Some day I will write a bit more about them because these beers when brewed in the authentic way (Oude Kriek) are somewhat sour so that people not born in the Senne Valley often don't appreciate them. They are beers for Brusseleirs and genuine Brusseleirs are a species in danger of extinction.
About the other beers I must say that we were anxious in Belgium when started the merger phenomena of many of our breweries ending in a world wide company such as Inbev.
We feared that these mergers would lead to the loss of the variety of our beers.
Fortunately the Belgian owners and the management promoted the special beers so that types which had disappeared from the market were resuscitated and brewed again. In all abbeys there was a search for forgotten receipts of Trappists and others monk's beers so that nowadays there are much more special beers on the market as a half century ago. A lot of small breweries disappeared but their production of special beers was taken over by the big ones.
At the same time there was worldwide promotion of the Belgian beers as well the standard Pills types such as Stella Artois and all the other special blond, amber or dark beers.
One characteristic of Belgian beer: it is not "pipi" like so many beers from elsewhere. Our special beers have alcohol content between 6,5° and 12°. It are GOURMET BEERS, we drink them for the pleasure of the taste not to get drunk.
One more thing, WE DRINK BEERS ALWAYS IN AN APPROPRIATE GLASS, NEVER FROM THE BOTTLE!
This is a beer shop in Brussels heart, it's not just a shop for me it's a beer museum!!! There is more than 1000 Belgian beers!!! Beautiful!!! See my pictures!
They can also ship beers, what's awesome!!!
This traditional bar/cafe is what you call an institution.
Huge tables, peeling paintwork and what the guidebook calls "brusque" service.
Not trendy. Not for the "in crowd". For those who enjoy a beer and a conversation, or even just a beer and the newspaper!
Close to Grand Place.
Now owned by the 4th generation of the founder's family, and still with the original 1920s decor.
Besides chocolates, beer is also an institution in Belgium. And I must admit I have never had such great beers like the ones I had in Belgium. Simply delicious!!!!!
There are several different types of Belgian beers:
RED & BROWN ALES
I am going to splurge a little on beer tips in this page, as I found them to be amazingly delicious and one of the most interesting icons of Belgium.
WIT is the identification for Belgian Wheat Ales.
They are absolutely different from German or US wheat beers.
A WIT must be brewed using at least 25 % of wheat malts. Belgian wheat beers are fruitier, with a slight lemony touch, because the use of coriander seeds, orange peels, and other spices is very common.
Labels: Ertvelds Wit , Joseph , Wittekerke , Wittekerke Rose .
On the European continent, beers with the highest alcohol content are called Triples. On the British Isles (and in the USA) the tradition is to call them Barley Wines. We generally consider a beer a Triple in Belgium when the alcohol content is 9 % alcohol by volume and higher. There are some “commercial” exceptions, I mean some beers are labeled Triple although they have not the required alcohol strength.
Why do we call them triples? When the brewster starts with three times the ‘normal’ amount of malt in her brew kettle, she starts with more starches, she has more sugars after boiling and will end up with more alcohol after fermentation.
The triples are considered the best and most complex beers. More historical facts about triples in the “Beer & Life” section.
Labels: Biere Du Boucanier Golden , Biere Du Boucanier Dark , Bornem Triple , Gulden Draak , La Divine Triple , Keizersberg, Petrus Gouden Triple , Piraat.
The workman’s beer in the 19th and early 20th century. Very dark, with high food value, stout was the staple beer of the laborers in the Flemish textile factories, the Walloon coal mines and on the docks of the Flemish harbors, where physical labor was exhausting, and 12-14 hour days the standard. These Belgian stouts are ‘milder’, which means sweeter than the Irish stouts.
Stouts had a very manly image with muscular arms pictured on the publicity posters. Today, however, the sweeter and rounder undertone with a complex taste and aroma of the best Belgians stouts attract a lot of female drinkers.
Labels: Troubadour Obscura
Here belong all beers that are difficult to place with a specific style.
