Beer in Belgium was first brewed in 1861 and has since then grown to become home to over 400 beers; all-different, unique and brewed with great tradition, quality and exacting standards. If you take all the temporary and limited edition beers into consideration, its a lot more. Belgium is also the home of the famous Trappist and Abbey beers. Belgian beers are treated with special regard and continue to win several awards every year worldwide.
Belgium has a very sophisticated beer culture: several beers are served in its own specially branded glass, at the right temperature and with the perfect head. In Belgium, you will find beer sold on several street corners, in most simple supermarket, restaurants,microbreweries and night-clubs, you can find a basic selection of popular and specialty beers..
In the early years, much of the brewing was conducted in Trappist monasteries, where beers were brewed with low alcohol, as they were consumed as a sanitary option to drinking water. Beer being an extract of barley and other malted grains, was regarded as liquid bread and was regarded as a source of nutrition,.
Trappist certification were awarded to beers brewed in Trappist monasteries, where the monks played a role in its production and the policies and the profits from the sale are used to support the monastery and/or social programs outside. Only seven monasteries currently meet these qualifications, six of which are in Belgium and one in the Netherlands.The current Belgian Trappist producers are:
- Achel, sells Blonde, Brune, Extra Blonde, Extra Brune.
- Chimay sells Red Label, White Label (Blonde/Tripel) and Blue Label.
- Orval sells a "unique" dry hopped 6.2% amber beer.
- Rochefort sells three dark beers, "6". "8" and "10".
- Westmalle sells Dubbel and Tripel.
- Westvleteren sells Green Cap or Blonde, Blue Cap and Yellow Cap.