Belgian beer styles are more popular than ever. However, one cannot talk about THE beer style "Belgian beer" as there are a large number of different beer styles from Belgium.
The Belgian beer culture is characterized by the opposites of experimentation and tradition. Experimentation with fruit, cask aging and special types of fermentation is common.
A lambic, for example, is a style of beer in which fermentation occurs during the brewing process through spontaneous fermentation (wild yeast strains, lactic acid bacteria, etc. in the air). This creates a slightly sour beer taste. Brussels is probably the best known and most important region for this.
Krieks are beers that are characterized by the use of fruit in the brewing process.
A gueze is also a Belgian style of beer, which clearly shows the urge to experiment. The "méthode champenoise" (blending method) is used here, in which older and younger Lambic beers are mixed together.
Nevertheless, the long tradition of Belgian beers must not be forgotten. Monks in Trappist monasteries have been brewing their famous Trappist beer for several centuries. Only beers that comply with strict guidelines are allowed to bear the "Authentic Trappiste Product" quality logo. There are currently only 12 Trappist breweries that are officially allowed to call their beer Trappist beer. These include the breweries Chimay , La Trappe Trappiste , Brasserie Rochefort , Westmalle, Westvleteren and Orval.
In general, Belgian beers are characterized by their high alcohol content. Because an earlier law banned the sale of spirits, high-alcohol beers were brewed to circumvent the law and replace spirits.
Belgian beer has even been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2016.