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Pils / Lager

This is the most popular beer type and includes Stella Artois, Jupiler, Maes, Primus, Cristal, Vedett ... They all have a light golden colour with a distinctive taste of hops. 


Different styles of beer brewed by Cistercian monks in six abbeys in Belgium: Achel, Chimay, Orval, Rochefort, Westmalle, and Westvleteren. Notably, the Westvleteren 12 was voted the best beer in the world by RateBeer for several years in a row. In total, there are currently only 11 Trappist beers in the world.

Abbey beer or monastery beer

Collective name for beers with a monastic origin but brewed outside the monastery walls: for example Sint-Bernardus, Ename, Grimbergen, Tongerlo, Straffe Hendrik, Maredsous, Leffe, Floreffe, Aulne, Villers, Corsendonk ... The most famous versions are either the relatively dark brown and sweet ‘dubbel’, or the sharper, and usually heavier blonde ‘tripel’.

White beer

White beer is an unfiltered cloudy wheat beer with hints of coriander and orange zest. Its ancestors are the beers from the medieval duchy of Brabant. Examples include Hoegaarden, Brugs or St. Bernardus white beer, Blanche de Namur ... 

Lambic & Gueuze

Lambic is a deep gold to amber-coloured flat beer derived from spontaneous fermentation, which gives the beer its special, sharper and more sour taste. Lambic is one of the oldest Belgian beer styles and originates from the Brussels region. Gueuze is produced by mixing young and old lambic together. In this category you will find Mort Subite, Belle-Vue, Boon, Cantillon, Lindemans, Tilquin, 3 Fonteinen … Also the sweet fruity Kriek Lambic is very popular. Cherries (kriek) are added to lambic before it is completely fermented, giving an extra boost to the process while the cherry kernels add woody notes (Oude Kriek 3 Fonteinen). Other types of fruit are also used to make variations on this beer type.

Specialty beer

All other unclassified beers are commonly called specialty beers. Their taste varies greatly, ranging from sweet to bitter, spicy to fruity, light to strong. Think of Bourgogne des Flandres, Brugse Zot, Delirium Tremens, Duchesse de Bourgogne, Kasteelbier, La Chouffe, Liefmans Goudenband, Lucifer, Omer, Reserve Royale ...

Some beer sayings

‘Beer after wine and you’ll feel fine; wine after beer and you’ll feel queer’ or is it the opposite?

Beer on wine not so fine; wine on beer, never fear’: Who knows the answer? It’s small beer: It’s not important

Life is not all beer and skittles: Not everything in life can be fun. 

To cry in one’s beer: To feel sorry for oneself.

I’ve seen better heads on nickel beers: To suggest that someone is not very clever.

Champagne tastes on a beer budget: A person with expensive tastes but a low salary.

Adam’s ale is an old-fashioned term for plain water. 

Beer money is money that’s left over after the essentials are paid for and can be used for treats or luxuries, such as beer.

And to conclude, according to William Shakespeare in A Winter’s Tale, ‘a quart of ale is a dish for a king’.

This article is an abstract from the book ".be our guest. The ambassadors of Belgian hospitality”.

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