Enjoy beers with histories

Chouffre Belgian beer

Do you like beers? For beer lovers, Belgium is heaven. You can find many people at a cafe terrace with a glass of beers from the daytime to the evening. When it's about the category of Belgian beers it's simply impossible to categorize beers with such variations. So here we made the most basic listings.


1. Pilsner / Pale Lager

Stella Artois Belgian beer

First of all, you might have often heard 'ales' and 'lager' beer. These are the most popular beer styles and ales use top-fermenting whilst lager use bottom fermenting. And pilsner is a specific type of lager. You must know Jupiler and Stella Artois on the picture from Leuven.


2. Trappist Beer

Trappist Rochefort12

Trappist beers are literally made in Trappist monasteries and there are only 11 of them which is authorized as official Trappist beers in the world. It has some strict criteria that profits should be intended for the needs of the monastic community, for example. Out of 11 Trappist beers, six of them are from Belgium. You should try Chimay, Rochefort10, Westmalle Tripel, and Westvleteren12. The last one Westvleteren hasn't produced a lot and costs higher than others as 12 euros if you buy from the monastery directly.


3. Abbey Beer

Orval Abbey beer in Belgium

Abbey beer also follows the style of Trappist beers but isn't necessarily produced by a monastery. Abbey beers and Trappist beers are different as it is between champagne and sparkling white wine in France. You should try Duvel, Leffe, Kasteelbier, Tripel Karmeliet, etc.


4. Wheat Beer

Where beer Hoegaarden

Wheat beer is any beer made up of at least 50 percent wheat. Usually, beer is primarily made if barley, rye, or adjuncts like rice and corn. Hoegaarden is the most representative one and you can also try a wheat beer from brewery St. Bernardus NV.


5. Lambic / Geuze

 Lambic Kriek Mort Subite

Lambic tastes unexpected by the result of spontaneous fermentation, allowing yeasts and microbes from the surrounding environment to ferment the beer. Mort Subite with lovely beer glass is recommendable.


6. Specialty Beers / Unique Beers

Kwak picture

Any other beers that cannot fit in these categories above, is specialty beers. Since there is no law which restricts the ingredients for producing beers, each brewery produces various beers of their pride with various ways of fermentation, or with various flavors. Pauwel Kwak, on the picture, has this distinctive beer glass which used to be fixed to the carriage of coach drivers so that they can drink when they are driving.


Words and photographs by Leona Fujii