Travel Attractions – Belgium, The Beer Paradise
A trip to Belgium can be considered a pilgrimage for beer lovers. Belgiam beer is much more than just a drink. Beer is part of the country’s culture. It has a rich brewing tradition that is deeply rooted in its villages and towns.
Belgium’s beer-making history dates back several centuries. According to estimates, the country is home to hundreds of microbreweries, and over 700 beer varieties, making it an ideal place to sample a wide range of beer. Only a few of these rarer varieties can be found.
Lambic beer is one of the most popular varieties and flavors of beer in the country. It’s made using an old style of brewing. It relies on spontaneous fermentation to produce a tart, bone-dry beer that has a pronounced flavor that changes with the years.
Did You Know?
Belgium is the brewing capital of all the world and thus they have been added to the UNESCO’s List of intangible cultural heritage.
The country’s reputation for producing specialty beers has been unmatched since the Middle Ages. Beers have distinct flavors and colors that are different from the ones available elsewhere in the world. Belgian beers are favored by connoisseurs due to their variety, authentic flavor and distinctive character.
Many Belgians have customized glasses that can only be used for that beer. The shape of the glass is thought to enhance the beer’s natural flavor. Although this tradition might be reminiscent of wine snobbery or other wine-loving traditions, Belgians take it seriously and have a long history.
Blanche, or White Beer, is best for those who like beer with a lighter flavor. This Belgian beer has a light flavor with a hint citrus. You might also enjoy Gueuze, which is a non-malted flavor made from two or more Lambic beers. Faro is a sweetened Lambic beer and Kriek is extracted using raspberries and cherries in Lambic Beer.
You can choose from a selection of ten different types of beer at your neighbourhood coffee shop or over a thousand different types in a beer café.
Famous beer cafes in Belgium include de Kulminator in Antwerp, Oud Arsenaal in Antwerp, Barrabeer in Namur, De Garre in Bruges, Het Botteltje in Ostend, Het Hemelrijk in Hasselt, and Trappistenhuis in Ghent.
Your favorite spots might differ depending on your taste. This list is just a starting point. These are the essentials.
Grand Place Market Square
A trip to Brussels is a great way to enjoy a beer at one of the many pubs on the Grand Place market square. The city is the hub of the European Union and is the home to some of Europe’s largest institutions. The quirky architecture and medieval roots of this country make it an intriguing place to visit.
Grand Place market square is considered one of the world’s most beautiful squares. In addition to traditional Belgian beer, there are also a lot of international beers to sample.
The square has been adorned over the centuries by different architectural styles, but the Grand Place still stands as a monument to everything that makes Brussels a world-class city.
Locals and tourists alike flock to the market square to sample local beers and chocolates. A walk around the area is also an excellent way to experience Belgium’s cosmopolitan culture, from its food and beer to its chocolate.
The origin of Lambic is as old as the 12th century, when brewers made the first versions of the sour ale with a ratio of wheat to barley. Though people loved lambic in those days, brewing practices have changed significantly over the years.
In the nineteenth century, brewers began using a special flora plant to provide natural yeast. Consequently, Lambic beer has evolved to its current form.
In the mid-19th century, the first commercial lambic breweries began popping up in Europe. The first such brewery was in Flanders, where its founder, Frank Boon, was a passionate advocate of the style.
In fact, he sought to own the DeVits brewery, but his family was skeptical. While ales and lagers ferment in one to two weeks, the process for Lambic brewers can take two to three years.
Geuze is a unique style of lambic that has been enjoyed by the Belgian people for centuries. Its taste is a bit sour and earthy with little hop bitterness. It uses spontaneous fermentation to produce a unique flavor and is almost completely uncarbonated.
This beer can vary greatly from year to year. Because geuze is aged for four to six months, the flavor and color can be quite intense.
A typical Geuze is a deep reddish-brown ale that has a caramel-chocolate malt flavor and a sour finish. Its blending of two or more lambic beers is what sets it apart from other beers. Traditionally, it is served with a small bowl of cheese. This is a great way to complement this beer. Geuze is a must try if you are in Belgium.
