Belgium is the country with the longest history of craft beer. The history of Belgian beer dates back to the first Crusade (1096-1099), which was far longer than Belgium's history as an independent nation. Belgium has a land area of 30,528 square kilometers, but only 178 breweries, including the global beer giant Anheuser-Busch InBev Group. The country is a pioneer in beer and the birthplace of craft beer. Belgian craft beers are best known for its abbey beers. There are only 6 kinds of beers that are brewed in abbey, all of which are from Belgium.
Belgian beers lay particular stress on malt and yeast in raw materials and thus have a strong taste of malt and yeast. At first, raw materials for beers included only malt, yeast and water. It was not until 736 AD that hops began to be used in beer brewing. Therefore, Belgian craft beers' raw materials proportion tends to be traditional. Today, although there are various kinds of Belgian beers, what remain unchanged are the tastes of malt and yeast. For example, wheat malt is often used in brewing Abbey/Trabist types, while a very small amount of hops is added. Typical Belgian beers include Duvel (meaning devil and referring to a Belgian strong ale), Delirium Tremens nicknamed “lose virginity liquor” (Belgium strong dark ale), St Feuillien Grand Cru specially brewed for celebrations, and Kasteel Red (KriekBeer, a fruity drink) that tastes like wine. Tasting Belgian beers will be a unique experience for you. They not only have high alcohol content, but also taste distinctive and balanced.
Delirium Tremens as a Belgian pale ale is considered "best beer in the world". It was first brewed in December 1988, and made its debut on the Ghent Festival in July 1989. It has a clear golden body resembling white wine, and a mellow taste. With a good touch of malt, Delirium Tremens has a strong note of citrus and spice followed by a fruity, cherry aroma and sweetness. The aftertaste of it is lingering. The rich fruity taste of Delirium Tremens makes the drink popular among ladies around the world. It is easy for one to over-drink, for the 8.5% ABV this drink is perfectly covered by its taste; therefore, some even call it "Lose Virginity Drink." This beer was nominated the "Best Beer in the World" by the American beer hunter Stuart A. Kallen.
Duvel is deemed as a leading brand among Belgian ales from various aspects. It is the first to apply in-bottle re-fermentation, which gives the beer a smooth taste. It is now the best-selling Belgian special beer. In Flemish, "Duvel" means "devil". It is a strong English stout inspired by McEwan's Scotch Ale. Within this 8.5% ABV ale contains its golden color, crisp taste and clear aroma. The combination of citrus, cider and yeast builds up its fragrance; and a touch of yeast and hop keeps the taste of pale malt around. Duvel is a masterpiece of the art of Belgian beer. It was nominated one of the top five beers in the world by the beer master Michael Jackson.
It is a term describing the top tier of beers in Belgium; they are regarded as beers for the nobles. The requirement for the brewing of a Grand Cru is strict; thus, not many breweries are qualified to brew Grand Cru, even in Belgium—the kingdom of beers. Chinese importers often translate "Grand Cru" as " 尊贵 ", which means nobility; this translation may sounds shallow, yet it reflects the specialty of Grand Cru beers. Most Grand Cru beers are strong Belgian pale ales. Their blonde bodies resemble Champagne. In fact, it has been served in weddings and ceremonies in place of Champagne. Grand Cru beers have comparatively higher ABV, combined by a strong taste of sour malt and a touch of hop, and accompanied by a subtle aroma of caramel, honey and fruits. They taste completely different from other beers.
（4）Kasteel Red Kasteel Red is a kind of top-fermented fruit beer. Besides essential elements such as malt, water and yeast, it also contains cherry juice, sugar and other ingredients. Instead of relying on its fruity taste, Kasteel has greater emphasis on its taste as a beer, making it more suitable for male to drink. Actually, its 8% ABV shows that it is a strong Belgian ale. Meanwhile, its Original Gravity is only 12°P, making it tastes strong, sweet, sour, dry and easy to drink. All of these characteristics help it to win praise from its buyers.