De Pinte Imports, Inc.

Brasserie Lamborelle: Airborne Beer

Belgium's Way of Saying Thank You for WWII

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About
Bust in McAuliffe Square (Place McAuliffe)

The significance of the The Battle of the Bulge can not be understated.  After the Allies advanced down through France after D-Day, in the winter of 1944 the German's made a major push into the southern part of Belgium attempting to retake Bastogne Belgium (creating an inward "bulge" of the Allied lines).


Once the Germans surrounded Bastogne they had the 101st Airborne Division pinned down and relentlessly sieged the city.  Feeling that their victory was assured the Germans sent a surrender demand to the division leader of the 101st Airborne, General Anthony McAuliffe.  General McAuliffe's response was famously brief:

     To the German Commander.

     NUTS!

     The American Commander


As the battle raged on the Germans captured the American field hospital forcing the US medics to set up shop in the local church.  It was then that a local legend was born.


A young GI was visiting his wounded buddy in the makeshift church/hospital when he asked his buddy if he could get him anything. "Yeah. Go get me something to drink." After a bit of cajoling, the GI went out and found a tavern with a working beer tap and filled up his helmet with beer and started making beer runs back and forth.


Locals in Bastogne knew of the story but thought it was just myth until 65 years later Vincent Speranza returned to Bastogne and while in a cafe told this very story to some of his family and friends.  One of his friends immediately grabbed a waiter and ordered some beers.  The restaurant then brought to Vince and his group some Airborne beer to drink that had a cartoon on the bottle of a GI carrying beer in a helmet.  Vince was quite surprised! In honor of this tale the beer is also served in a helmet. 

If you have a few minutes watch Mr. Speranza tell the story in his own words in the video below.

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