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15 of the Best Belgian Beer Brands to Try When Visiting Belgium

By Livingthedreamrtw @livingdreamrtw

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The following is a guest post by A Wandering Web.

"Don't drink water, drink only beer!" declared Bishop Arnold, now the Patron Saint of Beer.

He was speaking to people in his Belgian village during an outbreak of the plague in medieval times. Saint Arnold believed the water to be contaminated. He just might have been right because after his statement, the disease was stopped in its tracks.

Belgian's love of beer started off right, and continues to this very day.

A Brief History of Belgian Beer Brands

15 of the Best Belgian Beer Brands to Try When Visiting Belgium

Beer is an icon of Belgium. There are over 150 breweries in the tiny country with more than 1,000 different Belgian beer brands. You can spend a month there and only scratch the surface with the abundance of beers available.

The most notable are the Trappist beers for which there are only six. These esteemed beers carry the "Authentic Trappist Beer" logo and are brewed under the strict control of Cistercian monasteries inside the abbey walls.

In the interest of quality, the monks refuse to increase production for the demanding exportation market. There are 10 Trappist breweries worldwide; six of them are in Belgium.

So incredible is the beer culture in Belgium that it was recognized as an Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. The ancient brewing traditions have been preserved and are respected around the globe.

Arguably, Belgium has the best beer in the world. Each beer comes with its own chalice. To pour a different beer into one belonging to another brand would be sacrilege. An entire article could be devoted to different brewing styles. But it is now time for the main event. Presenting 15 of the best Belgian beer brands to try when you visit Belgium.

4. Kasteel Donker - Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck

15 of the Best Belgian Beer Brands to Try When Visiting Belgium

Another dark wonder, the Kasteel Donker is pleasantly sweet, but not overpoweringly so due to the hops and gentle tangy note. Another whopper with 11.0% alcohol.

8. Gouden Carolus Classic - Het Anker

Dark hues of amber and caramel malt with hints of red wine make this a unique, fresh beer. Het Anker is a family owned brewery and they have been brewing for five generations in the Grand Beguinage in Mechelen. They know their business!

The dark, special beer has an alcohol content of 8.5%.

10. Leffe Brune - N.V. Interbrew Belgium

15 of the Best Belgian Beer Brands to Try When Visiting Belgium

Leffe is a good go-to beer. It is commonly found in many Belgian and European establishments. Deep amber brown in colour, the beer offers roasted malt, brown sugar and citrus notes. The alcohol content is lighter at 6.5%.

12. Straffe Hendrik Tripel - Huisbrouwerij De Halve Maan

At 9% alcohol volume, this beer does Bruges proud. An especially drinkable beer, it is golden with aromas of black pepper, coriander and ginger. Hints of citrus are present.

The flavour is slightly bitter but not overpowering.

15. Troubador Obscura - Brouwerij De Musketiers

A dark, strong ale with an alcohol content of 8.5% boasts production with four different types of malt, hops, yeast and water.

It has a roasted flavour accompanied by chocolate. It is slightly bitter. This beer also has re-fermentation in the bottle.

Just Scratching the Surface on Delicious Belgian Beer

There are so many Belgian beer brands to try in the country that one needs a strategy to try as many as possible.

Our strategy was simple: Always try a different beer each time we were out and make sure to each order a different label. We could try double the amount of beer in one shot.

There is no such thing as a bad beer in Belgium. One only needs to watch with the pride and care how the Belgians serve their beer to know it is serious business.

From the way the beer is poured into the chalice to the temperature it is served, to how they cut the foam. "Make your choice", as the Belgians say. It will always be a good one.

15 of the Best Belgian Beer Brands to Try When Visiting Belgium

About the Author: Charlotte is the founder of A Wandering Web travel blog specializing in small-town travel with a focus on food, drink, history and photography. She had the privilege of spending a month in Belgium and stayed with relatives to get the full Belgian experience.

Images were provided courtsey from A Wandering Web.

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