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Belgian Beer Week @ A Year of Beer!

January 11, 2010

Depending on what you read, either Charlie Papazian (beer guru and author of the “The Complete Joy of Homebrewing”) or Michael Jackson (the late great British beer writer, not the late pop star) called Belgium “the Disneyland of Beer!”  What I do know is that Mr. Jackson said the following about the beers of Belgium:

“The great beers of Belgium are not its lagers. Its native brews are in other styles, and they offer an extraordinary variety, some so different from more conventional brews that at the initial encounter they are scarcely recognisable as beers. Yet they represent some of the oldest traditions of brewing in the Western world.”

Over the coming week, I will try to give just a little taste of the great diversity of styles and depth of flavor that come from this relatively small county (a population about equal to that of the state of Pennsylvania, and an area of about only 1/4 the size) that is home to hundreds of unique breweries.  I could easily spend an entire “Year of Beer” or two or three on Belgian beers alone, and while a week hardly does justice, but at least it’s a start…

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