Eurail Blog | Home About

To all the Belgian beers I've loved before, and will love in the future

Date: Wednesday, Apr. 16, 2003
Time: 9:20pm Pacific Beer Drinking Time
Location: Again, dammit, not Belgium—but tonight by hops it really should be.
Drink: Chimay, a Belgian ale. Hence this latest installment.

Throughout these posts you might have noticed a recurring theme, or at least a recurring mention of Belgian beer.
That’s neither entirely deliberate, or entirely subconscious. I’ve had a soft spot for Belgian beer—and not just around my middle—ever since my first taste of Hoegaarden, in Edinburgh back in 1999.
Ever since I’ve been trying to grow my knowledge and palate of these fine beers. About the size of the US state of Maryland, inside this compact space Belgium produces some of the most varied and amazing beers in the world—over 400 brews, from party standards such as Stella Artois, to hard-to-finduns like White Donkey or Het Kapittel Abt.
Eugene, Oregon—not just across the bleeding Atlantic from Belgium, but all the way on the opposite side of bloody North America as well—has available a surprisingly good array of Belgian beer. Perugino, for example, keeps 2 stocked regularly in its premium beer selection:

  • Chimay Ale, the caramel-brown bit of bottled loveliness mentioned above. Brewed at Scourmont Abbey in Bieres de Chimay. A plausible starter for those who claim not to like beer. 7%
  • Duvel Belgian Ale, another staple of my Belgian diet. Brewed, I think, not by monks but by a family, the Moortgats. I hope they’re open to adopting. 8.5%
    I’m seriously (not just drunkenly) pondering lobbying Sean for a special Belgian Beer Tour for next year…
    And this is the selection at just one café. The Wild Oats (a chain of organic, health-minded grocery stores here on the Left Coast) stocks a fair selection of Belgian beers too. I shall have to make a raid. Anyone care to come with? I’m calling it a tax writeoff… disguised as training. But feel free to call a pissup a pissup, and I’ll nay say nay to anyone wanting to tip one back with me in Belgium or before.
    Want to know more about Belgian beer? That’s why we have Belgium and Belgian beer
    Hmmm… when in Belgium, maybe I should just stay in monasteries. I’ll be happy to stir wort and play taster guinea pig in exchange for room and beer… er, board.