Out of all the countries in Europe Belgium has often been tagged “boring” by its neighbors. It is true it does not have the geological diversity of other counties like the snowcapped peaks of Switzerland, the Sandy beaches of Spain, or the deep forests of Germany. But what it does have which to some, highly outweighs the lack of geological beauty and diversification of its neighbors, is terrific beer.
One of the most globally popular beers originating in this country – Stella Artois – whose ad campaign “reassuringly expensive” added a mystery and exotic touch to this fairly ordinary beer. It adorns pubs throughout Europe and is especially popular in England. Still held in high regard is a white beer called Hoegaardeen. Usually trademarked by being served in a huge trademarked glass with a slice of lime it is brewed with coriander and orange peel. It is particularly appealing to the female population who shy away from the stronger ales and lagers.
Then of course we have the Trappist ales brewed in small quantities with centuries’ old recipes by monastery monks. There are only eight such brewing monasteries in the world and six of them are in Belgium with the remaining two in the Netherlands and Austria. These unique ales are spendy but considered by some to be the absolute best beer in the world. It is available online but be prepared to pay the price. But if you are a beer drinker this would be considered the Champagne of beer anywhere in the world. Like everything else, you get what you pay for.