I would never dream of visiting wine country and not giving the local grape a try, so why would Belgium and its beer be treated any differently? After all, they are famous for the varieties and with over 180 breweries in the country, there is bound to be one for every taste bud.
Since the 12th century low alcohol beer was the common drink due to the water supply being polluted and unsafe to drink. Overtime, monks began to make beer as a way to support their monasteries and would evolve into what is now known as Trappist Beers.
The first beer we tried at L’Imiage Notre Dame (a house converted into a local bar) was the famed Trappist beer Westmalle – the first Trappist beer to be brewed in Belgium. It was dark and caramel like, a bit sour but smooth to wash down.
The next drink was a blonde, champagne like beer known as Carous. This drink was said to pair well with chicken and light fish dishes. Any red meat or dessert dishes would be best served with a dark ale.
One fun thing to note: each beer you order has its own special glassware. It not only states the type of beer you are drinking but also is specially designed to allow the drink to stay chill and breathe – a very similar role to wine glasses.
Of the entire food and drink tour, I have to say I most enjoyed the beer tasting! It was the topic I knew the least amount and walked away with a greater appreciation for beer.