Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

Belgian Likes Beers More Than Iranians

By William Brand
Wednesday, November 9th, 2005 at 8:03 pm in Uncategorized.

OK, this is rich. The Belgians had an answer to a group of Iranian government officials on a “good will” visit to Brussels: Get the f’k out of Dodge. Well, not exactly. But it happened twice, once on June 30 and again this week.

A report of the first incident comes from Global Beer Network , which is owned by a Belgian couple and based in Southern California. Global Beer imports a number of excellent Beglain beers including Augustijn and Bornem from Brewery Van Steenberge.

Here’s their report:

“On June 30, a delegation of Iranian Parliament members, under the leadership of of the speaker of their parliament, Mr. Gholam Ali Hadad Adel, paid an official visit to the Belgian Parliament…The Muslim zealots of Iran … managed to insult the Speaker of the Belgian House and the President of the Belgian Senate.

“It began when the Iranians refused to sit at the official lunch, if beer or wine would be served by the Belgian hosts. There was no intention of serving it to the Iranians. Still, they insisted that everybody would have to drink water.

Adding insult to injury, when presented to the President of the Senate, (Ann-Marie Lizin) the Iranians refused to give her a hand because she was a woman. The president of the House, Mr. (Herman) De Croo, was so upset that he canceled the official lunch and sent the Iranian delegation packing, cutting the official program .

“Mr. De Croo wants the customary practices of Belgium respected by guets of Belgium, and he is the first to admit that he drinks on average 8 Belgian beers per day…”

Fascinating, huh. Well, I did a web search trying to find backup from a news source for the story. Found a Nov. 8 report on the BBC website, then I found a June 30 report from Reuters on the Ms-NBC site. The BBC pointed out that it was Speaker Lizin, who canceled the program after the guy repeatedlly refused to shake her hand.

Whew. Question: Do they serve beer at the Belgian embassy in Iran? Hmmm.

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