Australians love to travel and Europe is definitely on the list of popular destinations they most prefer to pay a visit. What’s not to love about it honestly? For starters, many Australians have European ancestry, so it’s like going on a trip to see their ancestors’ home. Then there are the incredible and rich history, the mesmerising art, the breathtaking cities and countryside, and the mouth-watering food.
You know what goes well with the tasty delicacies, right? A nice cold beer! The Land Down Under certainly has a relationship with the amber drink that goes a long way, and there’s plenty of it in The Old Continent. This is especially true for Belgian beer which is considered to be among the best worldwide. You haven’t lived until you’ve had your share of this unforgettable drink, so it’s not just their waffles and chocolate you should give a try. Let’s find out why that is!
The Variety of Flavours
It doesn’t matter what your taste buds prefer, whether it’s fruity or spicy, floral or herbal, sweet or bitter, there’s a whole range of premium Belgian craft beer you can choose from thanks to the variety of flavours. Many of these are attributed to the Trappist monks of the Cistercian Order. Even if you can’t afford to visit Belgium just yet, particularly now post-pandemic when basic costs have increased, tasting the different beers this country has to offer can be your own way of travelling.
And the best of it all is you won’t have to step outside to look for them, since there are online beer stores that can provide you with your supply of this amazing drink, including mixed packs that would allow you to get a sip of a different flavour every day.
If you want to get a taste of Belgian craft beer with a rich tradition, then Trappist beers are the perfect start. Made within the monasteries by the monks, a centuries-old tradition, this style impresses with the many flavours that can range from sweet to spicy, and malty and even have notes of fruits like cherries and apples. Get a pack of Dubbels, Tripels, Quadripels, from some of their six famous breweries like Westmalle, Achel, Westvleteren, Chimay, Orval and Rochefort, and you won’t be disappointed by the alcohol content either.
Tightly connected to the region around Brussels, and the region south to the city, these beers amaze with the earthy yet somewhat sour taste owed to the unmalted wheat (about 40%) and base malt (60%). Based on a complex brewing process, it’s not that easy to categorise or define Lambic beers, but you’d be close with “wild ales”. For the sweet tooth, there are surprising fruit Belgian beers Lambics like the Cassis, Kriek, and Framboise that can satisfy the sugar cravings to a point.
Connected to the saisoniers, the seasonal Belgian farmers, it developed into a style with rich flavours mainly because they needed a drink that was potable when water wasn’t at hand. Think of the Saison beers as related to the Lambics because they’re ales too.
However, they are much richer if you’re interested in seasonings, among which honey, spices and herbs are main the choices. If you’re up for Belgian craft beer with lower alcohol content and a variety of fruit nuances, this is it. A reason more to include it in your favourites is the ease with which it can be paired with just about any meal – including takeaway!
If you’re looking for a sour dark ale with rich malt notes from extended ageing, then try one of the Old Bruin, also known as Flanders Brown, that originated in the Flemish region. This style is distinguishable for the tartness that comes from the Lactobacillus throughout fermentation which also makes Belgian beers good for your health. Of course, when consumed in moderation!
The name of this style stems from its colour, white, and the higher unmalted wheat content in it which makes these beers smooth and creamy. This also depends on the other ingredients used, which can range from orange peels for citrusy notes, to oats to give them bready flavours.
The Unique Fermentation
The variety of beer styles is the result of the variations in the fermentation methods. This is especially the case with Belgian beer which has two more fermentation methods than the usual. Besides the bottom and top, Belgians also have the spontaneous and mixed.
In addition to the beers produced at higher and lower temperatures, when the yeast forms at the top or the bottom respectively, the spontaneous and the mixed allow for more creativity in the creation of the uniquely Belgian beers.
For one, the spontaneous results from wild fermentation because yeast isn’t added to the beer as it normally is, and the wort ferments in open cooling tanks. As for the mixed, there’s the combination of both old and young beer, or high and low fermentation beer to create higher acidity and tart flavour, so you’re truly in for a treat.
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Known as a bon vivant, Edward doesn't just amaze people with his passion for life's luxuries but also with his vast interests and talent as a writer; not surprisingly his motto is: "If you want to have limitless inspiration for writing, you have to live life first!". Whether it's all-things car related or travel adventures, he tackles with each and every topic, including those that have to do with arts, industries, tech gadgets, business and, believe it or not, love and romance!