The Saison is the most popular type of beer in Belgium and can have a wide range of flavors, including clove and spice. It can be a malty, wheaty, or fruity beer. Many of these beers are very dark and wild. But when it comes to style, there are many differences between the traditional and modern versions.
Here are some tips to help you find a great Saison. The first thing to keep in mind is that it should not have a strong flavor, but rather a subtle one with fruit and spice undertones.
Historically, Saisons were brewed in a farmhouse. This kind of brewing was common in those days, and they were consumed by farmhands. They often have an earthy flavor and the unfiltered character of a barnyard.
They also have clean hops, a citrus note, and a dry finish. Some of these beers are more difficult to drink than others, so you may want to try a few before you buy them.
St. Bernardus Brewery
A trip to the Belgian countryside isn’t complete without a stop at the St. Bernardus brewery. Its beer is crafted using a proprietary yeast that lends it a fruity, spicy aroma and a warm booziness. Passarella, the brewmaster, has been with St. Bernardus for 12 years and has had a profound impact on the brewery’s operations.
During his tenure, he set up a beer cafe in Kortrijk and honed his powers of persuasion by selling Xerox machines. He placed the brewery in the center of a new association of family breweries in Belgium and created a strong network of importers, distributors, bar owners, and bar tenders.
If you’re looking for a Christmas beer with more flavor and balance than a typical holiday ale, go with the Scaldis Noel. It’s a high-ABV Belgian flavor bomb that revels in fruit flavors.
The Christmas beer is the perfect choice to accompany a meal or a holiday gathering. You can also try the Belgian IPA, which has a slightly darker, fruity taste.
The Caulier brewery was once one of several in the town of Kasseienwijk during the heyday of Brussels’ beer industry. Its brothers inherited a network of breweries throughout the country, including a few in Brussels and in Wallonia.
They merged the breweries into one, building a six-vessel brewing facility with an emphasis on foreign beer styles.
The history of the brewery goes back to the 17th century. Charles Caulier was a miner and decided to open a brewery to sell beer to local farmers. In the 1970s, his sons took over the family business and advanced it.
Today, the brewery is one of the most renowned in Belgium and continues to brew quality beers. Today, the company has a production capacity of 500,000 barrels.
A la Mort Subite
This classic, 100+year-old Brussels bar is home to many tourists, locals and wandering Eurocrats. It’s easy to get drawn into conversation with your neighbor, especially when the bar gets busy.
The name of the bar is derived from Gueuze and Lambic, although there are many other local beers. The bar is worth a visit, regardless of its atmosphere.
Cantillon, one of two breweries located in Brussels proper is a must-see, regardless of whether you love Gueze or Lambics. It’s worth the seven Euro self-guided tour.
Enjoy the wonderful aromas of spontaneous, open-air fermentation. See the rows of beer barrel-aged beer. You can also sample one or more beers at the end.
Moeder Lambic Original
This bar is a must-see for Lambic lovers. This bar is not like most bars in Belgium. The focus is on taps, but their wine list is also worth a look. This spot is laid-back, quiet, and has a great neighborhood vibe, even when they’re not playing techno (which does happen here but less often than at their second location).
The second location is in the middle of town. It’s easy to miss because it has a large metal and glass canopy that covers some outside seating.
The Zythos Bierfestival
Zythos Bierfestival is Belgium’s largest. It features around 100 stands that serve up a wide range of Belgian beers in an indoor space. This is a chance to taste a wide range of specialty and limited edition beers that you won’t find anywhere else.
Planning pays if you are in Brussels at the right moment. The festival site can be reached by a shuttle bus from Leuven’s train station, which is also a short drive from Brussels’ capital.
FAQs About Belgium
What is Belgium famous for?
Belgium is known for Manneken Pis and the Atomium. It also has a wide range of chocolates. Its capital city is Brussels, and its second-largest municipality is the Diamond Capital of the World. Belgium is known for its creativity, the thousands of castles and the night-lit highways.
Why is Belgium beer so good?
The wide variety of flavors, brands and ingredients makes Belgian beers so popular with consumers. The country has a rich heritage that can be built upon since the beginning of Abbey and Trappist beers.