Belgian Ale

Belgian beer styles are more popular than ever. However, you cannot talk about THE beer style “Belgian beer” because there are a large number of different beer styles from Belgium.

The term “Belgian beers” includes the following beer styles: Kriek (Lindemans - Kriek) , Lambic, Gueuze (Lindemans - Gueze) , Dubbel, Trippel, Quadrupel (La Trappe - Quadruppel) , etc.

Belgian beer culture is characterized largely by the contrasts of experimentation and tradition. Experimentation with fruit, barrel aging and special types of fermentation is common.

A lambic, for example, is a beer style in which fermentation begins in the brewing process through spontaneous fermentation (wild yeast strains, lactic acid bacteria, etc. in the air). This creates a slightly sour beer taste. Brussels is probably the best known and most important region for this.

Krieks are beers that are characterized by the use of fruit in the brewing process.

A Gueze is also a Belgian beer style in which the experimental urge is clearly evident. The “méthode champenoise” (blending method) is used here, in which older and younger Lambic beers are mixed together.

Nevertheless, the long tradition of Belgian beers should not be forgotten. For several centuries, monks in Trappist monasteries have been brewing their famous Trappist beer. Only beers that adhere to strict guidelines are allowed to bear the “Authentic Trappiste Product” quality logo. There are currently only 12 Trappist breweries that are officially allowed to call their beer Trappist beer. These include the breweries Chimay , La Trappe Trappiste , Brasserie Rochefort , Westmalle, Westvleteren and Orval.

In general, Belgian beers are characterized by their high alcohol content. Since an earlier law prohibited the serving of spirits, beers with a high alcohol content were brewed to circumvent the law and replace the spirits.

Since 2016, Belgian beer has even been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site .