Belgium Beer Styles

Belgium is renowned for its rich beer culture and diverse range of beer styles. From traditional Trappist ales to unique lambics, Belgium offers a beer experience like no other. In this guide, we will explore some of the most popular and distinctive beer styles that originate from Belgium.

1. Trappist Ales

Trappist ales are brewed by Trappist monks within the walls of their monasteries. These beers are known for their complex flavors and high alcohol content. With a history dating back centuries, Trappist ales are brewed using traditional methods and often feature fruity, spicy, and malty notes. Some popular examples include Chimay, Orval, and Westvleteren.

2. Lambic

Lambic is a unique style of beer that is fermented using wild yeast and bacteria. This spontaneous fermentation process gives lambic its distinct sour and funky flavors. Traditional lambics are often aged in oak barrels for an extended period, resulting in complex and tart characteristics. The most famous lambic style is Gueuze, a blend of young and aged lambics. Within the Senne Valley there are eleven brewers producing lambic plus 5 blenders who purchase wort from the brewers to create their own custom blends. Lambic Brewers and Blenders

3. Witbier

Witbier, also known as Belgian white beer, is a refreshing and light-bodied style. Brewed with a large proportion of wheat and flavored with coriander and orange peel, witbier has a hazy appearance and a citrusy aroma. It is often served with a slice of orange to enhance the flavors. Hoegaarden and Blanche de Bruxelles are popular examples of witbier.

4. Saison

Saison, meaning "season" in French, is a farmhouse ale that was traditionally brewed during the cooler months and served to farm workers during the summer. This style is characterized by its fruity and spicy flavors, high carbonation, and dry finish. Saisons can vary in strength, ranging from sessionable to higher ABV versions. Saison Dupont is a well-known example of this style.

5. Dubbel and Tripel

Dubbel and Tripel are strong Belgian ales that are known for their rich maltiness and high alcohol content. Dubbel is a dark, malty beer with notes of caramel, dark fruits, and spices. Tripel, on the other hand, is lighter in color and has a more pronounced hop bitterness. Both styles are complex and often have a warming alcohol presence. Westmalle Dubbel and Westmalle Tripel are classic examples of these styles.

These are just a few examples of the diverse beer styles that Belgium has to offer. Whether you're a fan of Trappist ales, lambics, or other Belgian beer styles, exploring the world of Belgian beer is a journey worth taking.