Belgian beers is widely recognized and celebrated worldwide. In fact, it is the only country in the world whose beer culture has been inscribed on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Belgian beer has a rich history and is widely celebrated around the world for its unique and diverse range of flavours. Belgian Beer Cafe is a great place to experience the culture of Belgian beer and cuisine.
A Brief History of Belgian Beer
Belgium’s remarkable variety of beers is impressive, despite the country’s relatively small size. One may wonder why so many regional specialities exist. The answer can be traced back to the early to the mid-19th century when Belgian breweries were typically small due to a tax incentive to remain so. Instead of packaging beer, they sold it directly to consumers from wooden barrels in their own pubs.
In 1845, there were 3,089 breweries in Belgium. Today, that number has dwindled to around 380. This has resulted in local production and consumption, preserving unique strains of yeast and maintaining the individual character of each town’s beer style. This limited distribution explains why Lambic beer is still primarily found in the Pajottenland and the Senne Valley, why Oud Bruin production remains strongest in South West Flanders, and why Saison is still most commonly associated with the province of Henegouwen.
In this blog, we will take a closer look at the different flavours of Belgian beers that you can experience at the Belgian Beer Cafe.
Lambic is a type of beer that is fermented using wild yeast and bacteria found in the air. This type of beer is known for its tart, sour, and fruity flavours. Lambic beer is often aged in oak barrels to give it a distinct flavour profile.
Dubbel is a type of beer that is characterized by its dark amber colour and malty flavour. This beer has a hint of sweetness and is often brewed with dark fruit, such as raisins or figs. Dubbel beer is typically medium-bodied and has a slightly bitter finish.
Tripel beer is a type of strong pale ale that is known for its high alcohol content and complex flavour profile. This beer is typically brewed using three times the amount of malt as a standard Belgian ale, hence the name “Tripel.” Tripel beer has a fruity, spicy flavour and is often aged in oak barrels to give it a more complex taste.
Saison beer is a type of farmhouse ale that was originally brewed for farm workers in Belgium. This type of beer is typically light-bodied and has a fruity, spicy flavour with a hint of bitterness. Saison beer is often brewed using a variety of herbs and spices, which gives it a unique flavour profile.
Witbier, also known as “white beer,” is a type of beer that is brewed using wheat and flavoured with coriander and orange peel. This beer is typically light-bodied and has a cloudy appearance. Witbier has a slightly sweet and spicy flavour and is often served with a slice of orange.
Trappist beer is a type of beer that is brewed by Trappist monks in Belgium. This beer is known for its rich, complex flavour and high alcohol content. Trappist beer is typically brewed using a variety of malted grains and hops, which gives it a unique flavour profile.
Belgian Strong Ale:
Belgian Strong Ale is a type of beer that is known for its high alcohol content and complex flavour profile. This beer is typically brewed using a variety of malted grains and hops, which gives it a rich, full-bodied flavour. Belgian Strong Ale is often aged in oak barrels, which gives it a more complex taste.
Spéciale Belges was born out of a competition held in the early 1900s to develop a local beer that could rival imported British ales and continental lagers. These average-strength beers have a distinctive red or copper colour and a malty flavour profile. They feature a subtle fruitiness from the yeast and a bready, occasionally toasty malt character. Despite their complex flavour, Spéciale Belges are known for their balance and drinkability.
Oud Bruin is a family of reddish-brown or brown beers with a caramel-chocolate malt flavour and a red-fruit complexity. They are often both sweet and sour, and sometimes present with a dry, tannic finish like a vintage red wine.
Belgian beers offers a diverse range of flavours that can be experienced at the Belgian Beer Cafe. From sour and spicy to fruity and malty, there is a Belgian beer for everyone. So next time you visit the Belgian Beer Cafe, consider trying a beer with a flavour profile that you haven’t tried before and experiencing the unique flavours that Belgium has to offer.