The ABCs of Common Belgian Beer Types
In Belgium, beers are more than just beverages taken at happy hours. In this country, these liquors are considered a culture, a religion even. Nothing can compare to the dedication that Belgians provide to their drinks, making their country the home of the majority of the world’s best beer breweries. No matter how much you love beers, you can’t consider yourself a pro in these drinks without knowing a thing or two about the types of Belgian beers. The following is a list of the most common types of Belgian beers you should know.
The first type of beer is the Trappist beers. These liquors are brewed at Trappist monasteries and are managed by monks. The profits from the sales of these drinks are used by the monastery to support their social projects and programs. Despite being considered a beer type, however, the term Trappist beer does not indicate a certain taste and style of beer. Instead, the term is simply used to refer to the origin of production of the product.
A type of Belgian beer that is closely similar to the Trappist liquors are the Abbey ales. Abbey beers are drinks that follow recipes similar to that of Trappist beers but are produced by defunct monasteries or commercial breweries that are connected to operating monasteries. Just like Trappist beers, moreover, Abbey beers have different tastes, with the term only used to refer to the source of the beer.
Another popular type of Belgian liquor is the Lambic beer which is brewed by using different kinds of yeasts, microorganisms, and cherries. This type of beer is left to ferment in oak barrels for three to five years and is known for their dry, cidery, and mildly sour taste. The Lambic family is divided into three classes namely the Gueuze, Faro, and Fruit lambic.
A type of beer related to the Lambic is the Brown ale. Known to be a specialty of the East Flanders, they are also known by the name Old Browns. This type of beer is made by mixing both old and young beers to produce slightly sour, fruity drinks. Just like in the production of Lambic beers, brewers also add fruit to its brewing process though the quantity is not as much the amount added to the Lambics.
Another type is the Red ale which is known to be the premier beer product of the West Flanders. Popular for their dark red color, this drink is also brewed by blending old and young brews. The only difference is that it uses dark malts which give this drink its beautiful dark hue. Red ales are also mildly sour but they are also known for their strong fruity flavor as well.
The last most common type of beer is the Belgian pale ales. Known to be Belgium’s “ordinary beer” – the taste of this liquor is far from being common. They are normally copper or pale bronze in color and contain lower alcohol percentage than other types of Belgian beer. Though mostly known for their refreshing slightly bitter taste, Belgian pale ales now vary in flavor according to the brewing process and hop level used by their respective breweries.
What’s even more amusing than spicing up your drinking experience with conversations about some of the best beers in the planet? Now, you can flaunt your admirable beer knowledge to your next drinking buddy.