Belgian beer is celebrated not only for its superior quality but also for its variety. There are more than 500 different beers made in Belgium. Some Belgian beers have so much complexity that they are best enjoyed in a wineglass so that the aromas can be funneled into one concentrated point. These beers are often compared to fine wines because Belgian brewers age them in oak, mix them with fruit or treat them with bacteria to give the beer a puckering acidity.
Despite the prestige and diversity of Belgian beers, it wasn’t until the 1990s that American brewers began creating their own versions. This is because many beer drinkers in America didn’t care for the sour taste and unique flavors of Belgian beer. With no demand in the U.S., American brewers chose not to recreate the style.
Today however, more and more American brewers are pursuing their interest in these traditional beers and producing their own versions. These American made beers are not clones of Belgian beers but rather American remixes. Belgian style ales can be found in almost any brewery or pub and more and more beer lovers are becoming proficient in the art of brewing Belgian style beer.
However, Belgian style beers are a bit trickier than other beer styles for American brewers to recreate. For one thing the array of ingredients used and the resulting flavors vary widely across the spectrum making for an even wider array of Belgian beer styles. One consistent attribute to Belgian brewing however is the distinctive use of yeast as a flavor contributor. In fact, in Belgium, yeast is the foremost flavor indicator.
Many Belgian beer purists argue that the best Belgian style beers come directly from Belgium. While many great Belgian style ales come straight from the source, the American craft brewing scene has been able to create their own unique versions of Abbey style ales, saisons and even lambic style beers. While the flavors and characteristics of these American made ales might be a little different, many are just as enjoyable as the beer imported directly from Belgium.
Wetten Importers is one of the largest importers of European ultra-premium beers in the United States. They partner with some of the oldest and more traditional breweries in Belgium and Austria to provide American consumers with only the highest quality products. Whether you are a plumber, mover, roofer, or mechanic, we have a Belgian beer for you! For more information please contact Wetten Importers today.