Beers

Beer is the world's most widely consumed and probably oldest of alcoholic beverages; it is the third most popular drink overall, after water and tea. Beer in Belgium varies from the popular pale lager to lambic beer and Flemish red. Belgian beer-brewing's origins go back to the Middle Ages. There are approximately 125 breweries in the country, r...

Beer is the world's most widely consumed and probably oldest of alcoholic beverages; it is the third most popular drink overall, after water and tea. Beer in Belgium varies from the popular pale lager to lambic beer and Flemish red. Belgian beer-brewing's origins go back to the Middle Ages. There are approximately 125 breweries in the country, ranging from international giants to microbreweries. In Europe, only Germany, France and the United Kingdom are home to more breweries. Belgian breweries produce about 800 standard beers. When special one-off beers are included, the total number of Belgian beers is approximately 8,700 

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Beers There are 46 products.

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  • Amber ales (Ambrée and...

    These are beers similar to the traditional pale ales of England, although somewhat less bitterly hopped. A notable example is the 5% abv De Koninck brand, with its distinctive spherical glasses (called 'bollekes'). It is popular in its native city of Antwerp. Another is Palm Speciale. Some, such as Vieux Temps, were based on British styles to please troops stationed in Belgium during World War I. Others were introduced by the UK-born brewer George Maw Johnson in the late 19th century. Wallonian amber or ambrée ale, such a La Gauloise Ambrée, is considered to be somewhat distinct by some beer writers, and to be influenced the French style of ambrée.

  • Champagne beers

    Champagne style beers are generally ales that are finished "à la méthode originale" for champagne. Examples include Grottenbier, Deus and Malheur Bière Brut.

                

  • Dubbel

    The dubbel (also double) is a Belgian Trappist beer naming convention.

    The origin of the dubbel was a beer brewed in the Trappist Abbey of Westmalle in 1856.

    The abbey had, since 10 December 1836, brewed a witbier that was quite sweet and light in alcohol for consumption by the paters. The new beer, however, was a strong version of a brown beer. In 1926, the formulation was changed and it became even stronger. The first written record of its sale by the abbey was on 1 June 1861. Following World War Two, abbey beers became popular in Belgium and the name "dubbel" was used by several breweries for commercial purposes.

    Westmalle Dubbel was imitated by other breweries, Trappist and secular, Belgian and worldwide, leading to the emergence of a style. Dubbels are now understood to be a fairly strong (6%-8% ABV) brown ale, with understated bitterness, fairly heavy body, and a pronounced fruitiness and cereal character. Chimay Red/Premiere, Koningshoeven/La Trappe Dubbel and Achel 8 Bruin are examples from Trappist breweries. Affligem and Grimbergen are Belgain abbey breweries that produce dubbels.

    Ommegang and New Belgium are examples from the USA.

  • Flemish red/brown sour...

    Flanders red ale is a style of sour ale usually brewed in Belgium.

    Although sharing a common ancestor with English porters of the 17th century, the Flanders red ale has evolved along a different track: the beer is often fermented with organisms other than Saccharomyces cerevisiae, especially Lactobacillus, which produces a sour character attributable to lactic acid.

    Long periods of aging are employed, a year or more, often in oaken barrels, to impart an acetic acid character to the beer. Special red malt is used to give the beer its unique color and often the matured beer is blended with a younger batch before bottling to balance and round the character. Flanders reds have a strong fruit flavor similar to the aroma, but more intense. Plum, prune, raisin and black cherry are the most common flavors, followed by orange and some spiciness.

    All Flanders red ales have an obvious sour or acidic taste, but this characteristic can range from moderate to strong. There is no hop bitterness, but tannins are common.

    Consequently, Flanders red ales are often described as the most "wine-like" of all beers.

  • Blond ale

    These beers are a light variation on pale ale, often made with pilsener malt.

    Some beer writers regard blonde and golden ales as distinct styles, while others do not.

    Duvel is the archetypal Belgian blonde ale, and one of the most popular bottled beers in the country as well as being well-known internationally. It's name means "Devil" and some other blonde beers follow the theme—Satan, Lucifer, Brigand, Piraat and so on.

    The style is popular with Wallonian brewers, the slightly hazy Moinette being the best-known example.

    Delirium Tremens can be considered a spiced version of Berlgian Pale Ale.

  • Hop-accentuated beers

    A few Belgian beers are pale and assertively hopped, like an India Pale Ale. De Ranke's "XX Bitter" has a British-style name.

    Poperings Hommelbier is another example, hailing from Belgium's hop-growing district.

