When in Belgium, there are plenty of beers that visitors can try, and the following are sure to provide some insight into just how diverse and fascinating Belgian beers are.
Trappist monks produce some of Belgium's most famous and popular beers. Their origin comes from when monks used to brew beer to sustain themselves and visitors in replacement of poor drinking water, and now they continue to brew beer to fund monasteries. Six of the seven Trappist breweries in the world can be found in Belgium, and Rochefort beers are frequently cited as being some of the best. Be warned that some can be strong in terms of alcohol content; Rochefort 10's ABV is 11.3% and has intense flavours.
Abbey beer is similar in style to Trappist beer; however it will either be the creation of a non-Trappist monastery, have vague or fictitious monastic associations or be produced by a commercial brewery after arrangements have been made with a Trappist brewery. Ever-popular Leffe is commonly distributed around the world, so for a true Belgian taste, try Tripel Karmeliet, a flavourful blonde beer.
Named after a popular Belgian television soap, the wheat beer Wittekerke is equally as popular. Although Hoegaarden is a more widely available wheat beer, there is nothing quite as refreshing as a cold Wittekerke on a warm day.
This golden blonde beer is a favourite with locals and with Beermad, an online database of real ales. Its flavour is quite powerful and tastes wonderful when aged for a few years, as well as being an ideal Belgian beer to try for those who are more inclined to drink lagers.
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