The Verhaeghe brewery boasts a history of 130 years. Its Vichtenaar Flemish Ale is a good example of a typical Flemish red/brown ale, which will grow on you
Nat & Straf (wet and strong) the label proudly proclaims. All beers are wet - but not all are strong! This is a good dark ale from the "Mad Brewers" brewery
The De Ranke XX Bitter has put the young Belgian De Ranke brewery on the map. The taste of this Pale Ale is, as you would expect, bitter but not coarse.
Chouffe Soleil reminded us of a Bavarian Weizen. Behind the label shows two gnomes having a picnic is an excellent summer beer - but not a Weizen substitute
The crowdfunding of the Brussels Beer Project might just be the next best thing to free beer. Their Delta brew is a very good and truly enjoyable IPA.
De Ryck Special is an authentic Belgian amber coloured ale without extra flavourings. In 2006 and 2008 it was awarded a bronze medal at the World Beer Cup.
Delirium Tremens is the flagship beer of the Huyghe brewery. Named after a severe form of alcohol withdrawal, it's a nice Strong Pale Ale from Belgium.
Oud Bruin (Old Brown), also known as Flanders Brown, is a traditional style originating from the Flemish region. The beers are light to medium-bodied.
How about a Gauloise blonde? No, not the French cigarette introduced in the 1980's to try and stave off American competition but rather a Belgian beer.
The label of this strong dark ale from Van Steenberge apparently relates back to the farm brewery days when goats did what goats do alongside bordering ...
Following on from Hell last week, I thought I'd try the opposite direction! What better, then, than Petrus beer; the label has the words 'key to heaven' ...
Inferno, another word for Hell; a good name for a beer? Perhaps as an adjective; hellish good or if you're American, Hell Good. I'll stick with Dante's ...
Every Belgian beer lover can list the seven Trappist breweries, but few know that there are a couple of others, too. Amongst them is Benno from Austria.
With 11.3% alc. Vol, Rochefort 10 is the strongest of the Trappist quads and some would also say that it is best. So why haven't I reviewed it until now?
A month ago I tried Blanche de Namur from the Bocq brewery. That won a justified World Beer Award in 2012; a year later Bocq Saison 1858 was also crowned...
With Leffe one normally thinks of the blonde and brune mass selling versions, which are no more than middle of the road. But what about other Leffe beers?
I imagine the gnomes of Achouffe don't mind winter too much; if they get fed up withLa Chouffe or its bitter brother, Houblon, they can warm themselves ...
If you google Blanche de Namur, the wheat beer brewed by Bocq comes up. But Blanche is not just a beer; she was a princess, daughter of the Count of Namur..
A beer to celebrate the 200th. anniversary of the start of the French Revolution; what better name than guillotine? With the mock porcelain bottle ...
Belgian Castle; no, not a drinkable lager like the South African big-seller Castle (that would be Jupiler), but a typical Belgian bottled beer. The castle..
The devil crops up fairly often amongst Belgian beer names, but with the exception of Duvel, I haven't been unduly tempted. So let's give Satan Red a try.
Bornem is a certified Abbey beer, but it is also a so-called mother beer. Herons are frequntly to be seen in the Bornem area, hence the distictive label.
Most people assume La Trappe Trappist beers are Belgian. In fact, the beers - including the dubbel here - are brewed at the monastery in the Netherlands.
The Christmas period is great for beer lovers; lots of seasonal bottled joy. I had been looking forward to trying the Kerst Pater - but I was disappointed.
Christmas ales are seasonal, they are strong, often dark, sweet and spicy. I've chosen St Bernardus Christmas, as St. Bernardus 12 is one of my favourites.
Giants? I mean the brewers; ABInev and Heineken, the world's biggest and third biggest, respectively. I decided to pitch Affligem against Leffe Blonde.
To celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Gulden Draak the brewery decided to create a new quad(ruple) version to stand alongside the tripel: Gulden Draak 9000.