  • Abbey and abbey-style...

    Abbey beers (Bières d'Abbaye or Abdijbier) are either:

    1. brewed by a commercial brewer with license from an existing abbey; or
    2. branded with the name of a defunct or fictitious abbey by a commercial brewer; or
    3. given a vaguely monastic branding, without mentioning a specific monastery, by a commercial brewer.

    Abbey beers include dubbels and tripels, the most recognizable and distinctive Trappist types.

    Some beer writers warn against assuming that closeness of connection with a real monastery is indicative of quality of product.

    Various Abbey beers include Inbev's Leffe, Affligem, Grimbergen, Maredsous, St. Bernardus, Tripel Karmeliet, Saint-Feuillien, Floreffe, and Val-Dieu.

    If the 1st condition is fulfilled, then it's real and certified Abbey-beer thus you may find an appropriate logo (a Gothic window shape) from the label. Otherwise, the beer is just an abbey-style beer.

  • Lambics

    Lambic is a wheat beer brewed in the Pajottenland region of Belgium (southwest of Brussels) by spontaneous fermentation.

    Lambic's fermentation, however, is produced by exposure to the wild yeasts and bacteria that are said to be native to the Senne valley, in which Brussels lies.

    The beer then undergoes a long aging period ranging from three to six months (considered "young") to two or three years for mature. It is this unusual process which gives the beer its distinctive flavor: dry, vinous, and cidery, with a slightly sour aftertaste.

    Lambic can be broken into three subclasses: Lambiek, Gueuze, Fruit Lambic, and Faro.

    The Lambiek is only available locally, from tap. It's unsweetened raw lambifc from the fermentation barrels. In its most natural form, Lambic is a draught beer which is rarely bottled, and thus only available in its area of production and a few cafes in and around Brussels.

    The second of these, gueuze, blends both old and young mixtures to stimulate a second fermentation. Many are laid down like fine wines to age for several more years.  Gueuze, also known informally as Brussels Champagne, is a sparkling beer produced by combining a young Lambic with more mature vintages.

    Fruit lambics are made by adding fruit or fruit concentrate to Lambic beer. The most common type is Kriek (made with cherries). Other fruits used are raspberry (Framboise), peach and blackcurrant. Kriek and Framboos blend the fruit to trigger the second fermentation.

    The last of the Lambic brews, Faro, adds sugar or caramel to prompt the fermentation.

    Major brands include Lindemans, Boon, Mort Subite, Belle-Vue, Cantillon and Saint-Louis. Some more mainstream brewers like Mort Subite and Saint-Louis do not subscribe to the orthodox rules of lambic production, adding extra sugars to sweeten their beers.

  • Wheat beer

    This type of beer, commonly called witbier in Dutch, biėre blanche in French and wheat beer in English, originated in the Flemish part of Belgium in the Middle Ages.

    Traditionally, it is made with a mixture of wheat and barley. Before hops became widely available in Europe, beers were flavored with a mixture of herbs called gruit. In the later years of the Middle Ages, hops were added to the gruit. That mixture continues today in most Belgian/Dutch white beers.

    The production of this type of beer in Belgium had nearly ended by the late 1950s. In the town of Hoegaarden, the last witbier brewery, Tomsin, closed its doors in 1955. However, ten years later, a young farmer, by the name of Pierre Celis, in the same village decided to try reviving the beer.

    In 1966, Celis began brewing a wit beer in his farm house. Ultimately, his beer took the name of the village and became very successful and famous. Some notable current examples are Celis White, St. Bernardus Wit, Blanche de Namur and Watou's Wit. Their alcohol strength is about 5-6 percent ABV, and these beers can be quite refreshing, especially during the warm summer months.

    The herb mixture traditionally includes coriander and (bitter-)orange peel, among with other herbs. White beers also have a moderate light grain sweetness from the wheat used. In recent times, brewers have been making fruit flavored wheat beers.

  • Fruit beer

    A generic form of flavored beer, some breweries actually use real fruit or veggies, though most use an extract, syrup or processed flavor to give the effect of a particular fruit or vegetable.

    Usually ales, but with not much ale character to them and commonly unbalanced.

    Malt flavor is typically hidden with a low hop bitterness to allow the fruit or vegetable to dominate. Special type of fruit beers is Fruit lambics, which are usually bottled with secondary fermentation.

    Although fruit lambics are among the most famous Belgian fruit beers, the use of names such as kriek, framboise or frambozen, cassis, etc. does not necessarily imply that the beer is made from lambic.

