I feel there’s no better way to try Belgian beers than in the country itself, so I headed for a long weekend in Bruges on New Year’s Day…all in the name of ‘research’ of course.
Comparing the range available in this beautiful historic city with what we stock in our shops I’d say we’ve got a most bases covered. There were very few I tried over there which we don’t actually sell in Bristol but it was definitely a good opportunity to refresh my memory – and taste buds – about some old favourites.
Brugse Zot Blond is pretty much everywhere as it’s brewed in the city itself. It is a fresh blond beer with a balance of stone fruit and some spice. It turned out to be a nice refresher in between copious servings of strong, heavy Trappist beers such as Westmalle and Trappistes Rocheforte.
My firm favourite of the whole trip however has to be Tripel Karmeleit. With its rounded creaminess, hint of banana sweetness balanced with spice and floral notes. It was a great accompaniment to Moules et Frites as well as for drinking on its own, cutting through some of the weighty meat and carbs of the Belgian cuisine.
If you like Belgian beers then I couldn’t recommend Bruges more. There’s a bar or restaurant round every corner each stocking a range of at least 10 different Belgian beers so you never need drink the same beer twice!
But if you want a break from beer then ‘Wijnbar Est’ is the place to go. A stunning little wine bar near the fish market with a great range of wines by the glass and bottle – including some Belgian wine, which was a first for me!