Belgian beers

Belgium is a paradise for lovers of good beer. In fact, Belgian beers have been declared a World Heritage Site, thanks to their enormous quality and their variety of unique flavours, aromas and colours. With more than 200 breweries, the small country produces up to 1,500 different beers a year, which is the best?

It is due to this variety of types of beers that UNESCO decided in 2016 to declare Belgian beer as Intangible Heritage of Humanity. In this sense, for Belgians, beer is more than just a drink, as it is fully integrated into society.

The best Belgian beers are distinguished by their unique personality. In this sense, they are exclusive beers, with unique flavors , which have particular production systems, which are not found anywhere else in the world.

The types of Belgian beer have a very long tradition, as the first brewers in the region began to be produced in the 12th century, although it would not be until the 14th century when the first brewers’ guilds appeared, located in the country’s most important cities such as Brussels, Bruges or Liege.

One of the characteristics that make these beers different are their ingredients and the way they are fermented . In this sense, the beer purity laws indicate that the ingredients are water, malt and wheat, hops and yeast. However, Belgian beers are known for experimenting with herbs, spices, fruits or vegetables. 

On the other hand, unlike other beers such as Lager, which ferment at low temperatures, Belgian beers use spontaneous fermentation systems, which cause the growth of bacteria that eat sugar and offer unique flavors.

All this unique system causes the existence of more than 1500 different types of beers and a great variety of beer brands. So which ones are the best?

The best Belgian beers

1. Chimay

Chimay beer is one of the big Belgian names and has different varieties, such as black or red. In this sense, the most common variety, and also the original, is the red one. Chimay is a Trappist abbey beer, coppery in color and fruity in flavor , with hints of apricot. It has a graduation of 7% and is fermented in the bottle itself.

2. Delirium Tremens of Brussels

This beer, named after alcohol withdrawal syndrome, is relatively young. The Brussels Delirium, with its white bottle and pink elephant, is a blonde Belgian Strong Ale style, with 8.5% alcohol and a strong flavor.

3. Hoegaarden

It is a traditional beer, whose style dates back to 1445 , when the monks of the town of Hoegaarden began experimenting with the production of wheat beers. It is a fresh, citrus and light beer, witbier style or white beer, the quintessential Belgian style.

4. Stella Artois

It may be the most famous and consumed Belgian beer in the world. It is a fresh Lager-style beer, with a light flavor and light color. It is one of the oldest breweries in Brussels, as the first record of it dates back to 1366.


A beer not suitable for all palates. Made using the Sour Ale style, which is aged in oak barrels, for which it obtains a series of acid flavors, which can remind us of the taste of cava. Made by spontaneous fermentation, it is also very refreshing.

6. Cantillon

Lambic beer, meaning spontaneously fermented beer, is a Belgian specialty. This beer is matured for 18 months and apricots are added to change the flavor. Orange in color and with a low alcohol content, it is a highly appreciated beer, especially by wine lovers, for its flavor similar to that of some white wines.

7. Brugs Tarwebier

Brugs Tarwebier is a light beer, with a low alcohol content, which does not usually reach 5 degrees. In addition, it has an acid touch that comes from the coriander. In this sense, it is a unique beer, with spicy yeasts, as well as aromas of wheat and fruit.

8. Hof ten Dormaal Inferno

It is a very young beer, born on January 6, 2015 as a result of a fire that devastated the Hof ten Dormaal factory. Luckily, some beer bottles were saved and, as an experiment, they decided to make a beer that would mimic the smoky flavor of those few survivors. The result is a strong beer, with 10 degrees of alcohol and a flavor that mixes smoke, charcoal and cherries, to create unique touches between bitter and sweet, tremendously personal.

9. Westvleteren XII

For many beer lovers and specialists, it is considered the best beer in the world. It is a Trappist abbey beer. The main difference between this beer and its cousins ​​is how complicated it is to get hold of one of them. It is an exclusive beer, which can only be purchased in a cafe located opposite the Abbey of St. Sixtus in Vleteren itself or by filling out a complex bureaucratic form. 

It is a beer with a high alcohol content, exceeding 10 degrees, quadrupel style and dark brown in color. It has fruity aromas reminiscent of plums, raisins and figs, with a fresh and sweet flavor.

10. Orval Beer

Another Trappist abbey beer. In this case, it is one of the most special, ideal for those who enjoy rare beers, both for its color, a bright orange, and for its smell that comes from its high concentration of hops. With 6.2 degrees of alcohol, it is a beer unlike anything you have ever tasted.

Although many have been left out, such as Leffe Roja or Maes beer, these are some of the 10 best Belgian beers that you can enjoy at home or on a route through the country of breweries.

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