2015 was a very busy year for us. During our mid-year website redesign, we were seeking out companies that we could affiliate with, to mutually cross promote each other. Online retail beer stores were a business segment that lent themselves very well to our vision. If you read our ABOUT US page, the SUPPORTING NANOBREWERIES AND MICROBREWERIES section mentions that we are ardent supporters of brewers who are just starting out, fighting to stake a claim in the Belgian beer industry (and the beer industry in general). We feel the same for online retail businesses that have an honorable vision.
Right after our website redesign, we were randomly contacted by a up-and-coming website that billed itself as a “one-stop-shop” for Belgian Ales: BelgianStyleAles.com.
Their email stated that it was going to sell the top-rated ales from Belgium online and ship them to retail customers in the lower 48 United States. It was going to make finding and ordering difficult-to-find Belgian ales easier than ever. Shipping gifts of Belgian ales was going to be quick and simple. It was also going to offer the USA’s first Belgian Beer of the Month Club.
In their email, Belgian-Style Ales expressed their interest to work with Belgian Beer Journal. Needless to say, we were EXTREMELY impressed with their vision, and their goals. Our quick reply informed them that we were interested in finding out more.
The timing of all this was perfect. We were at the point facing a pressing issue- the number of Belgian beers available to BrewView from Redding, California retailers was dwindling down. We had BrewViewed almost all of the ones available since September 2013, with no new or rare ones appearing on the shelves. Our original efforts with retailers such as BevMo and Liquor Barn to obtain a greater variety of Belgian beers did pay off, and the availability is getting better… slowly. But in a geographical area where American IPA’s were (and are still) the rage, it was not the easiest task to sell to the owners and managers of these stores. Redding’s beer market is about 5-7 years behind the current Belgian beer trend in the US- sorry Redding, but it’s true.
Before Belgian-Style Ales came along, the initial solutions to our dilemma were to either travel 2.5 – 4.5 hours to the nearest metro area (we’ve actually done that a few times in the past) or to order from websites based in Belgium selling the hard-to-find Belgian beers we were after. As reputable as those websites are, we didn’t like the prospect of spending a fortune in shipping costs just to have a few bottles sent to us here in California. So when Belgian-Style Ales introduced themselves to us, we could hear Gru from Despicable Me saying, “Lightbulb!” You know that part of the movie… Belgian-Style Ales was a Godsend!
BELGIAN BEER JOURNAL ANNOUNCES ITS NEW AFFILIATE PARTNER
After numerous mails and phone calls back and forth, after the mad rush of the Fall and Winter holidays in 2015 and early 2016, both parties were able to come to a mutual business agreement. On April 11 2016, Belgian Beer Journal made the announcement introducing its newest affiliate partner: BELGIANSTYLEALES.COM!
On April 27 2016, Belgian-Style Ales made it official with their press release on their partnership with Belgian Beer Journal. The business relationship has been a good one- each other has helped its respective audience and internet reach grow.
WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN ORDERING FROM BELGIANSTYLEALES.COM
When we placed our first order with Belgian-Style Ales, we were extremely impressed with the high level of professionalism and clear communication regarding our order. This is a company that makes it clear- they cherish and value each and every customer, and every new and repeat order those customers make.
The website really gears itself towards the beer enthusiast who is trying the world of Belgian beer for the first time. However, they do it in such a way that would not put off seasoned and experienced Belgian beer drinkers like us. The information on each brewery and beer (history, flavor profile, food pairing suggestions) is well very written, giving customers an excellent sense of what to expect with each beer.
Don’t forget to join their mailing list– when you do, the website will send you a promo code for $5.00 USD off your first order!
Their FAQ PAGE is clear and easy to understand. It addresses important issues like secure online transactions, shipping time frames and rates, and more. All with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
ALL PRODUCTS ARE PACKAGED WITH EXPERTISE AND CARE, TO ENSURE YOUR SHIPMENT WILL ARRIVE IN EXCELLENT CONDITION
Belgian-Style Ales employs a shipping guru with many years of experience. (More about the “shipping guru” in the employee bios section). They use the latest and safest packaging materials to ensure that the risk of broken bottles is virtually eliminated.
It’s nice to know that Belgian-Style Ales stores all of its beer in a temperature controlled room to ensure product integrity and freshness!