  • Quadrupel

    Inspired by the Trappist brewers of Belgium, a Quadrupel is a Belgian style ale of great strength with bolder flavor compared to its Dubbel and Tripel sister styles.

    Typically a dark creation that ranges within the deep red, brown and garnet hues.

    Full bodied with a rich malty palate.

    Phenols are usually at a moderate level. Sweet with a low bitterness yet a well perceived alcohol.

  • Scotch ale

    These sweet, heavy-bodied brown ales represent a style which originated in the British Isles.

    The Caledonian theme is usually heavily emphasised with tartan and thistles appearing on labels.

    Examples include Gordon's, Scotch de Silly and Achouffe McChouffe.

  • Trappists

    Trappist beers are beers brewed in a Trappist monastery.

    For a beer to qualify for Trappist certification, the brewery must be in or near a monastery, the monks must play a role in its production and policies and the profits from the sale must be used to support the monastery and/or social programs outside.

    Only ten monasteries  meet currently these qualifications, six of which are in Belgium, two in the Netherlands. Beyond saying they are mostly top-fermented, the beers produced by the Trappist have very little in common.

    The current Trappist producers are:

    1. Achel 
    2. Chimay 
    3. La Trappe (Holland) 
    4. Orval 
    5. Rochefort 
    6. Westmalle
    7. Westvleteren
    8. Stift-Engelszell (Austria)
    9. Spencer (USA)
    10. Zundert (Holland)

    Mont des Cats (France) has been certified, but athey produce in Chimay, they cannot use the  ATP-logo 

    Missing from the picture: Zundert & Mont Des Cats.

    Trappistid

    Trappistide logod

  • Tripel

    Tripel is a term used originally by brewers in the Low Countries to describe a strong pale ale, and became associated with Westmalle Tripel.

    The style of Westmalle's Tripel and the name was widely copied by the breweries of Belgium, then the term spread to the USA and other countries.

    The name "Tripel" actually stems from part of the brewing process, in which brewers use up to three times the amount of malt than a standard Trappist "Simple." Traditionally, Tripels are bright yellow to gold in color, which is a shade or two darker than the average Pilsener. Head should be big, dense and creamy. Aroma and flavor runs along complex, spicy phenolic, powdery yeast, fruity/estery with a sweet finish.

    Sweetness comes from both the pale malts and the higher alcohol. Bitterness is up there for a beer with such a light body for its strength, but at times is barely perceived amongst the even balance of malts and hops. The lighter body comes from the use of Belgian candy sugar (up to 25% sucrose), which not only lightens the body, but also adds complex alcoholic aromas and flavors. Small amounts of spices are sometimes added as well.

    Tripels are actually notoriously alcoholic, yet the best crafted ones hide this character quite evil-like and deceivingly, making them sipping beers.

  • Dark Ale

    Belgian Darks offer a massive range of characters.

    Colors play within the amber to light brown to deep garnet hues, with thick, rocky heads of great retention. Aromas can be anywhere from traces of yeast, spiced, malty, floral and even slightly intoxicating. Flavors from dry and spiced, to sweet and malty. Most have a low level of bitterness.

    Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 4.0-7.0%

  • Bock

    The origins of Bock beer are quite uncharted.

    Back in medieval days German monasteries would brew a strong beer for sustenance during their Lenten fasts. Some believe the name Bock came from the shortening of Einbeck thus "beck" to "bock." Others believe it is more of a pagan or old world influence that the beer was only to be brewed during the sign of the Capricorn goat, hence the goat being associated with Bock beers.

    Basically, this beer was a symbol of better times to come and moving away from winter. As for the beer itself in modern day, it is a bottom fermenting lager that generally takes extra months of lagering (cold storage) to smooth out such a strong brew.

    Bock beer in general is stronger than your typical lager, more of a robust malt character with a dark amber to brown hue. Hop bitterness can be assertive enough to balance though must not get in the way of the malt flavor, most are only lightly hopped.

  • Stout/Porter

    Stout is a dark beer made using roasted malt or roasted barley, hops, water and yeast.

    Stouts were traditionally the generic term for the strongest or stoutest porters, typically 7% or 8%, produced by a brewery.

    In this sense a stout is not necessarily dark in colour because there are also blonde stouts.

    There are a number of variations including Baltic porter, dry stout and imperial stout.

    The name porter was first used in 1721 to describe a dark brown beer popular with street and river porters of London that had been made with roasted malts. This same beer later also became known as stout though the word stout had been used as early as 1677.

Showing 1 - 46 of 46 items
Showing 1 - 46 of 46 items