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Belgium National (Beer) Day

07-17-2013

Belgian National (Beer) Day

 

July 21 is celebrated as Belgian National Day and what better way to celebrate that with a myriad of Belgian beer styles?


 

 

History

 

On July 21 1831 Leopold of Saxe-Coburg became the first king of Belgium when he swore allegiance to the Belgian Constitution. Before then, Belgium had been a part of the Netherlands before breaking away in 1830. The coronation of King Leopold was the last step in finalizing Belgium’s nationhood. Before nationhood, however, the people of Belgium already had a long-lasting affinity for beer that can be traced back to 2800 BCE.

 

Belgian Beer Styles

 

The best part about Belgian beers may be the unique styles and vast variety within this beer category.  One feature that makes Belgian styles stand out is the yeast, which sometimes are brewed at higher temperatures, which creates a more fruity and spicy flavor. Other characteristics of a Belgian beer include aromatic hops instead of bittering hops as well as a more malt-focused approach to brewing. Finally, Belgians love their acidic brews, which is why sour beers are so prevalent in this category.

 

Belgian Beer Suggestions

 

Abbey, New Belgium Brewing

Abbey (along with Fat Tire) is the firstborn brew from New Belgium Brewing. It stays true to the Belgian Abbey Dubbel style with a creamy malt component and a warming, slightly peppery, roasty chocolate malt flavor.

 

7% 20 IBU

 

Hoegaarden

A Belgian Witbier, meaning white beer in reference to its pale and cloudy appearance. Hoegaarden is named after the town Hoegaarde, which is where the style originated. It has a spicy nose with orange and coriander notes, and a creamy mouthfeel with a slightly sweet and slightly sour citrus flavor.

 

4% ABV

 

Leffe Brown

Leffe Brown is a Belgian Dark Ale that possesses a deep brown color and strong, slightly sweet, malty flavor. Dark roasted malts provide a rich complexity while the hop presence is miniscule.

 

6.5% ABV

 

Palm Spéciale

This Belgian Pale Ale stays true to the Belgian tradition, with a crisp palate, nutty malt character and a bit of a hop presence. There are also spicy yeasty notes noticeable in both the aroma and flavor, that helps accentuate the balance between the crisp hops and malt finish.  

5.2% ABV 18 IBU 

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