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What are Belgian & Trappist Beers?

Every type of beer, including Belgian and Trappist, are primarily crafted from four essential ingredients: water, malted barley, hops, and yeast. Brewing involves fermenting sugars, often derived from malted barley, with yeast. This process yields alcohol and carbon dioxide. Hops, meanwhile, are added to provide flavour, aroma, and serve as natural preservatives.

What is a Belgian Beer?

Belgian Beer refers to a wide variety of beer styles brewed in Belgium, known for their rich history, diverse flavours, and often high alcohol content. Belgian Beers can range in colour from pale to dark brown, and each style boasts its unique characteristics.

The magic of Belgian Beers lies in their complexity. They often showcase fruity and spicy notes, deriving from the use of unique yeast strains. The flavours can range from sweet to bitter, sometimes within the same beer. Notable Belgian beer styles include Belgian Tripels, Dubbels, and Saisons.

What is a Trappist Beer?

Trappist Beer is a specific subset of Belgian Beer, brewed by Trappist monks within the walls of a Trappist monastery. To qualify as Trappist, the beer must adhere to the strict criteria set out by the International Trappist Association.

There are 14 Trappist breweries worldwide, each producing beers with unique characteristics. However, most Trappist Beers are known for their high alcohol content, rich malty sweetness, and complex flavours of dark fruit and spice. The most common Trappist Beers include Dubbels, Tripels, and Quadrupels.

Belgian Beer vs Trappist Beer: What's the Difference?

While all Trappist Beers are Belgian Beers, not all Belgian Beers are Trappist. Belgian Beer represents a broad category encompassing a wide range of styles, flavours, and brewing techniques. This category includes beers such as Saisons, Blondes, Dubbels, Tripels, and many more.

Trappist Beer, on the other hand, is a specific type of Belgian Beer produced under the watchful eye of Trappist monks within a Trappist monastery. The beers they produce often exhibit the rich, malty character and complex flavours typical of many Belgian beers. However, the term "Trappist" doesn't define the beer style but rather the conditions under which the beer is brewed.

In conclusion, whether you're enticed by the vast, flavourful landscape of Belgian Beers, or intrigued by the monastic brewing tradition and quality assurance of Trappist Beers, both styles offer a window into the rich tapestry of brewing history and tradition. So next time you're selecting a beer, remember, each style has its unique story, tradition, and taste that's just waiting to be explored.


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