Estaminets & Beers, Brussels
BELGIAN BEERS ... BELGIAN PUBS : Belgian beers come in a range of colors - from pale to black - and a range of types. The Lambic is yeasty, Gueuze is fruity, Kriek is sweet, and Trappiste is brewed by monks in monasteries throughout Belgium.
Blanche: wheat beer - light and trendy, cloudy and smooth, a little on the sweet side. This thirst-quenching beer combines character and flavor with a lowish alcohol content.
Gueuze: a blend of young and aged lambic beers. A complex beer, dosed with yeast to stimulate a secondary fermentation in the bottle.
Trappiste: rich dark ales produced according to centuries-old methods by monks in five monasteries; Chimay, Orval, Rochefort, Westmalle and Westvleteren.
Lambic: a beer naturally fermented by contamination of wort by airborne yeasts.
Faro: a Lambic for the faint of heart. A sweetened variety with some of the flavor but little of the intensity of other Lambics.
Kriek: a beer made with cherries(!), refreshing in summer.
Brown Beers: brewed in Flanders, these beers are hearty and full-flavored.
Red Beers: produced in West Flanders from red barley. These beers are aged in oak. They are fruity, sweet and sour, and are very thirst-quenching.
You LOVE belgian Beer ? GO TO THE BREWER'S HOUSE(Maison des Brasseurs) - Grand'Place 10 - Headquarters of the Belgian Brewers' Association. A magnificent baroque building. Open every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Beer was the #1 reason for my trip to Belgium. There are over 800 different brews to sample. I was fortunate to try 12 of them. PALM was by far the best, though not easy to find. WESTMALLE TRIPPLE was the strongest (11%). Another good one was CANTILLON GUEUZE, which is brewed right in Brussels. You can visit the brewery. I tried, but got lost (pretty seedy neighborhood). A few more that I tried - ORVAL, DE KONINK, LEFFE & STRAFFE HENDRIK which is brewed by the De Halve Maan brewery in Bruges. KWAK (pictured) is a smooth beer that comes in a very interesting glass, which takes a little juggling to handle. The Belgians say the shape of the glass affects taste & aroma, so almost every beer has it's own glass.
Dress Code: Your best drinking suit.
Just a quick note to say how great the beer is in Belgium! We were staying on the outskirts of the city, and the strength, price and size of the beers was the best I've had in europe! Fantastic!
Belgium beers are a must to try. There are lots! Even with special fruit flavours like cherry Lambique beer.