Most beer drinkers agree that brewers in Belgium produce some of the best beers in the world. Perhaps this is because Belgian brewers have very strong ties to their history and tradition of brewing while still managing to maintain a level of individuality and creativity. This is why it is possible to have two Belgian beers of the same style that taste completely different.
When talking about Belgian beer, there are a few features that are common to most styles. The first of these is phenol aromas. Phenols aromas are produced by the yeast used in Belgian beer and can be described as clove-like, spicy and herbal. In sour beers the phenols typically express themselves as farmyard or medicinal-type aromas. Another feature common to Belgian beer is the fruity esters. The fruity esters also originate from the yeast and they create an aroma of bananas or fresh citrus. The final feature that is common to most Belgian beer styles is that they are re-fermented in the bottle. This re-fermentation creates an almost champagne-like effervescence. Even though many styles of Belgian beer have the same features, because of the individuality of Belgian brewers, it is not uncommon to find a style without any of these qualities.
When you consider how many different styles of Belgian beer exist, and how different they all can be, trying several different types can become a real adventure. When exploring different types of Belgian beer, everyone should begin with the following styles:
There are many other styles of Belgian beer that are not quite as popular as the styles mentioned above. These styles include Quadrupels, Amber Ales and Seasonal or Christmas Beers. Even though Belgian brewers have a strong influence on brewers around the world, American, English and Scottish brewers have also had an influence on Belgian brewers. This can be seen in some of the other styles of beer produced by Belgian brewers. For example, you can find Belgian-style IPA, Belgian-style Stout and Belgian-style Scotch Ale. In addition to these, there are many more styles of Belgian beer that are less well defined.
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 to provide American consumers with only the highest quality products. For more information please contact them today.