Belgian Beer

Beer has been a key part of Belgian culture since the 12th century, and brews vary from pale lager to Flemish red. Most Belgian beers are served in bottles instead of cans, and nearly every type of beer has its own uniquely shaped glass—using the correct glass improves the flavor and drinking experience. Belgium is known for Trappist and Abbey beers, which are brewed in monasteries. Other types of Belgian beer include amber ale, blonde ale, brown ale, Champagne beer, Lambic beer, saison and white beer. The small country exports more than half of its beer—with Stella Artois and Hoegaarden among its most popular brands. Read about all these Belgian beers and more at Food & Wine.

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25 Essential Belgian Beers
Though the U.S. is home to the world's most diverse beer culture, Belgium could be seen as the country with the most unique beer scene. Whereas other countries with rich brewing traditions saw their native styles spread across the world—German lagers took over the globe, and English pale ales influenced America's craft beer obsession in its early days—Belgian beer culture stayed insular, devoted to traditional methods and styles rarely seen outside of the small country.In the past two decades, Americans have finally fully embraced what's been happening in Belgium—and today styles from abbey ales to gueuzes are brewed on American shores. Back in Belgium, much of the beer culture remains focused on time-tested brews. In selecting these 25 Belgian beers, we focused on acknowledging classics while touching on most of the country's homegrown styles. Hopefully, this list will give you a broad sense of great Belgian beers and leave you with plenty of things to try even if you're just hitting up your local beer shop. —Mike Pomranz