I doubt if Pierre Celis, creator of Hoegaarden Wit said ''Yes, we Kanne'' on his return from America, but maybe he was thinking something along these lines.
Brasserie des Fagnes brews over 50 different seasonal beers each year. Only the four varieties of Super des Fanges are available outside of the brewery.
The names Kalle and Manten belong to the figures in the Unesco listed bell tower of Kortrijk. Both names have also been adopted for Gulden Spoor beers.
Only a short walk away from the European Parlament is a rare haven for beer lovers: Beer Mania stocks 400 Belgian Beers and has glasses too.
It has become increasingly apparent to me that in the quest for untasted Belgian beers I often fall into the label trap. Such was the case with Cuvee Trolls
When buying Fort Lapin 10, I guess I was influenced by the ''Playboy'' ears. Lapin is French for rabbit and fort means strong; so a strong bunny beer?
Corsendonk Pater is actually a dubbel, although it is sold in America as Abbey brown ale. It has a nice fresh bread & fruit smell with a little bit of grain
Hercule Stout and Quintine both lived up to the brewery's name as far as the legend part was concerned. Here's another from Brasserie des Legendes: Urchon.
The city centre of Brussels is full with touristy beer shops. If you want to buy your brew off the beaten track, the Malting Pot is one of your best options.
When one thinks of porter beer, Belgium does't really come to mind. In first place would of course be London, the 18th century birthplace of the beer type.
More than 20 years shelf life for a beer that is an ideal refresher on a hot day? Of course, you don't have to wait that long for A l'Ancienne Oude Geuze.
The Saint Feuillien Grand Cru stands on its own; unlike the St Feuillien abbey beers (Blonde, Brune,Tripel, Cuvee de Noel) spices are not added to the brew.
Piraat triple hop from van Steenberge was to my taste. I thought less hops would be a detriment. So what's the better beer, Piraat or Piraat triple hop?
My expectations were very high when I took the unlabelled bottle of the famous Westvleteren 12 in my hand, opened it and started to pour it into the glass.
I was recently given a bottle of Westvleteren 12; a big hype surrounds it as it's often called ''world's best beer''. Is St Bernardus 12 a worthy substitue?
I don't deny it, I took the bottle of 'Mother Superior' from the shelf because I liked the label with the nun seemingly in a great hurry (to fetch a drink?)
Wolf 9 is a good name for a beer; known in Latin as Canis Lupus (wild dog) it can team up nicely with hops, the botanical name for it being humulus lupulus.
The Brasserie des Legendes came about in 2006 following the merger of two small local breweries; Goliath and Quintine. Today I'll try their Quintine Blonde.
Achel is the smallest of the famous Belgian Trappist breweries, producing circa 4500 hl per year. Beer production here owes it's origins to King Leopold I.
Emperor Charles Quint, born in Gent in 1500 was not only a very important man (he became King of Spain and Holy Roman Empero) but also a big beer drinker.
Bruges' mayor asked the Halve Maan brewery to brew a beer for the inauguration of a statue of St. Arnold. They called it Hendrik after the brewery's founder
I was very impressed by the Houblon Chouffe; a combination of an IPA and a Tripel so naturally I was looking forward to another of their beers: Mc Chouffe.
The town of Poperinge is the capital of the hop growing region; the hops are known locally as Hommel. Confusingly, it also means bumble bee in Flemish.
I should've had Rochefort 6 at Easter; a good alternative to hot cross buns and a religious connection, being brewed at the Notre Dame de St-Remy monastery.
For all M*A*S*H. fans: This isn't a beer drunk by Hawkeye and Trapper John. The swamp here relates to the region around Tourpes, home of the Dupont brewery.
Trappist beer excluded, the chances that one finds world class on a store shelf are low. Like Duivels, however, many are good representatives of their style
Like most people I have my rules; for example, I try not to drink beer before there is a twelve in the time. Another one I had to break: no beer with cake.
Belgium is not a country one immediately associates with pirates. There's the American Football Ostend Pirates, the pirate party - and there's Piraat beer.
