Gratitude Friday: Belgian Beer

Waffles aren’t the only thing Belgium does well.
It is also known for its beer. There are approximately 178 breweries in Belgium and several of those breweries make beers that have been awarded the title of “Best Beer in the World “.  I am not a beer expert so I can’t provide support for any claim as to which is the best.  I do believe that I have consumed more than my fair share of beer in life though.  So take that into consideration when I tell you that I still look forward to traveling to Belgium (which I do for work often) for a good beer.

Belgium’s beer is so good they treat it like wine – special glasses and a table chiller

So while in Brugge, with Ferdinand and Isabella, we completed a taste test of what the country had to offer.  We sampled many delicious beers during our three days in Belgium but I wanted to share two of the highlights.

We were up for the challenge of taste-testing Belgium’s finest.

Halve Maan Brewery (Half Moon)

Halve Maan Brewery

The four of us visited the Brugge brewery and took the tour. Half moon is the only brewery stilling making beer inside of the city limits. The tour was interesting but our guide was hilarious and really made it special.

Rooftop of  Halve Maan

Round of Zots. Because Isabella was pregnant, we all had to drink her free beer too.

We tried two beers from Half Moon…Brugse Zot and Straffe Hendrik.  Straffe Hendrik was the crowd favorite and my personal favorite also.
Unfortunately, at 9% alcohol I had to limit my intake a bit.  Please don’t worry about my happiness though….I plan on having a few the next time I am in Belgium!
Cambrinus
 
This bar is located in central Brugge and has one of the most impressive beer menus I have ever seen.

Behind the bar at Cambrinus

Both the variety and quality of the beer served at Cambrinus was impressive.  Their menu actually intimidated me but luckily Ferdinand didn’t miss a beat.  He immediately asked the bartender for a suggestion.  That question lead us to Westvleteren 12.

Isabella with the menu. This is ALL beer.

A happy man

Westvleteren 12 is international renowned and is brewed by Trappist monks in a Belgian monastery.  Westvleteren has been awarded the title of “Best Beer in the World” on multiple occasions.  And let me say….the beer is delicious!  But don’t take my word for it.  Here are some other expert opinions….
“In my opinion, things are overhyped these days, everything is the best this or the best that.  When I tried Westvleteren 12, which is often regarded as the best beer in the world by beer nerds everywhere, it was everything it was said to be.  Perfect beer is what I would call it.”– JC –  
 
“I don’t have a distinguished palate.  I am not a beer connoisseur.  But even I could tell that Westvleteren was unlike any beer I had ever tasted.  It was such a diamond in the rough that I even went back the next day to have it again.  For the price of a 30 pack at Harris Teeter, the two bottles of Westvleteren I drank were worth every penny.” – Ferdinand –  
The production and availability of Westvleteren beer is very limited so we felt lucky to have the option to throw a few back.  I would highly suggest trying it if you have an opportunity.
Gezondheid  (cheers/health in Flemish)!

Related links:

http://www.ratebeer.com/RateBeerBest/bestbeers_012012.asp

Schwingen in Switzerland – Beer in Belgium,

Schwingen in Switzerland –  Kinds of Belgian Beers

Schwingen in Switzerland –   Belgian Trappist Beers

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