Sunday, July 18, 2010

Belgian Beers!

For most of my life I was convinced that I didn't like beer. It was bitter, and bubbly, and frankly, gross. I steered clear of beers in favor of "girly drinks" or vodka. But that was all before my sister introduced me to Chimay beer... Chimay became one of my all time favorite drinks (pricey, but worth it). The flavour was unlike anything I had ever experienced! This was not the watery cheap beer I was used to! I began exploring Chimay's Belgian brethren, and thus began my (expensive) love affair with Belgian beer. Let me take you on a little tour of my favorite Belgian beverages, and promise me that if you haven't tried them, that you will give them a chance! (Even if you're not a beer person), because they are fabulous.Starting with a light and refreshing beer in honor of summer, Hoegaarden is so refreshing after a long hot day. With touches of spicy coriander and orange, this white beer is the lightest of it's kind. It is easy to find, I've seen it at Trader Joes for pretty cheap, and it is an exceptionally yummy beer!

Stella Artois is the most popular Belgian Beer out there, and while light, it is also surprisingly wheaty and the aftertaste suggests a hint of citrus. This is a very economical beer, and can be found lots of places, again I have seen it at Trader Joe's for around 6 bucks per 6 pack. Can't go wrong for that price!
I LOVE raspberries, and this "Lambic" beer captures their fruity essence so well! It is not what you would expect for a beer, it's sweet and lovely, and the balance of flavours is perfectly delicate! Sadly, it is expensive. At around 12 dollars a bottle, it is more of a treat than a habit, but still, it is a great beer and worth a shot, especially for those out there who think that beer is too bitter- this will convert you!

Cantillon Rosé De Gambrinus is another Belgian "Lambic" beer. It is perfectly tart and sweet, almost like a sour Raspberry candy :) It's hard to tell whether this is a beer or wine, but it is marketed as a beer, so that's what we'll call it, even though it's served in a wine glass! It is great for hot summer evenings such as this one, and you have to give it a try if you've never tried a fruit beer.
Now we're really getting into the good stuff. Delirium Tremens is one of the beers I actually had the good fortune of trying in Brussles. It is famous for it's adorable little pink elephants that grace the label and the accompanying glass and coaster. Named for the hallucinations experienced during alcohol withdrawl, Delirium Tremens is appropriately potent. The alcohol content is 8.5, pretty strong for a beer, so watch it, you can get knocked on your butt pretty quickly drinking a couple of these!

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