Belgian Beer Fest a beauty

It is possibility not generally know that Belgium has more legal breweries per head of population than any other country in the world.  I’ll always remember that fact because I learnt it once when I attended a Belgian beer tasting.  It may, in fact, be the only thing that I remember about that day except for the fact that the Belgians do produce ridiculously good beer.

Fortunately, for lovers of fine ales, the Belgian capital Brussels holds a Beer Weekend each September.  Now, there are many beer festivals held throughout the world, with the Munich Oktoberfest being perhaps the best known, but given the quality of Belgian beers, this is the one to attend if you wish to try a great variety of beers.

The Belgian Brewers’ association and the “Mashstaff of the Knights”, which is an association of master brewers, in collaboration with the City of Brussels; present this celebration of the Belgian beers.

Many of the breweries participate, including small, medium-sized and large Belgian breweries that are all geared up to present their best selections of beers. Belgium has a remarkably diffuse range of beers so the Beer Weekend offers a unique range of beers which have an amazing contrast of tastes and flavours.  Nowhere else in the world could you find a larger choice of regional, authentic and colourful beers.

The range of beers that will be available include the following styles: Pilsener, amber, white beer, abbey beer, Trappist, Gueze/Lambic, fruit beer, strong pale, strong brown, red brown and many others.

There are seven Trappist monasteries in the world which produce beer and six of them are in Belgium.  Trappist Beer must be brewed within the walls of a Trappist abbey, by or under control of Trappist monks. The beers they produce are all ales and are conditioned within the bottle.  There are a number of different brands and styles from which to choose.    

According to the website “Lambic is an ancient beer style and does not conform to modern expectations about beer. A traditional, dry Lambic will be effervescent, acidic, and bone dry.  Although Lambics flavoured with fruits such as raspberries or cherries are better known, the Lambic connoisseur’s choice will be Gueuze—the noblest of Lambic styles. A traditional dry Gueuze has no fruit flavouring and will be tart, sour, and naturally effervescent”.  I have tried several Lambic beers and have found a cherry beer that is ideal to serve with desserts.  It is quite sour and because of that, and its fruit base, complements the sweet dessert perfectly.

Not only will you have the opportunity to taste some brilliant beers are the Belgian Beer Weekend, but you get to taste your beers in the magnificent surroundings of the Grand Palace, guaranteeing you a right royal time,

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