“In Belgium, there are no styles,” proclaims Peter Bouckaert, Brewmaster of New Belgium Brewing. This statement exemplifies the individuality, non-conformity and creativity of Belgian brewers. Notwithstanding their individualism, Belgian brewers have strong ties to their history and tradition of brewing. What does all this mean to the Belgian beer drinker? It’s simple: you can have two beers that are technically the same style, and feature some similar attributes, but taste quite different. In this way, Belgian brewers have had a strong influence on brewers around the world, especially on the craft beer movement in America.
Despite the non-conformity of Belgian brewers and American brewers of Belgian-style beers, this style of beer does feature common attributes across different types. These categorizations are important because they create a language that brewers use to communicate with consumers what they’re about to drink. This guide introduces some of the most popular types of Belgian-style beers, and what you can expect from each type. (more…)
The biggest challenge in compiling this list of 15 beers to try before you die: narrowing the selection to a mere 15 beers. The list is by no means complete and it is entirely subjective, but these are the beers that left a lasting impression. In writing this list, I adhered to three simple guidelines. First and foremost, each beer on the list is available at least once a year. You might have to travel to a particular region to get it, but you should be able to find it. This criterion eliminates all anniversary and most collaboration beers. Second, the list reflects a variety of beer styles from various regions, a necessity on any “beers to try before you die” list. Finally, I tried each of these beers prior to writing this article.
In no particular order, here are 15 beers to try before you die. (more…)