A trip to Belgium and especially to its Capital Brussels is never complete without trying its unique premium Beer. Yes you heard me right Belgium is all about its Beer! It has the best quality the best taste and a wide variety of those sparkling Gems. While some of you might think that Beer is Germany’s specialty, allow me to correct you and show you in this article how Belgium is actually the “Beer Paradise”.
Belgium is one of the 100 smallest countries in the world. But when it comes to beer, this little nation is one of the biggest and most famous there is. They take beer very seriously and are proud to brew some of the best-known beers in the world. Next time you’re in Belgium try and tick a few off from this list, they won’t disappoint.
Of course, it’s very difficult to create a list of the best, because ultimately that’s down to personal preference. There are, however, a few reputable brands that are well respected for their traditions, methods and classic brews. No list of the best Belgian beers can exclude these, they’re famous for a reason!
The Belgium beer making tradition dates back to centuries and has been famous for ages. It is known that this small country is famous for its exceptional beer. Experts estimates that as of today, the production of beer reaches more than 700 brands. YES! That much and more. And each one of those being rare, fine and precious.
So with so many flavors, and so many brands so choice can be hard to make and the bars menus can become so confusing. Basically, I am not a Beer Expert but only a beer Lover!😍 And choosing between the wide variety of those unique tasty beers can be tricky.
Trust me the list can be soooo long and the flavors so different. I can’t tell about everything in an article but I will try to help you narrow your choices by giving away this selection of my top 7 Belgium beers.
You might be asking yourself what makes the Belgium beers so special?🤔
I have an easy answer for you😉 In fact, in comparison to others, Belgian beers tend to have higher alcohol content. Oh yes! You can really get drunk by drinking a few Belgium beer bottles. The Alcohol content can reach up to 10-12%.
Well am not only trying to get you drunk😅 there is also a healthy and unique side of the story. Belgium beers are often re-fermented in the bottle. What would that result in? Well you will notice the champagne effervescence effect once the beer is poured. Finally, some of those heavy beers are rich in probiotic microbes that affects your body in a positive healthy way.
My Quick Recommendations!!
When you plan your trip to Belgium make sure to include Bruges on your Itinerary. You can go there for a simple day trip or stay there a couple of days! Why Bruges? Despite that its a Wonderful beautiful city, it has something called ” The Beer wall”. And for all beer lovers, this is something to actually visit. Located in a bar & shop it forms a work of wall art that features a large display of unique Belgium beer bottles.
Hey Anna! Any other recommendation? Well YES! GO for the beer tasting experience😋 Almost all bars in brussels offer this experience soo you have no reason to miss it! Oh and of course don’t count calories and don’t be afraid to try new things and flavors!
So Now that you have a general idea about Belgium beer, Let’s enjoy together those delicious and various top Beers😋 CHEERS🍻
1-The Famous Delirium
The famous Delirium and its pink elephant! The bottle you actually will notice in all bars and on all tables. If you are a fan of blond beers and looking for a strong one, you have plenty of choices to pick from. BUT there is only one icon, there is only “the best” there is only one called: Delirium Tremens from Brouwerij Huyghe.
The coolest bottle out there and probably my favorite! You can’t possibly walk along brussels terraces without noticing this one of a kind bottle. The Delirium Tremens with its pink elephant is everywhere! In all bars, on all tables and in almost all hands you will notice this pink and blue bottle😍
SO What is Delirium Tremens about?
Delirium Tremens is a heavy blond beer, with 8.5% alcohol. It also has a slight fruity taste and a lot of carbon dioxide. The brewing process includes three main types of yeast and this mainly comes from the three different types of yeast that are used in the brewing process. The finish is sweet and slightly spicy.
e secret behind the popularity of Delirium is its strong brand image and in particularly its one of a kind logo. The bottle is recognized from far away with its blue background and its cute pink elephant. You might wonder “but what does an elephant has to do with a beer?” Well as simple as it is: Like the name, the logo is a reference to a drug withdrawal phenomenon. It could also be a reference to the hallucinations that Dumbo has in the Disney film of the same name.
Oh we should not to forget about the other Delirium beers! Hey no worries you don’t have to search about those….Here is a ready list for you😊
- The Delirium Red: “excellent dessert beer” with a good balance between sweet and sour, with a fruity aroma of cherries.
