Charles D. “Chuck” Cook, the Belgian Beer Specialist

Published on September 21, 2015.

Charles D. “Chuck” Cook, also known as “The Belgian Beer Specialist” has traveled to Belgium 39 times since 1994 to explore, experience, and enjoy its incredible beer culture.

He is the primary driving force behind the content on this site.

Chuck has visited about 175 different breweries in Belgium, including multiple visits at all the Trappist Abbey breweries, and most of the other established breweries in “The Beer Country.” He has also visited about 400 beer-focused cafes and restaurants, and many of the best beer festivals in Belgium. He makes Richmond, Virginia his home.

Chuck has written for such publications as Ale Street News, All About Beer Magazine, Beer Connoisseur Magazine, Beers of the World Magazine, Beer and Brewer Australia and New Zealand, Beeradvocate Magazine, Beer Northwest Magazine, Belgian Beer and Food Magazine, BUZE Magazine, CAMRA What’s Brewing, Celebrator Beer News, Craft Beer and Brewing Magazine, Delta Airlines Sky Magazine, Draft Magazine, Distiller Magazine, Great Lakes Brewing News, Silverkris, the travel magazine of Singapore Airlines, Taps: The Beer Magazine and USA Today. He is also a contributor to the book “1001 Beers You Must Taste Before You Die.”

Chuck was one of 52 International beer judges at the second edition of the “Brussels Beer Challenge” which is an International beer competition, held in Liege in November 2013. He has also appeared on Belgian TV news, and has been aired on Belgian radio. Chuck was also a guest speaker at The Smithsonian Associates in Washington, D.C. in November 2018. Additionally, he has given talks on the subject of Belgian beer at Max’s Taphouse in Baltimore, MD, and the Rock ‘n Roll Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Keeping up with Belgium’s quickly changing beer scene is no easy task, as new breweries and bars open at an ever-increasing pace. To keep up, Chuck usually makes two trips to Belgium each year, of about ten or so days each. He has logged about 50,000 high-resolution photographs during all his travels, with most from the last five years captured with a Canon digital SLR. This, in addition to hundreds of hours of audiotape with brewers, café owners, and beer lovers, gives him a nearly unparalleled amount of content from which to draw.

On this site, you will see brewery feature articles, café spotlights, and other beery news from Belgium. The site will be updated frequently, and hence beer lovers from across the globe will be tuning in often to read about news from the Belgian beer world.

Chuck will also cover Belgian beer bars and beer events in the U.S. as well as some of the best Belgian-inspired beers, in the “Beyond Belgium” section of this site.

If you’d like information about planning a trip to Belgium, he can help design a “do it yourself” tour at a reasonable rate. If you are interested in having Chuck speak at an event, or you require Belgian beer expertise, he is available for consulting work. Please feel free to contact him.

For all this and information about advertising and rates, send an email to higrav1-AT-gmail-DOT-com.


  1. Hi Chuck: Just seeing your site now. I spent many weeks in Belgium in 1983 and came home to the US with about 14 beer bottles – used of course. They’re in great condition as they’ve been in a box ever since. I’m happy to send them to a good home and to seel them if you think they have value…a few of them:
    Abbaye d’Aulne ADA, Vieille Cuvee 8 Floreffe, Orval, Geuze F. Boon, Saison 1900, Kriek Caves Bruegel, Kanterbrau.

    Any advice?

  2. Hi Chuck,

    I really like your website. I live in Luxembourg and I have been reviewing some of your articles about breweries in Belgium and was wondering if you know which of these breweries are currently renting their space/equipment to other brewers. I know that De Proefbrouwerij and Brouwerij Anders are doing it, but it´s difficult to find this info in internet. Can you help me?

    Thank you


  3. Hello Chuck:

    With great excitement I read your online article “LINDEMANS EXPANDS LAMBIC PRODUCTION; MORE OFFERINGS COMING TO U.S.” from January 20, 2015 on Now, with great anticipation I have been searching for the cuvee rene special blend, some of which was supposedly going to make its way to the US around March 2015.

    It would be great if you have any updates on that article. Have any bottles made it stateside yet? Any idea where it might be distributed? The specialty beer stores I have visited have not heard anything about it.


  4. Hello together,

    we’re doing our Team Event in Bruges and would like to join your bar on Thursday evening, 2nd July 2015.

    Could you please reserve a table for us for 10 persons at your bar? Do you also serve a menu? If so, we’d like to reservate a table for 9 p.m. and if it isn’t possible, we’d like to
    reservate a table for 10.30. p.m. only for drinks.

    Many thanks in advance and I’m looking forward to hearing from you soon.

    Kind regards,
    Nicole Nellessen

    • Hello Nicole,

      I think you meant to post this on the website of one of the bars in Brugge, but
      I don’t know which one.

      This is a website about Belgian beer, but not for any particular bar. Which bar/cafe
      did you want to contact?


      Chuck Cook

  5. Hi, Chuck, just a simple question from a belgian friend — out of curiosity : do you know if it’s possible to buy Westvleteren in US ? Where and in which quantity, for which price ?

    thanks & best regards


    • Hi Bruce, while in Bruges, you should certainly visit ‘t Brugs Beertje, Cafe Rose Red, and Le Trappiste, among many other bars.
      You could also visit Brouwerij De Haalve Maan and Brouwerij Fort Lapin.

      • There is so much shoddy beer writing out there from people who just don’t know enough about beer to be called experts. Just because you drink an occasional “brewski” with your pals doesn’t mean you’re qualified to be writing about beer. These publications should really reach out to qualified experts. I guess if enough of us call out their bad “journalism” and they get embarrassed about it, they’ll look people like us up.

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