Maybe it is also known to you that the youngest of the Trappist Beer family is Achel Trappist. But did you know that the area around the Achel monastery is perfect for exploration on foot or by bike?
The national television of Belgium – VRT has made a documentary about the area. If you want to discover the Achel Monastery on your traveling, it is certainly worth watching, evenly the documentary it is in Dutch
And don’t forget to do a break at the pub of the monastery, where you can enjoy a Achel Trappist straight from the barrel!
By the way: you also can visit the other Trappist Monastery’s on foot. Gerard van Asten, trappist beer lover with a passion for hiking, launched a hiking map which connects all 7 trappist monastery’s in Belgium and the Netherlands. The hiking paths are all quite easy to walk for a beginner/moderate hiker perspective!
Belgian Beers: more than 950 different flavours.
Can you tell me what is the best Belgian Beer? That is probably the most difficult question I am getting from people abroad. Why? Because it depends from your personal taste. So, in this article I give you some personal suggestions to start, and a full list of ranked beers which are declared to be extremely good by a wide range of professional tasters!
On one of the polls at this website I am asking for the best Trappist beer among the readers of Trappist-beers.com. And only for the 7 Trappist Beers the answers vary along, from Westvleteren to Orval. So you could guess how difficult it is to decide about 950 different Belgian Beers!
The website ratebeer gives every year a ranking of the best beers. This year,Westvleteren Trappist 12 has won again:
1. Westvleteren 12
2. Rochefort Trappistes 10
3. 3 Fonteinen Armand’4 Oude Geuze Lente
4. Westvleteren Extra 8
5. Struise Pannepot
6. 3 Fonteinen Armand’4 Oude Geuze Zomer
7. Cantillon Blåbær Lambik
8. St. Bernardus Abt 12
9. Struise Black Albert
10. Cantillon Lou Pepe Pure Kriek
11. 3 Fonteinen Schaerbeekse Kriek
12. Cantillon FouFoune
13. Struise Cuvée Delphine
14. Rochefort Trappistes 8
15. Struise Black Damnation II – Mocha Bomb
16. Struise Pannepot Reserva
17. Struise Black Damnation V – Double Black
18. Struise Dirty Horse
19. Struise Pannepot Grand Reserva
20. Cantillon Zwanze 2011
21. Cantillon Lou Pepe Framboise
22. Chimay Bleue (Blue) / Grande Réserve
23. De Dolle Oerbier Special Reserva
24. 3 Fonteinen Oude Geuze
25. Fantôme Saison
26. Gouden Carolus Cuvee Van De Keizer Blauw/Blue
27. Oude Gueuze Tilquin à l’Ancienne
28. Abbaye des Rocs Brune
29. De Cam Oude Lambiek
30. Cantillon Saint Lamvinus
31. Struise Black Damnation IV – Coffee Club
32. Cantillon Zwanze 2009
33. Rodenbach Vintage
34. Struise Black Damnation III – Black Mes
35. 3 Fonteinen Oude Geuze Vintage (all from 2002-*)
37. Cantillon Pinot D’Aunis
38. De Dolle Stille Nacht
39. Tripel Karmeliet
40. Cantillon Cuvée Saint-Gilloise
41. Dupont Avec les Bons Voeux
42. Girardin Gueuze Black Label
43. De la Senne Wadesda #1
44. Malheur Millenium 2000
45. Cantillon Gueuze (Classic/Organic/Bio)
46. Struise Pannepøt – Old Monk’s Ale – Pannepeut
47. 3 Fonteinen Armand’4 Oude Geuze Herfst
48. Bush de Nuits
49. St. Bernardus Christmas Ale
50. Westmalle Dubbel
The list is compelled by beer tasters around the world. Nevertheless, the list is still not the holy grail. But what is interesting to see is that Trappist Ales are very popular (Westvleteren,Rochefort and Westmalle all 3 in the top 5). Also the brewery ‘De Struise Brouwers’ has gain popularity for their beers, e.g. Struise Pannepot and Struise black.
The list specifies itself also more to the strong ale (triple/Double) beers. But don’t forget there are some excellent lager beers in Belgium too. And some very special fruit beers, amber beers, brown beers , not forgetting to mention the many Abbey Beers or white (wheat) beers.
Asking to a Belgian what is the best beer in his country depends so not only to the opinion of this ‘specialists’. His or her answer depends on the personal taste for a specific type beer, probably even from where this Belgian person lives, if he finds tradition important, if he likes or dislikes specific herbs etc.
If you want to know what’s the best beer of Belgium, you should decide it yourself. And you should start with a wide variety of Belgian Beers, each time tasting carefully and detecting which elements you like.
If you want to start, I could recommend the list below. Note that there are 950 different Belgian beers, and new species are coming, so this is not the abolute list but a personal opinion at this moment!
But taste all this Belgian Beers and you will discover a wide range of flavours and stylesin beer. And you will definately find an own answer on the question: what is the best beer of Belgium!
All different Belgian styles and examples of possible best Belgian Beers
- Belgian Lager Beer (‘pintje’): Cristal 1928 – Alken Maes
- Amber beer: Palm
- Blond Ale: Judas or LaChouffe
- Gueze Lambic beer: Cantillon Blåbær Lambik
- Fruit Lambic beer: Kriek BelleVue and Kriek Boon (both totally different in taste)
- Trappist Blond:
- Trappist Triple: Chimay blue
- Triple Beer: Kasteelbier Triple, or St-Bernardus 12
- White beer: Brugse Witte
- Flemish Red: Rodenbach
- Brown Beer: Roman or Adriaen Brouwer or Aardmonnik
- Saison Beer: Saison Dupont
- Scotch Ale: Achouffe McChouffe
- Abbey Beers: Affligem or Tongerlo
Strong Ale: Delirium Nocturnum or Bush beer
Champagne Beer: Malheur Brute
Others worth to try: Saison de Pipaix, Kanunnik Triple, Carolus Classic, Karmeliet
Take your agenda and put a big circle around Thursday 3. November. That day the famous Westvleteren Trappist will be available in the supermarket. The first time in the lifetime of Westvleteren, because before you had to go to the abbey in West-Flanders to obtain a box of bottles.
It’s a limited offer of a box with 6 bottles of Trappist Westvleteren and 2 degustation glasses for only 25 EUR. To buy this limited offer, you need to use a coupon you find in some Belgian newspapers and magazines: (De Standaard/Knack/Le Vif). In total 93000 boxes will be sold. The revenue of this exclusive offer goes totally to the rebuilding of the trappist abbey in Westvleteren.
Read here more about Westvleteren Trappist.
Good news for all beer lovers outside Belgium. The ‘best beer of the world’ -Westvleteren 12- will be exported in a very limited version to the rest of the world.
The sales revenues will be used for the renovation of the Abbey.
70 000 so called ‘building boxes’ will be exported to a limited number of lucky countries like Italy, Switzerland, Ireland, France, Spain, Netherlands, Canada and the US.
A building box consists of 4 bottles of the trappist ale Westvleteren 12 together with the original glass, in an original ‘building box’-package. (see picture)
Normally you only can buy Westvleteren at the Abbey itself, after you make a personal appointment with the monks. So this once in a lifetime export action from the monks gives the opportunity to people outside Belgium to buy the famous beer.
With a production of 4.750 hectoliters beer per year, the demand for Westvleteren always exceeded supply. Last Friday, the website ratebeer.com voted Westvleteren 12 (again) as the best beer of the world. This action gives a lot of beer lovers the opportunity to buy some Westvleteren XII themselves.
The Westvleteren will be exported to these countries:
France (second time)