- The Delirium Argentum: An amber-coloured beer that is know for citrus and grapefruit.
- Delirium Nocturnum: A quadruple beer with clear notes of caramel, mocha and chocolate.😋
2- Westmalle Triple
In the almighty world of Beer, there are some styles that are considered as basics, the true classics the undoubtedly not to be missed. And as u might have guessed it already, the Tripel is on top of that list!
A bit of History! Beer has been brewed in Westmalle since 1836, but it hasn’t always been commercialized. When Westmalle’s heaviest beer was introduced as a Tripel in 1956 with huge success, other brewers were quick to jump on the bandwagon. Tripels began to crop up everywhere in Belgium.
So if you want to try this classic type of beer why not chose the first one ever? Westmalle Triple is the oldest one of those. In fact, Westmalle was the first brewer that opted the name Tripel to their strongest beer.
Is it only about the oldest Triple? Well its definitely not! Trust me this is truly a Fantastic delicious tripel beer. Known for its small spicy touch and its fruity aromas its gives the great balance to your body.
Oh my bad! I guess you are Wondering what type of Beer is the Westmalle Triple, its definitely a Blond one. And since Westmalle’s famous Tripel was blond, the new Tripels has followed.
But Anna what is a Tripel?
If you wanna drink a Triple you should know about it right? So the Triple is considered as a heavy top fermented beer. It has a range of colors that varies from Blond to Amber. All Tripels contains between 7 to 9.5%ABV, but they can go higher than that😉 The flavor is malty, with sweet, fruity and bitter notes.
3- LA CORNE
The one that marked me most! And why is that? Simple, because I never thought I could get tipsy on a couple of beers!😅 and Obviously there is a first time for everything, and LA CORNE did leave me tipsy. This one is not only of the heaviest Belgium beers but is also served with the funniest Glass.
Talking about Legend
The La Corne brewery takes its name from a local legend concerning a brewer who was hanged by marauding bandits, and how his ghost continues to haunt the woods where the he was murdered. The full name of the beer is in fact La Corne du Bois des Pendus, translates as ‘the horn-shaped forest of the hangmen’. The extraordinary brewer named Cornelius who is behind this beer, actually managed to bury his secret recipe and the real horn-shaped forest still exists next to Ebly. This site being nowadays company’s headquarters of La Corne du Bois des Pendus.
What are the characteristics of this beer?
La Corne is known to have around 10% percentage of Alcohol per bottle and can have different appearances, aromas and tastes. It also has different versions but the most popular being the Blond & the Triple. What have tried? Actually the blond one, served in the unique special glass. This one is a classic! If you want to try La Corne, you can’t skip the blond
La Corne des bois pendus Glass
But what is this beer famous for? Without any doubt its unique horn shaped drinking glass that also has a special Wooden base. This drinking horn being the ancestor of the modern glass, leaves you irresistible to that choice. Trust me you will have two of those glasses and it will send you to another dimension! Oh and it can surely make the perfect gift😉
La Corne Black
In keeping with this story, La Corne Black pours stygian black with a thick tan head, releasing intense coffee, chocolate, and dark malt scents.
The taste is equally dense with old rum, oak and alcohol notes added to the subtly fruity ensemble.
4- Stella Artois
Let’s go international and talk about Stella Artois. You can’t be a beer lover without knowing or ever tasting this delicious Belgium beer. Oh yes! Stella is a Belgium Beer and makes the perfect additional proof for the perfectionism and importance of the Belgium Beer in the Market.
You might not need me to tell you about Stella Artois beer, but HEY! Am here to remind you of what its best😉 And if it happens that you visit Brussels or any other Belgium city, you can’t leave this land without having a Glass of Stella there.
Why did I refer to Stella as International?
Well because you have probably already tasted it! Wherever you are in the World, I am sure you have tried and loved Stella Beer. And if you haven’t yet, what are you still waiting for?😅 Stella is sold almost everywhere in including Canada, Australia and most importantly the UK that has a huge market for beer. Therefore Stella became so famous and the perfect pairing for either Pizza or Wings.
What makes it so popular then?
