Insights of Belgian Beer
Talking about Belgian beer doesn’t mean referring to a specific variety or taste, but to around a thousand of them. Certainly, beer is a cult beverage in Belgium and some people even consider that this country has the best and most sophisticated beers in the world.
Among the great variety of beers it offers we can find, for example, Trappist, abbey and special beers. Trappist beers are elaborated in monasteries that belong to the Trappist religious order and they usually have a high fermentation.
Abbey beers are produced according to medieval recipes created by monks in monasteries, they also have a high fermentation and a high content of alcohol, but unlike Trappist beers, they are produced outside abbeys, even if they follow a rigorous production method. In Belgium there are around 70 brands of abbey beers!
Special Belgian Beer
As far as special beers, we can say that apart from the traditional ingredients used to produce any beer (hop, barley, yeast and water) they contain other ingredients such as fruits, honey or spices that provide different tastes and aromas.
Also, we can’t forget the famous Lambic beer, which is exclusively elaborated in Belgium and, more specifically, in the region of Lambeek, from where it gets its name. This beer’s most unusual characteristic is its spontaneous fermentation, meaning that instead of adding yeast, it’s left to ferment naturally in a process that can last several years during which aromatic fruits are also added.
Of course, we must give a special mention to wheat or white beers, elaborated, as their name points out, with a considerable amount of wheat, hence their pale color compared to barley beers.
And who wouldn’t want to try a fruit beer made with cherries, raspberries or apricot? The possibilities seem endless.
Belgian Beer Glasses
Belgians also consider the glass to be extremely important and it must be exclusive of each beer in order to enhance its taste. There, each brand and type of beer possesses its own glass and it would be inappropriate to pour it in a different one. We can find tall or short glasses, jars or tankards, cups of different shapes and even a test tube with a wooden holder.
When you visit a Belgian brasserie or bistro remember that:
It’s not convenient to simply order a light or dark beer. Even the humblest of bars will offer at least twenty different brands with diverse tastes and fermentation levels and, evidently, exclusive glasses.
DINKtravelers recommends accompanying your beer with a typical dish such as moules frites –seasoned mussels with a side dish of French (Belgian) fries. And for dessert, order a succulent gaufre, also known as gofre or waffle, which originated in that country.
The best place to have a beer or try one of the afore-mentioned dishes is the Grand Place or Grote Markt (in Flemish) in Brussels, one of the most beautiful squares in Europe.