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One of our favourite beers - Belgian Beer

Jul 20, 2008
Today in Belgium there are 125 breweries which are now producing around 500 different types of Belgian Beer. The actual making of beer in this European country dates back to the Middle Ages when it was first being produced in monasteries and today remains the country with the most varieties of beer that one can drink.

The alcohol content of these particular beers is considerably higher than some of the other varieties available in Europe and in some cases it reaches a level of between 6 and 8 percent. Breweries were forced into making higher alcohol content beers because a law was passed stating that spirits (which beer was classed as) could not be drunk in public houses. However, although this law stood for many years it was finally rescinded back in 1983.

As we have already mentioned there are 500 different kinds of Belgian beer being brewed in Belgium today and they fall into a number of different categories. In this article we take a look at what these different types of beer are.

Trappist Beer - Only a beer where the brewing process has been overseen or carried out by the Trappist monks living in one of 6 monasteries in Belgium can be classified as this type of beer. Each bottle of beer after it has been produced will carry on it the Trappist Product label that clearly identifies that the monastery where it has been brewed have complied with particular laws that are laid down by the International Trappist Association.

Lambic Beer - Is a very unique beer to Belgium and wild yeasts grown in abundance near Brussels are used in its fermentation process. The actual time that it takes for this beer to ferment is considerably longer than many others. Some forms of this beer the fermentation process lasts between 3 and 6 months and others it as long as 2 to 3 years.

The fermentation process used to make this type of Belgian beer provides it with a very distinctive flavor and is not to everyone's tastes. The problem is that the beer can taste dry, cidery and vinous and this results in a sour aftertaste when drunk.

Fruit Beers - These beers are a variation of the Lambic beers and are made through adding either fresh fruit or fruit concentrate to the Lambic. The most commonly produced one is known as Kriek which is made using cherries but there are plenty of others made using fruits such as peaches, blackcurrants or raspberries. The fruit when added to the Lambic beer causes a second fermentation process to take place in the beer.

White Beers - These Belgian beers are very popular in Belgium and the main ingredients used in them are wheat hops and spices along with orange peel and coriander. But there are many different varieties of this beer, each with their own distinctive flavor which comes from the various different brewing methods and ingredients used by the breweries in its manufacture.
About the Author
It is very easy to see how belgian beer is so loved amongst beer and ale lovers throughout the world. Belgian fruit beer as mentioned above is also loved however it can be a very distinctive taste.
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