Just call him Sir John Lane.
Lane, one of the owners of the Winking Lizard Tavern chain and the man who organizes the popular World Tour of Beers each year, will be honored Friday by the Belgian Brewers guild and the Mashstaff of the Knights in Belgium. He will be inducted into the Knights of Honor known as le Chevalerie du Fourquet des Brasseurs during a special ceremony.
Each year, the Belgian Brewers group honors people who have represented Belgian beer and their breweries in a positive way. The induction coincides with Belgian Beer Weekend in Brussels.
"It's like a highlight of my career," Lane said. "This isn't just for me. This is, in the grand scheme of things, for Northeast Ohio and Cleveland and all the people who have appreciated all the Belgian beers."
Lane, whose all-time favorite beers are Orval and Duvel, praised the small country's ability to produce such varied beer. "They really are a huge inspiration, more than any of the other old countries, for the beer movement that's going on in this country now," he said.
While in Europe, Lane plans to stop by 13 breweries in 10 days. "All work," he said, laughing. "All work. I'm not saying otherwise."