Easy! There is nothing in a bottle of Stella that would bother anyone drinking it. It is a fairly conservative beer. In its original classical form, Stella represents only 5.2% percent of ABV which is Belgium’s standard for pilsners. You will be able to enjoy a few of those moderate beers and experience its delicious refreshing taste throughout the drinking.
This one is a small shaped one and have clearly reached the top. If you want to sum up a Duvel in a few words here it is for you: Powerful, tasty and smooth. That’s a Duvel, one of the few Beers that keeps you wanting more. And have I mentioned that its the Devil? Well Simply translated to English Duvel means Devil😉
What about its Characteristics?
Duvel is a Strong Ale, which is top fermented with a selective yeast strain selected originally back in the 1920s. Duvel is a blond beer with a subtle bitterness. It’s refermentation in the bottle and a make sure that it has a pure character and most importantly a pleasant sweet taste of alcohol.
What does it taste like?
With an alcohol percentage of 8.5%, Duvel is a typical Belgian powerhouse. The alcohol gives it sweetness, while the hop varieties Saaz and Styrian Golding provide a fruity hop aromas and an orangey character. What will you be feeling while drinking it? A fine effervescence and silky smooth feel in the mouth. This fresh fruity blonde will leave a great taste in your mouth and some subtle haziness in your head😅
My tip for you
Have a glass of this delicious strong one with a good Fish or sea food meal. With the Mussels being the specialty in Belgium, I would recommend a portion of those with a Duvel on the Side. Enjoy it😉
6- La Chouffe
This one with its cutest Logo will definitely catch your attention. La Chouffe beer has also a story behind its unique logo a short one that I will share with you.😊 So yes about that, it is said that the beer was brewed from an original recipe that was whispered into the brewer’s ears by Gnomes. And this is why the bottle’s Logo is this cute Gnome that originates from the Houffalize area in belgium.
La Chouffe is one of the many beers produced by the Brasserie d’Achouffe and is of course the star of the show. This more ore less strong blond beer was first produced back in 1982 and represents today more than 80% of the brewery’s production.
What about its taste?
La Chouffe is an unfiltered blond beer, that is pleasantly fruity and spiced with coriander. By drinking it you will start by feeling the Herbal fragrances followed by the citrus and ending by the refreshing aroma of fresh coriander. The mix of all those flavors makes La Chouffe easy to drink and fast to love. It will leave in your mouth the fresh fruity flavors and an agreeable herbal touch.
What is it best to be paired with?
When I asked some Local Belgian friends about La Chouffe the first thing they recommend it was: ” pair it with Salmon, Mussels or Tuna”. So here you have it, this one makes an excellent pair with fresh products from sea, therefore Sushi and some fresh vegetables like broccoli, asparagus and coriander.
Other Brasserie d’Achouffe beers
- Houblon Chouffe: The Houblon Chouffe is a Belgian interpretation of the India Pale Ale beer
- Mc Chouffe: This one is the dark brother to the famous blond La Chouffe. It represents a mix between a traditional dark Abbey beer, and a Scotch ale
- Chouffe Soleil: Chouffe Soleil is brewed only between April and October.
And last but not least, the famous Orval. When I asked some Belgium relatives about my selection of beers they told me this is amazing but make sure not to forget the Orval.
So here I am telling you about one of the favorite Belgians beer who like to especially drink it while watching football. Orval is a Trappist beer brewed by monks at a monastery in the Belgium country side that dates since the 1100s. In addition of being vintage the great character and complexity of this beer remains in its three types of malts.
The Abbey of Orval is located near Florenville, Belgium in the provence of Luxembourg. Its main brand is the Orval and contains 6.9% alcohol a beer.
What does it taste like?
Since Orval is produced by Brettanomyces bruxellensis which is a special yeast, it is known for an unusual complex flavor. So yes despite that the beer has a light color its taste is different than any other beer. I would describe it as spicy, earthy and a slight taste of peppery bitterness. This beer has a really complex and new taste, one that I would Recommend all beer lovers to try.
In case you are spending quite some time in Belgium and you get the chance to go on a road trip around the country, I would recommend visiting the Abbaye of Orval.
And if it happens for you to go there, try the Orval beer that you see here in the picture which is the strongest one. And for a better tasting, pair it with a cheese platter. All the cheese that you see in the picture are Orval specialty and each one has its own flavor😋 Enjoy!!!