A plethora of beer alternate routes if you take a trip to Belguim before you die

copyright Milo Profi
A plethora of beer alternate routes if you take a trip to Belguim before you die

Brussels,Oct12:Beer is the oldest and most widely consumed alcoholic drink in the world.From From pale ale (India Pale Ale) to lager lager beer to the Belgian ales ,the place has it all.

What’s all the fuss about? After all, Belgium is just slightly bigger in size than Wales with a population no bigger than that of Cuba.

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Belgium has the greatest diversity of original beer styles on the planet. Few would disagree that the country has an unrivaled brewing heritage which is deeply embedded across its towns and villages.

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Beer in Belgium varies from pale lager via the amber of special and lambic beer, red of Flemish red, to black of Scotch and Stout beers.

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A Beer culture in Belgium combines know-how concerning nature, social practices and craft skills that constitute an integral part of daily and festive life.

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Belgians drink 84 litres of beer each year, down from around 200 each year in 1900.In the 16th and 17th century, a beer termed crabbelaer was the most popular beer in Ghent.

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Every year, 18 million hectolitres of beer is flowing from the tanks of Belgian breweries and 11 million of this output flows across the border(s), to our neighbouring countries of France, the Netherlands, Germany and the UK as well as farther-flung destinations such as Italy, Spain, Scandinavia, the USA, Japan and China.

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Belgian beer is at the pinnacle of quality craft beer and is now a top reference on a global level, attracting the same status as Scottish whisky or Italian wine.

So what makes ‘brewed in Belgium’ so special? Top of the charts has to be our respect for centuries-old tradition. We don’t mean to say that we are living in a dusty beer museum.

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Far from it. Many brewers here are using brand-spanking new, gleaming stainless steel brewing kettles and have access to fermentation and maturation tanks that are forever increasing in size.

stout

A good understanding of labels of Belgian beer and reference works about Belgian beer often use different terms for the fermentation methods based on archaic or traditional jargon

Spontaneous fermentation with beers that are unique in Europe, “Lambic” and the derived Faro, Gueuze and Kriek beers

Warm fermentation is referred to as Top or High Fermentation for Trappist beers, white beers, ale, most other special beers

mixed fermentation for the type ‘old-brown’ beer

Cool fermentation is referred to as low fermentation for Lager or Pils (pale lager)

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Beer is made from grain that is converted to sugar and fermented with yeast in the brewing process. The most usual grain used for making beer is malted barley; malting a grain means soaking it in water until the germination process begins and the individual grains begin to sprout, at which point the grain is dried, and the resulting softened grain ready for brewing is called malt.

Lambic is a wheat beer brewed in the Pajottenland region of Belgium (southwest of Brussels) by spontaneous fermentation.

Flemish red :Typified by Rodenbach, the eponymous brand that started this type over a century ago, this beer’s distinguishing features from a technical viewpoint are a specially roasted malt, fermentation by a mixture of several ‘ordinary’ top-fermenting yeasts and a lactobacillus culture.

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Winter or Christmas beersMany breweries produce special beers during December. Most contain more alcohol than the brewery’s other types of beer and may also contain spicing. An annual beer festival in Essen near Antwerp focuses on this type of beer with over 190 beers available for tasting in 2014.

Belgium has a number of beer festivals including:

  • The BAB-bierfestival, held every year in February in Bruges
  • The festival held every spring in Leuven (previously in Sint Niklaas and Antwerp) organized by the consumer group Zythos.
  • The Belgian Beer Weekend held in Grand Place, Brussels, organized by the Brewer’s association.
  • Karakterbieren Festival in Poperinge, Belgium’s hop-growing capital.
  • The Beer Passion weekend held each July in Antwerp, organized by Beer passion magazine,
  • The Christmas beer festival Essen
  • Alvinne Craft Beer Festival, at Picobrouwerij Alvinne, Zwevegem (Moen)
  • “La Géroublonnade”, beer and gourmet event in a village in Gérouville (fr), region of southern Belgium, during second Sunday of July.
  • The Weekend of Belgian Beers, held in Hasselt in November, organized by the Limburgse Biervrienden
  • The Weekend of Special Beer in Sohier in February – all informations : http://Www.sohier-village.be

Beer cusine ,as in beer is taken with regular food.

