15.07.2011 18 °C
Here I am at a 'Belgian beer tasting shop' in Brussels. It is where the locals go, and there are hundreds of beers, none of which I have ever heard of. Like an Enoteca in Italy for tasting local wine varietals, this is a place for tasting lesser known obscure small batch beers. You tell them what you like, and they bring you a similar type of beer to try. For me it is tough to describe the flavors of beer that I prefer, so I tell them I like the Belgian beer 'Leffe' and they return with a refreshing blond that is slightly yeasty and not too fruity. OK, sounds good. (it was).
The Belgian sophistication in beers is absolutely astounding and unrivaled. I am not a very learned beer drinker, but I also know of no other place on Earth with this much variety, depth and interest in beer as Belgium. Czech republic definitely competes with Belgium in the number of small breweries, and Germany has many breweries as well, but the trappist history here from the Middle Ages takes beer to a much higher level. They have fruity, wheaty, yeasty, dry, sweet, bright, cloudy, creamy, mild, refreshing, strong, high carbonation, low carbonation, lambics, ales, doubles, tripel, abbey, brun, blond, white, stout, malty, bitter, spicy, saison... you get my drift?