Walloon and Brussels Beers: Belgium’s Best Kept Secret
Belgian Beer Ambassador and beer expert extraordinaire Marc Stroobandt gives us an insight into the richness and diversity of the very special beers that Brussels and Wallonia has to offer:
Walloon and Brussels beers are maybe Belgium’s best-kept secret. Although some are well known brands in their own right, most of them are still to be discovered by beer aficionados, despite the fact that they have stood model for many other beers around the world. Their original character and wonderful flavours, closely linked with the local cuisine, make them unrivalled and unique in every sense. If the word ‘’terroir’’ is fitting for fine French wines, then the term ‘’gout du terroir’’ is made for the Walloon beers. Beers in the Walloon region were, and still are, not only a part of the daily staple, but also a way of celebrating what the land provided, more than often interlinked with religious customs and festivals. Drinking Walloon and Brussels beers will transport you to glorious unspoiled rural and undulating landscapes, enchanting forests and rapturous rivers, all providing the essential ingredients for the magical potions created by the brewing sorcerer and reflecting the rich history of the majestic cities and the countryside.
Ever imagined that beers could tell you stories about long forgotten battles, unrequited passion and rambling faithful pilgrims, spiced up with myths and legends handed down by generations. It is just that which presents us with an up-to-date opportunity to indulge in new exotic flavours in our ever changing craving for new sensations. By using a variety of seasonings like herbs and spices, fruit and the ingenious application of traditional ingredients and brewing techniques, the Walloon and Brussels brewers are able to create flavours, which can rival and enhance many cuisines.
The best known Walloon and Brussels beers are rooted in a long history and an almost unbelievable story of pilgrimage and religious devotion, side by side with the joie de vivre of the common people, expressed in local folklore.