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The varied nature of Belgian beers makes it possible to match them against each course of a meal, for instance:

  • Wheat beer with seafood or fish.
  • Blond beers or tripel with chicken or white meat
  • Dubbel or other dark beers with dark meat
  • Fruit lambics with dessert

Belgium pays homage to the saints and holy men who brewed beer.

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Noah Webster’s definition from 1828 was unusually specific:

A liquor made from an infusion of malt by fermentation. It differs from beer, in having a smaller proportion of hops. It is of different sorts, chiefly pale and brown; the first made from malt slightly dried; the second, from malt more considerably dried or roasted. Ale was the common drink of the ancient inhabitants of Europe. It is usually made with barley; but sometimes with wheat, rye, millet, oats, etc.

bitter
Lager

lager

Malt, Mash, Wort, & Gyle
malt-mash

Pilsner

pilsner
Shandy

shandy

Shandy is the sweet drink made by mixing beer with ginger beer or what the British call lemonade or lemon soda (think Sprite or 7-Up).

Porter & Stout

stout

Arthur Guinness, the founder of the brewery that makes the world’s most popular stout, began his operation near Dublin in 1755, the same year that Samuel Johnson published his famous dictionary. Johnson’s entry for stout reads:

A cant name for strong beer.

This original meaning of “strong beer” had its opposite in a term that survives in English, but is used today mostly in its figurative sense of “something of small importance,” since weak beer has been called small beer since the 15th century.

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Zymology & Zymurgy
 Zymurgy is the seventh-to-last entry in the Unabridged dictionary. It is defined as “a branch of applied chemistry that deals with fermentation processes (as in wine making or brewing),” and is used as a fancy word for the profession, hobby, or fellowship of brewing beer. There are zymurgy clubs around America.

If you visit Bruges, Brussels, Ghent, Antwerp, Namur and Liège or discover the lesser-known cities of Kortrijk, Hasselt, Tongeren, Genk and Sint-Truiden. Some of our cities are almost synonymous with one single event in history.

Just think of Ypres that is mentioned in the same breath as Flanders Fields and the First World War, or Bastogne in the Ardennes, which still bears the traces of the Battle of the Bulge that was fought in the Second World War.

The towns of Bouillon, La Roche and Houffalize take on the splendid colours of the forests of the Ardennes. Leuven, the birthplace of the world’s largest brewery, is laying claim to the title of beer capital. Poperinge is at the centre of Belgian hop cultivation.

Nieuwpoort and Ostend bring you the salty tang of the beaches of the North Sea. So many cities, so many stories in what is after all only a tiny country.

In Belgium you are never more than an hour’s drive away from entering another world where you will find a different culture and sometimes also a different language.

The Beginning – Castle Brewery Van Honsebrouck/Bierkasteel is named after the famous fortress that also graces the brewery’s logo. The 
castle was converted into a luxurious country mansion in 1736.

In 1986 it was acquired by the Van Honsebrouck family, who have been brewing in Ingelmunster since 1900. However, the roots of the Van Honsebrouck family go back far beyond the beginning of the 20th century.

Beer Routes for tourists

Drink your way to glory .Take the scenic route to unconsciousness to lighten your spirits

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Rail routes to get drunk

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IF YOU GO then VISIT these

In de Vrede (Donkerstraat 13, Westvleteren; 32-57-40-03-77; indevrede.be)

Moeder Lambic (Place Fontainas 8, Brussels; 32-25-03-60-68)

Cantillon (Rue Gheude Straat 56, Brussels; 32-25-21-49-28; cantillon.be)

’t Brugs Beerje (Kemelstraat 5, Bruges; 32-50-33-96-16; brugsbeertje.be)

De Dolle Brouwers (Roeselarestraat 12B, Esen; 32-51-50-27-81; dedollebrouwers.be)

Brouwershuis (Trappistenweg 23A, Watou; 32-57-38-88-60; brouwershuis.com)

Input from Mileage Communications (India) Pvt. Ltd.

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