Is Belgium truly the home of the world's best beer? Yeah! Belgian beers are some of the most popular all around the world.
But what makes Belgian beer so special? Everyone loves Belgian beer for many different reasons, but Belgium is home to some of the most recognised beer styles and traditions in the world.
Belgian beer was brewed long before the country became independent; in fact, it was started even before the First Crusade. To make money, the French & the Flemish made beer.
Because of the unsanitary condition of drinking water at the time, people drank beer more frequently.
Belgian beers come in a variety of styles, but the two most popular are Trappist and Abbey beers. The first Trappist brewery in Belgium was Westmalle and they didn't start producing beer until the end of 1836, almost 50 years after the French Revolution. Westmalle is dark & sweet in nature, it was exclusively for the monks.
Trappist beers were brewed in Trappist Monasteries and there is a set of strict guidelines for what qualifies as a Trappist beer. Right now, there are only 10 monasteries that precisely meet these certain guidelines and certifications, six are in Belgium, two in the Netherlands, one in Austria and one in the United States.
Abbey beers are defined as basically monastic style beer. Following the International Trappist Association's official certification of Trappist beers in 1997, the term "abbey" evolved to refer to any beer that resembled the monastic varieties. In other word, if you compare the two styles of beer, an abbey beer may be:
- Produced by a Non-Trappist Monastery when compared to Trappist beers
- Produced under a business agreement with an existing monastery by a commercial brewery
- A commercial brewer which has branded a beer with the name of a closed or fictional abbey.
The requirements for becoming a Trappist beer are much more difficult than those for becoming an Abbey beer.
Belgian beer has a long and fascinating history that makes it all the more captivating. It’s history has helped to promote the unique brands that it has created.
What is O.J. Beer and how is it associated with Belgium?
O.J. Beer is born and brewed in Belgium. It is an award winning range of beers inspired by one of the world's strongest men, Belgian-born Odo Joost! The O.J. Beer range includes: Strong Beer, Wheat Beer, Fruit Beer and a Signature Pilsener.
When searching for your next brew, try something new. Out with the old, #inwithoj
Cheers… or as they say in Belgium, proost!