BELGIAN-STYLE ALES WANTS YOU TO BECOME ACQUAINTED WITH BELGIAN BEER
With our first shipment, Belgian-Style Ales was kind enough to send us a very easy-to-understand, yet detailed shipping invoice, the latest full color catalog from their parent company, Monastery Greetings.com, and their BELGIAN BEER OF THE MONTH CLUB pamphlet. The pamphlet provides info on how to rate beer (appearance, aroma, palate, taste, and overall), and inside provides a description on the different Belgian beer styles with a history lesson, and the corresponding breweries and beers that match those styles.
With its high attention to customer satisfaction since 1999, Belgian Beer Journal fully endorses and recommends Monastery Greetings and Belgian-Style Ales. They are a true delight to work with! We cannot thank them enough for sending us the Belgian ales to BrewView that we could not get in our area of Redding. To say that we look forward to continuing to work with them in the future is an understatement!
ABOUT BELGIAN-STYLE ALES (BELGIANSTYLEALES.COM) – AS TOLD BY THEM, IN DETAIL
BelgianStyleAles.com is the only USA-based online store that specializes in Belgian ales. It is a website where both experienced beer lovers and beginners can learn more about Belgium’s great diversity of ales. Every month, BelgianStyleAles.com is finding and adding new ales. With nearly 200 of the best ales from Belgium in its growing selection, BelgianStyleAles.com is now planning to increase its selection of rare and barrel-aged ales and Belgian-style ales brewed outside of Belgium.
BelgianStyleAles.com grew out of MonasteryGreetings.com, another online specialty store. Launched in 1999, MonasteryGreetings.com is a direct mail catalog and website that sells products from monasteries, convents, abbeys and hermitages. In 2010, Monastery Greetings began selling ales made by monasteries – mostly from Trappist monasteries in Belgium.
Soon after Monastery Greetings began selling Trappist ales, customers began asking for ales from other monasteries. And soon after Monastery Greetings began selling ales from other monasteries, customers began asking for a greater variety of ales from Belgium. The staff at Monastery Greetings soon learned that the tiny country of Belgium produced more than 1,000 different ales. They also learned that many were hard to find in the United States. It was at this point, the staff realized there was no online source in the USA specializing in Belgian ales. They set out to change that.
The staff started researching the depth and breadth of Belgian ales using books, word of mouth and online sources. Soon, they had a comprehensive database of the best Belgian ales available. In 2016, BelgianStyleAles.com was launched. Aside from offering the finest ales from Belgium, it also helps experienced beer lovers, as well as beginners, learn more about Belgium’s great diversity of ales. Customers can shop by style, brand, and price as well as by ABV (alcohol by volume) and rating (according to Ratebeer.com).
Every month, BelgianStyleAles.com is finding and adding new ales. During November and December, there is an influx of seasonal Christmas ales and gift sets. With nearly 200 ales from Belgium in its growing portfolio, BelgianStyleAles.com is planning to increase its selection of rare and barrel-aged ales and Belgian-style ales brewed outside of Belgium.
HOUSED IN A FORMER WWII SUBMARINE TORPEDO PLANT
The site of a machine shop as far back as the early 1920s, the property later was used for manufacturing and research by the Clevite Corp. and Gould, Inc. Regulatory documents show that some of that work involved enriched uranium, a hazardous substance used in nuclear power and weapons.
After inspections and environmental clean-up, the property became a hub for small firms. ShoreBank, an offshoot of Chicago’s ShoreBank Corp., opened an office in the building in 1994. Two years later, a nonprofit affiliate of the bank acquired the real estate.
Will Keller moved into the building 15 years ago, shifting his home-based business from Cleveland Heights into 1,000 square feet of industrial space in Glenville. Monastery Greetings and Belgian-Style Ales now occupies more than 7,000 square feet filled with food and other products made at monasteries and convents across the United States, and of course, Belgian beer.
MEET THE MOVERS AND SHAKERS AT BELGIAN-STYLE ALES
Will Keller – Founder, BelgianStyleAles.com
Will Keller is a native of the Philadelphia area and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Colgate University with majors in Art History and Philosophy and a Masters of Nonprofit Management degree from Case Western Reserve University where he concentrated in marketing.
