Sadly Podge passed away on Monday 19th Aug.
I don’t think he ever became a member of Ratebeer but he must be known to more than a few of us, a really good bloke and lover of good beer, good food and life in general.
I first met him on a Knickerbockerbier Tour (Tom Perera, RIP) many years ago. His long blonde locks, Hawaiian shirt and glint in his eye along with his enthusiasm to have a good time made us instant friends. After the first night at the ‘meet and greet’ meal we went out drinking and I didn’t see him at breakfast. No need to worry, the coach was picking us up at 10:00 and Podge was fast asleep along a low wall adjacent to where the coach was to park, still dressed as he was the night before. We woke him once it arrived, I have no idea how long he had been sleeping on the wall, but he wasn’t going to miss the bus!
My last meeting was at a Pre-Brugge beer festival tasting in De Bierboom Feb 2015. Gone were his blonde tassels and Hawaiian shirt, the glint was still in his eyes though, but the cancer that took him was already having an effect. We sat together and talked about old times as he reached into his rucksack and brought out three 33cl bottles with hand written labels on: they were prototypes of his Alvinne Podge Belgian Imperial Stout. He couldn’t remember which hop profile was in which bottle, or which was actually chosen as the production version. Needless to say we couldn’t agree on which one was the best or which was in fact the one chosen that you can still buy today.
Two ends of a friendship born of beers; RIP mate.
A sad loss. I only crossed his path a few times, but every time, his enthusiasm for Belgian beer shone through. I know many people who have enjoyed his tours.
My condolences. Don’t think I recall meeting him, but then again I attended many beer events from 06-10 in Belgium.
I’ve heard and read many great things about him, but never personally met him or been on one of his tours (although I would have loved to!).
My condolences to all his family and friends at this very sad time.
RIP Podge. Have had the pleasure to participate on one of his tours. He has done a wonderful job to promote the Belgian beer culture.
I never met him, but Podge seemed like a great old guard kind of beer guy. I’m thankful for what Podge did to promote Beer. Certainly he must have played a part in getting us to where we are today, beer-wise - and we are in a great place.
I’ve known Podge for almost 20 years, this is very sad news indeed. I hadn’t seen him much in recent years but I saw him in Belgium last year and I knew that he had some health issues. I used to bump into him in Belgium a lot in the past but only saw him here in the UK a few times. You couldn’t miss him with his brightly coloured shirts, a very knowledgeable and enthusiastic chap. I never went on one of his trips but always intended to.
Like others i have only heard & read stories and anecdotes, but he seemed like a hugely influential & likeable fellow. However, like Michael Jackson, i only really started my beer discovery after their heyday.
Had i been born perhaps 10 or 15 years earlier i may have bumped into him at festivals and sought his wisdom on one of his tours before social media & the modern ‘craft beer’ movement