TO officially open a shop that stocks 200 different beers, you need a beer expert.
So, René van den Oort turned to Tim Webb to open his new shop, Beautiful Beers, in St John’s Street, Bury St Edmunds.
Tim, from Burwell, opened the shop then signed his new book The Good Beer Guide, Belgium and the second edition of his book Lambic Land, which is about the area of Belgium that produces what René calls ‘extreme beer’ made from wild yeast.
The books were particularly apt because the majority of beers sold in the shop are from Belgium, which claims to have 6,000 varieties ranging from blonde lagers to rich brown and fruit-flavoured beers.
René also sells beers from Germany and his native Holland, where he was brought up within cycling distance of Belgium, as well as Suffolk breweries.
“There are some very good micro breweries in the area, within 30 or 40 miles of Bury,” he said.
René used to run the Bay Tree Restaurant, whose 14 different Belgian beers were popular, so he had long thought of running a specialist beer shop. “You see them a lot on the continent but the nearest rival here is 35 or 40 miles away,” he said.