze into the back seat and the car started and we headed towards Loker for lunch at the Hellakapelle.

We only had time for a Hellakapelle and two Plokkersbier between us. After an excellent lunch of Beef Carbonade with Zatte Bie and Ham on the bone, creamy mash with an excellent mustard sauce (which Paulette and Sonia shared), I picked up two bottles of Kerstbie for 1 euro each at the bar. We then headed back to the A25 and onwards to Calais.

Both Eurotunnel crossings were excellent (no delays either way), we arrived back home at 8:30pm.

Another excellent day in West Flanders and our supplies are now at the comfort level for the next few months.

Thom Aikman Tuesday 21 January 2003

PLOEGSTEERT - Saturday 18th January 2003 - Thom Aikman, 01/21/03 01:17:59 PM
        Re: PLOEGSTEERT - Saturday 18th January 2003 - Jeremy Gray, 01/21/03 02:03:46 PM
                Trappist Tablets and Frisky Women - John White, 01/21/03 03:05:30 PM

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