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The Classics; Belgian Craft Beers


Lets embark on a captivating journey through the world of craft beers, with a particular focus on renowned Belgian brews. In this article, we invite you to delve into the intricate tapestry of Belgian beer styles and discover the distinctive flavours and characteristics that set them apart. From the time-honored Trappist ales to the wild and funky Lambics, Belgium offers a diverse range of beer styles that captivate the senses and please the palate. Join us as we uncork the secrets behind the exceptional craftsmanship of Belgian beers!

Belgian Trappist Ales: Divine Brews with Centuries of Tradition

Belgium’s Trappist ales are widely regarded as some of the world’s finest beers, with a history deeply rooted in monastic traditions. For centuries, Trappist monks have honed their brewing techniques, resulting in divine creations that showcase exceptional craftsmanship. These beers are brewed within the walls of Trappist monasteries, under strict guidelines that ensure the authenticity of the products. From the rich and malty dubbels to the golden and fruity tripels, each Trappist ale carries a unique character and an exquisite blend of flavours. Explore iconic Trappist breweries like Westvleteren, Chimay, and Orval, and savour their revered beers, which have become sought-after treasures for beer enthusiasts around the globe.

Saison: The Farmhouse Delight

Belgian Saison beers offer a taste of rustic charm and a connection to the country’s rich farmhouse brewing heritage. Historically brewed during the cooler months by farmers for their seasonal workers, Saisons were designed to be refreshing and quenching. They often feature fruity and spicy notes, with a distinctively dry finish. These beers exhibit a remarkable versatility in flavour, ranging from citrusy and peppery to floral and earthy. Some breweries even experiment with incorporating locally sourced ingredients, adding an extra layer of uniqueness to their Saisons. Notable examples include the classic Saison Dupont and the enigmatic Fantôme Saison, both of which showcase the incredible craftsmanship of Belgian brewers.

Belgian Dubbels and Tripels: Abbeys’ Liquid Treasures

Belgium’s abbeys have long been associated with the production of exceptional beers, particularly Dubbels and Tripels. Dubbels, characterized by their deep, dark colour and complex malt profiles, offer a delightful blend of caramel, toffee, and dried fruit flavours. In contrast, Tripels display a golden hue and a higher alcohol content, with notes of spice, banana, and clove. These abbey-style beers showcase a harmonious balance between sweetness and bitterness, often accompanied by a pleasant warmth from the alcohol. The esteemed Westmalle Dubbel and Westmalle Tripel exemplify the mastery of Belgian brewers in creating these liquid treasures.

Lambics: Wild Fermentation and Unique Flavours

Belgium’s Lambics stand apart from traditional beer styles due to their unique brewing process, which involves spontaneous fermentation using wild yeast and bacteria. This results in a range of complex and captivating flavours, from tart and acidic to earthy and funky. Lambics often undergo extended periods of ageing in oak barrels, allowing them to develop layers of complexity over time. The blending of different vintages and fruits is also a common practice, further enhancing the beer’s depth and character. Explore legendary Lambic breweries such as Cantillon and 3 Fonteinen, where time-honoured traditions and unwavering dedication continue to produce these truly distinctive brews.

Belgian Witbier: The Sunshine in a Glass

Belgian Witbier, with its hazy appearance and refreshing citrusy character, has become a beloved beer style worldwide. This wheat beer style is brewed with a generous addition of spices, most notably coriander and orange peel, which impart a zesty and aromatic profile. Witbiers are renowned for their light and effervescent nature, making them incredibly thirst-quenching and perfect for warm summer days. Hoegaarden and Blanche de Bruxelles are popular examples of Belgian Witbiers that offer a harmonious blend of citrus, spice, and a subtly sweet malt backbone. Raise your glass and revel in the sunshine captured within each sip!

The captivating world of Belgian craft beers offers an enchanting experience for beer enthusiasts and connoisseurs alike. With centuries of brewing traditions, each Belgian beer style carries a unique story and showcases the dedication and craftsmanship of its creators. From the divine elegance of Trappist ales to the wild allure of Lambics and the refreshing sunshine captured in Witbiers, Belgian beers tantalize the senses and inspire a deeper appreciation for the art of brewing. We hope this exploration into the distinctive flavours and characteristics of Belgian beer styles has sparked your curiosity and inspired you to explore and savour these exceptional brews. Raise a glass and toast to the rich traditions and diverse flavours that make Belgian beers an unforgettable journey!