Belgian Beer - The History and Background of the Beers of Belgium

In Belgium today there are 125 breweries which are able to produce 500 different kinds of Belgian Beer. Beer has been brewed in Belgium since the Middle Ages when originally it was produced in monasteries only. However today this is a country where the most varieties of beer are brewed and can be drunk.

The alcohol content of these particular beers is considerably higher than some of the other varieties available in Europe and in some cases it reaches a level of between 6 and 8 percent. Breweries were forced into making higher alcohol content beers because a law was passed stating that spirits (which beer was classed as) could not be drunk in public houses. However, although this law stood for many years it was finally rescinded back in 1983.

As we have already mentioned there are 500 different kinds of Belgian beer being brewed in Belgium today and they fall into a number of different categories. In this article we take a look at what these different types of beer are.

Trappist Beer - Only beer that is brewed in one of 6 monasteries in Belgium can be classified as being this type of beer. The whole process of brewing the beer should have either been overseen or carried out by the Trappist monks who reside at the monastery where beer is produced. Each bottle of beer that is brewed comes with a label on it clearly indicating that it is the genuine Trappist product and that monastery has complied with rules decreed by the International Trappist Association.

Lambic Beer - Is a very unique beer to Belgium and wild yeasts grown in abundance near Brussels are used in its fermentation process. The actual time that it takes for this beer to ferment is considerably longer than many others. Some forms of this beer the fermentation process lasts between 3 and 6 months and others it as long as 2 to 3 years.

It is this fermentation process which provides this particular variety of beer with its very distinctive flavor, which some people may dislike. It is very dry, vinous and cidery which results in it having a somewhat sour aftertaste.

Fruit Beers - These are made using Lambic beer and will contain either a fruit concentrate or fresh fruit in them. The most commonly produced and drunk of the fruit beers is Kriek which contains cherries, but there are many other varieties including those made using blackcurrants, raspberries and peaches. Once the fruit has been added to the Lambic beer a second fermentation process takes place.

White Beer - This particular Belgian beer is made using wheat hops and spices and will often contain orange peel and coriander. However, each beer that the various breweries around Belgium produce comes with its own distinctive flavor and this will be down to the ingredients and brewing methods used.

There are a wide range of different types of Belgian Beer available to buy online, many of the popular beers are mentioned above such as Blond Beer and Fruit Beer. Trappist Beer is also very popular amongst beer loves throughout Europe.

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