Saturday, July 27, 2013

Belgian Beers!

I tried a variety of beers from Belgium, because the country really is the Mecca of beer-making.

The Usual Suspects

Tripel karmeliet is "Blond, robust, smooth and fruity 3 grain beer, with final fermentation in the bottle. Brewed with pride and patience after Carmelite tradition with wheat, oat and barley. 100% natural beer." And 100% awesome beer! The alcohol content is 8.4%, which is the normal range for a Tripel. (Regular is around 3%; dubbel around 6%; trippel around 9%) The flavor blend of the three grains is great, taking the best from each. It makes me want to become a Carmelite. At one of the beer-brewing monasteries. Now I just have to find one...

Oude Geuze is from Oud Beersel. The brewery is just outside Brussels and their beers have won many competitions. This beer was not to my taste. It starts with a nice, if a little fruity, taste but when the aftertaste kicks in, it kicks with a bitter sourness that I just don't like. I didn't even finish the bottle. Bummer!

Lindemans Kriek is a cherry-flavored beer that is more cherry than beer. It ends with a kick like a Sucret, which may be a little too much cherry for some drinkers. It's a hair too much for me. The beer still has a nice flavor and I would drink it again. Kriek is a style of lambic beer. Lambic beers are made in the Senne Valley where brewers for centuries have let air-borne yeast into their beer. They just leave their brew uncovered in the winter for a couple of months and then let it mature in wooden casks for a year.

Florival is a Tripel beer in the Belgian Trappist style. It is quite potent at 8.5% alcohol but it does not taste like straight alcohol. It has the nice wheaty but robust style I love about Trappist beers. It is very yummy, even if it is masquerading as a store brand!

Jupiler is one of those standard pilsners that every nation seems to make. Yet this is probably the best pilsner I've ever had. I like it a lot and would recommend it.

There are any number of stores that specialize in selling beer. We never found a favorite or a best. The stores did seem to cater to an English speaking/reading crowd.

Those are bottle necks in the sign for this fine Brussels establishment

Beer and souvenirs or beer souvenirs in Bruges

If you like beer, you owe it to yourself to visit Belgium, or at least try some Belgian beers.

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