Early in his career, Mr. Keller worked for nonprofit organizations, developing and managing business enterprises. He started his career in Boston at the Massachusetts Bible Society, a religious foundation which operated a chain of bookstores serving area divinity schools.
Towards the end of his tenure, he served as Assistant Director of Bookstore Services and introduced several new marketing initiatives — including a direct mail catalog — which enhanced operational profitability while promoting the foundation’s nonprofit mission. This was followed by a move to Cleveland, Ohio where he worked in the arts, first as Assistant Manager of Music & Performing Arts at Trinity Cathedral and then as Director of Marketing Services at the Cleveland Cultural Coalition.
In 1999, Mr. Keller launched his first company, MonasteryGreetings.com — a direct mail catalog and website that sells products from abbeys, convents, monasteries and hermitages. It was through Monastery Greetings in 2010, that Will began selling ales made by monasteries – mostly from the Trappist breweries in Belgium. Soon after, customers began asking for ales from monasteries from other countries, as well as other styles of ales from Belgium. It was at this point, Mr. Keller realized there was no online source in the USA specializing in Belgian ales. He set out to change that.
In 2016, Mr. Keller founded BelgianStyleAles.com — a website that offers the finest ales from Belgium, to customers in the USA. It also helps experienced beer lovers, as well as beginners, to learn more about Belgium’s great diversity of ales — as many experts agree, are some of the best in the world. With nearly 200 ales from Belgium in its growing online portfolio, BelgianStyleAles.com is now planning to increase its selection of rare and barrel-aged ales and Belgian-style ales brewed outside of Belgium.
Jody Lathwell, Warehouse Manager & Social Media Rancher
Jody loves cycling and got hooked on Belgian beer when her riding buddy poured her an Orval Trappist Ale six years ago.
All the cool photos of Belgian beer bottles and glasses you see on Belgian-Style Ales’ Facebook and Instagram pages (with her witty comments on each) are from Jody’s camera and her daily perspective. We look forward to seeing her new pictures she posts on a very regular basis!
Ron Zee, Packer Extraordinaire
Ron is the no-nonsense backbone of the warehouse, bringing years of expertise to ensure that our beers arrive safely at their destinations.
We’ve ordered beer from other websites in the past, but no one has matched the packing care that Ron provides for each and every Belgian-Style Ales shipment. When you get yours, raise a glass to his great work!
VIDEO – A CONVERSATION WITH WILL KELLER
In my interview with Will, he discusses his personal history, what motivated him to start his businesses, the challenges of running his newest enterprise, and where he sees them going in the future.
So sit back, open up a great Belgian beer, and enjoy my conversation with Mr. Will Keller, founder and owner of Belgian-Style Ales.com.
OUR FIRST BEERS WE CHOSE TO BREWVIEW FROM BELGIAN-STYLE ALES
#1 – APRIL 16, 2016: The first beer we chose was from a time-tested, world class family brewery in Belgium: BROUWERIJ VAN HONSEBROUCK. The Barista Chocolate Quad from their KASTEEL line of beers is a chocolate lover’s dream!
#2 – MAY 1, 2016: We had read a lot of great things BROUWERIJ DILEWYNS and its Brewmaster, who just so happens to be making a lot a waves as the youngest female brewer in Belgium. The Vicaris Tripel Gueuze is just one of the many beers she makes at world-class level!
At the time of this “Business Review”, Belgian Beer Journal has BrewViewed 9 new beers fromBelgian-Style Ale’s online portfolio, and updated our BrewView on the newest addition to their line up: SPENCER TRAPPIST ALE. Many more BrewViews from their online portfolio are to come…
540 E. 105th Street
Cleveland, OH 44108
Fax: (216) 249-3387
Hours: Mon – Sat 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM Eastern
Business Review author GORDON A. PONCE is the main driving force behind Belgian Beer Journal.com. Since 1983, Gordon recognized that beers from Belgium were special, set apart from the typical craft beer.
He views beers from Belgium (plus Belgian-style and Belgian Inspired beers from other countries) great examples of the brewer’s art. Gordon and his wife live in beautiful Northern California- a great place to enjoy Belgian beer! Ecclesiastes 8:15