Due to the exceptional nature of most Belgian beers, it is no surprise that a lot of beers could be catalogued under this style. Beers using uncommon spices, sweeteners and grains, for example.
Beers that are blends of different beers, and even non-beer liquids like juices, ciders, or hard liquor.
Labels: Bieken , Poperings Hommel , Sara, Tikka Gold
Scottish style ale, brewed outside Scotland, is an ale brewed with some typical ingredients like Kent hops, special yeast, and candy sugar.
Normally, such beer should trace its origin back to some Scottish influence.
The color is red to dark, sweet taste, average to higher in alcohol, and with some typical velvety and licorice flavors.
This style is typical for the country side of Hainaut, a Province of Belgium and a Departement of France. It is a rural area with large grain farms, and these farms all used to brew. A lot of beer was needed for the many farm workers. The original style of Saison is a blend of 2 or 3 beers, with one of them being an old slightly sour beer. This extra touch of sourness gave it its thirst quenching nature for the farm workers in the summer. That was the only season (harvest) it used to be brewed. The quality image of this beer style used to be very bad.
The farmer was making room in his vessels by dumping old sour beer, and the drinkers were the poorest of all workers. They were people wandering from season to season, from crop to crop, to work.
Today however, the quality of the Saison beers is perfect, but a real Saison should still be a blend of 2 beers. Blending beer is an art, and not all brewers master it. Unfortunately some brewers just give the name Saison to their amber ale.
Labels: Silly Saison
Flemish reds or browns need to be aged in oak for some time before we can call them reds or browns.
These beers are normally average on alcohol content, have a sour note (aging) and have the color of their name.
Biere Du Boucanier Red
Monks Cafe Flemish Sour Ale
Petrus Aged Pale
Petrus Oud Bruin
Petrus Dubbel Bruin
PILS: The most popular beer style in the world: about 90 % of the consumed beer around the world is of this style. All big brand beers, from Corona, Heineken, Coors, Budweiser, Beck’s … you name it, do trace their roots back to the Pilsner style.
A Pilsner is a golden clear lager, brewed for the first time in the Pilzen area in Czechia.
A lager beer is a beer fermented in cold temperatures, just above freezing, and the fermentation happens on the bottom of the vessel.
The yeast that ferments at these cold temperatures became widely used in the early 1800’s, when mechanical refrigeration became available.
Labels: Bavik Pils
A beer can only be labeled Lambic, when it is spontaneously fermented. That means that wild yeast is used. This wild yeast is harvested by exposing the wort (the cooked grain liquid) to the open air.
The spontaneous fermentation is the first known method to men to ferment sugars into alcohol, and must be known to men for maybe more than 30,000 years. Technology made is possible to harvest the yeast, and to use it in different new batches.
However, several Belgian breweries replenish their stock of wild yeast on a regular basis.
Labels : Cherish Kriek and Cherish Raspberry
Originally, a strong Lager beer. Lager: thus cold fermented.
The color of bok beer is normally dark to very dark, and the alcohol content may vary between 6 and 8 % by volume.
The style comes out of the German culture, which is normal since the concept of Lager brewing started in the German culture, mainly in the Alps region of Bavaria, Austria, Czechia, Switserland.
Label: Leute Bok
All Abbeys brewed beer for their own consumption and for the consumption of the people living around the Abbeys. In the early 1950’s most Abbeys stopped brewing since the influx of new monks dried up. Almost all of these Abbeys licensed the brewing of their beer out to commercial breweries after giving them the recipes and the yeast. These commercial breweries pay royalties to the abbeys. Beer, with a historic root in an abbey, but now brewed by commercial breweries are called Abbey Ales.
The Abbey ales of Belgium are considered some of the best beers of the world, with a long tradition, and complex in nature, flavor and taste. There is absolutely no pub or restaurant in Belgium that doesn’t offer a few Abbey ales.
Labels: Augustijn, Bornem Double , Bornem Triple, Ename Triple , Kapittel Bond , Kapittel Abt , Kapittel Pater, Kapittel Prior , Keizersberg.