I must admit it was the label or, more to the point, the caricature of la Botteresse which caught my eye on the beer shop shelf. So what about the beer?
The day after renewing my acquaintance with Grimbergen dubbel I happened across something special with the name of Klobuk, an inspiring Polish brown beer.
Brugge tripel is no longer brewed within the city. The family brewery group, Palm Breweries, took over the Golden Tree (De Gouden Boom) brewery in 2001.
Fast food restaurants - even "quality" ones - are not the best places to find a range of beers. My choice was between Carlsberg or Ramee Ambree tripel.
The best thing about Belgium supermarkets is that they have a reasonable selection of belgium beer at very reasonable prices. Just like Ename Tripel.
I make no secret of the fact that Duvel is one of my favourites, so I couldn't resist the little green labelled bottle on the shelf in a Brussels beer shop.
The story behind Brugse Zot dates back to 1486. Back then the relationship between the ruling Maximilian of Austria and the town of Bruges was not too good.
Yes, I know what you are going to say: Chocolate Beer is no proper Beer. But after tasting Floris Chocolate I will say that: It tastes good nonetheless.
Back in March I featured Westmalle Tripel; up until now the beer I would take to my desert island if I had to choose. But what about the Westmalle Dubbel?
There are many places in Brussels you could justifiably call a Temple of Beers - many brasseries are worthy of that title, as well as shops like Beer Mania.
The picture on the bottle is unmistakably that of Hercule Poirot, Agatha Christie's famous private detective. Strange for a label; but the beer is a classic
Remember Mungo Jerry? What have they got to do with Saison Dupont? Only the opening line of their big hit: In the summer time when the weather is high ...
If it wasn’t for the 8,4% alc vol, this week's beer, Tripel Karmeliet could be a liquid substitute for breakfast; cereals followed by toast and marmelade.
Last week I was in Norway; not a country one immmediately relates to beer and not a beer drinker's paradise if you're income is in Euros, Pounds, Dollars.
I've decided to stay with S. Bernardus this week and try their tripel; a beer without a Westvleteren background as it was first brewed after the split.
Today's beer isn't a Westvleteren, the only ones I could find were 20 Euros! I've allowed history to guide me a few miles down the road to the Watou village
After more than 40 years of drinking beer I tried my first oud geuze this week. and the impression was very pleasurable. But was it worth waiting that long?
The Belleveaux Black came out very fizzy with a marmitey yeast nose. To me, the interesting thing about it is the beer that some people compare it with.
Rochefort 8. Is it better than Chimay blue? That's the big question. They are both the same general category but you couldn't mistake one for the other.
What's more than double, less than quadruple, but not triple? Belgium strong dark ale. Compared with dubbel, higher alcohol content & more fruity impression
Last week we had a beer from Westmalle. That gives me a link to Maredsous brune, a belgian dubbel: The monks of Westmalle were the first to brew this type.
I guess if you like exceptional beer and a quiet life (lots of silent spells for contemplation), becoming a Trappist monk would not be such a bad idea.
Some like it bitter - the little fellow tending his hops on the label of Houblon Chouffe certainly does. The beer is a cross between an IPA and a tripel.
If you’re a fan of good english real ale followed up with a tot of Laphroaig, Orval is a beer for you. What it lacks in strength it makes up for in taste.
With the arty label (after Rubens), De Verboden Vrucht was banned in America because of the portrayed nudity! But this beer should in no way be forbidden.
It’s a mark of the Lucifer beer’s character that it’s still around today. Brewed until 2008 by the Liefman brewery, it looked to be a thing of the past.
In Belgium you can’t get more normal than the best selling sponsor of Belgian football: Jupiler (5,2%.), brewed by Inbev and available almost everywhere.
Where I am it’s snowing. To celebrate I’ve opened the second bottle of Tap 6 Schneider Weisse. Maybe it’s the snow - but the impression seems sweeter now.
My last beer in Belgium before Christmas was a Leffe blonde - or was it brune? I had both in the lounge at Brussels airport. What else would be on offer!?