Belgium is the fatherland of quality beer brewing, creating a huge variety of beer styles from well established Pale Ales, Saisons, Tripels and Dubbels to the more unusual Flemish sours, Lambics and Geuzes.
It is also the spiritual home of Trappist beer as it can claim 6 of the 11 breweries in the world where Trappist monks lovingly craft beer (and usually cheese) to support the charitable works of their monastery. The tradition of having a specific design of beer glass also originates here as each brewery insisted on the local surroundings serving their beer in a particular type of glass. Even to this day the Belgian beer scene is hugely regionalized around the local brewery with most pubs and restaurants in an area promoting the local beer. With such a rich history Belgium is therefore the place to go for any true beer lover wanting to sample the delights of Westmalle, Duvel, St Bernardus, Rochefort, Bosteels Kwak, Delirium Tremens, Maredsous, Rodenbach….the list goes on!
Enjoy exploring our Belgian Beers below, and for more information on a particular style please see the handy reference at the bottom of this page.
Typical Belgian Beer Styles:
- Saison – A low alcohol pale ale. Saison means season and it was traditionally brewed to refresh thirsty farmhands in the field
- Amber Ale – Similar to a British ale although usually a higher alcohol strength and less hoppy
- Golden Ale – A strong beer commonly made from pilsner malt and higher levels of hoppy bitterness. The archetypical Golden ale is Duvel which is rightly famous but by no means the only fine example
- Dubbels – Characteristically a deep brown colour with full fruit flavours and low in hops. Dubbels are so called as they are roughly double the strength of a normal beer, between 6 and 8% abv and are made by almost all abbey and Trappist breweries
- Tripels – The supercharged version of a Belgian pale ale and continuing the dubbel/tripel naming convention are Tripel the strength of normal beers! These are much lighter, refreshing and hoppy though
- Lambics and Gueuzes – These are wheat beers, brewed in the agricultural Pajottenland area where the natural yeasts in the rural air waft in through open windows in the brwery and fermentation commences. This produces an earthy dry, sour beer called Gueuze which is a real treat for the connoisseur but others prefer to tone down the sour edge by making it a Lambic and flavouring with strawberries, cherries (Kriek) and raspberries (Framboise).