Belgium is a wonderful country full of medieval towns, great food, and rolling countryside which is what makes it such a popular tourist destination. While the cities of Brussels and Bruges are what take you to Belgium, it’s the awesome things along the way that really make a trip special.
While visiting Belgium, it would be a crime not to taste all the amazing drinks Belgium has to offer. Join me as we take a look at all the Belgian drinks you must try while you’re there.
All Flemish people drink beer, and Belgian beers are famous all over the world. In the beer world, the most famous form of Belgian beer is Trappist beers. Trappist beer is without doubt one of the best beers in the world and the way it’s made will blow your mind as it has ancient origins.
For a beer to be a Trappist beer it has to be brewed by Trappist monks within a working monastery and six of the eleven certified Trappist monasteries are in Belgium. Trappist is the traditional Belgian beer style as it was brought by monks centuries ago and their beer actually replaced the unsafe drinking water of Belgium.
Needless to say, you should try a range of different Trappist beers while you’re in Belgium.
Classic Duvel is one of the most delicious Belgian beers you can try and it’s actually a famed Belgian pale ale. Duvel is brewed by Duvel Moortgat Brewery’s flagship beer and it was first called Victory Ale but the name was changed to Duvel, which means devil due to its intense 8.5% ABV.
There are quite a few different types of this pale ale on the market today but the original is brewed using Scottish yeast plus Saaz and Styrian Golding hops. Unlike most of the best Belgian beers, Duvel is actually fermented twice and the second fermentation actually happens in the bottle.
This Belgian beer has a very smooth hoppy taste to it that is full of aromas and it pairs well with cheese and meat.
Kriek Lambics are fruit beers and lambic beers use a particular fruit to get their flavors, sour cherries. They are made by first brewing a lambic beer and aging it, and then adding whole, mashed, or crushed cherries with the pits, and letting it mature again.
The next step of fermentation happens in the bottles and an aged lambics’ taste has a tart finish but is backed up with a dry, crisp, and refreshing moment before. These are quite complex flavors for your palate to receive but they are worth trying and you’ll find them in every Belgian bar.
Jenever is a delicious Belgian drink that you should try while traveling around Belgium, as it’s pretty unique and actually quite delicious.
Jenever is a liquor that is made from grains such as corn, rye, or malted barley and is then flavored with juniper berries. Due to it being flavored with juniper, many people think that this drink is like gin but it’s actually very different since gin can be brewed from anything but jenever can’t.
This drink is usually served in an old-fashioned glass and it comes in a few different forms. Jonge jenever is akin to vodka and has a neutral taste while Oude jenever can resemble whisky with malty aromatic flavors.
A black Russian is a cocktail that was first created in Belgium by a bartender in Brussels called Gustav Tops. He made it for the U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg and it’s a tasty drink you should certainly try while you’re in Belgium.
A black Russian is made by combining Kahlua coffee liqueur and vodka, shaking it up in a shaker, and pouring it over ice. The only reason the word Russian is included is that it’s made with vodka.
You can also have a Dirty Black Russian while you’re in Belgium, which is the same drink but topped off with cola.
One of the most popular beers in Belgium is Tripel beer and they were first made as an Abbey beer with the Westmalle Tripel being the first.
The reason they are so popular is that they are a very easy drinking beer with lots of fizz that are packed full of flavor. Tripel beer is quite a strong beer and usually sits around the 8 to 9% ABV.
A Triple beer’s taste is very distinctive and the flavors are fruity, with a typical malt sweetness and some spice too.
Lambic is another delicious Belgian beer that is brewed using a minimum of 30% wheat and is always fermented with naturally occurring wild yeasts. These beers typically range in taste as their brewing process is unique with each batch and it creates unpredictability. There is literally a surprise in every bottle with a lambic.
Many batches of lambic are also blended which gives rise to a different type of lambic and these are called geuze and are a far more palatable version than an unblended lambic. Their tastes are far more predictable due to the blending process.
Another delicious and rather different Belgian beer you should try while visiting Belgium is Witbier, a style of Belgian wheat beer. This beer has been brewed for centuries but was forgotten about until Hoegaarden brought it back.
Witbier is traditionally prepared with unfiltered and unmalted wheat and then spiced fruit and herbs. They are usually flavored with coriander and citrus zest but they can feature lots of different herbs and spices too.
Witbier tastes quite similar to most other wheat beers with a smooth, clean, crisp fishing to them. But, they are not hoppy at all and feature a malty sweet taste that is layered with all the fruits and spices that it is brewed with.
Witbier is an awesome Belgian drink to pair with all the traditional dishes you might find while touring around this awesome country. It goes best with seafood, goat cheese salads, and citrus desserts.
Roger is a little obsessed with travel. He has been to over 40 countries, broken 3 suitcases and owned over 10 backpacks in 12 months. What he doesn't know about travel, ain't worth knowing!