I live in Fort Collins, home of New Belgium Brewery and a bunch of other ones so beer is definitely on my radar, especially "Belgium style" beers. ((Editors note- Teresa would like at this point to disclaim any notion that she currently enjoys beer. Beer = Liquid bread, remember that.)) So when my hubby says we are going to Belgium, I think not first of the chocolate (I know, I know, messed up priorities.), but of the beer. Belgium beer is, in a word, yummy. Or maybe - tasty. Or some word that means a combination of having many wonderful flavors all mixed in to a light and fresh liquid with no two tastes being the same but all of them being fantastic beyond imagination. That word.
In Brussels, they have a Beer Museum! We were disappointed that they only had one beer on tap to try. You take time out of your busy schedule to go learn about beer here in Ft Collins, and by gosh they reward you with copious amounts of the effervescent stuff. But don't worry, we were not deterred. And not all of the beer here is dark.
This lovely little 1920s bar was conveniently located within walking (stumbling) distance to our hotel. The wait staff was lovingly abusive to all foreigners. We couldn't stand to leave!
Much to the scorn of the before mentioned waitress (see her back there smiling at a local?), we decided to pictorially document our beer adventures. (Because, seriously, you expect us to remember?)
There were many, many different ones to try everywhere we went.
This is the house beer at our pub. "Lambic" means it's aged in open barrels and the yeast isn't added because it seems there are live yeasts IN THE AIR! And they just cooperatively float down into the beer like that's their only purpose on Earth. This was a favorite of mine.
Some of the beer is "Trappist", meaning- 'made by Trappists' for those of you a bit dim. And yes, you can get some of this in the U.S. but we found they offer many more varieties of them in Belgium. This was Randy's favorite, I think. At least that's what I thought I heard him say late, late one silly and rainy night in a foreign country.
This one wins the Most Dramatic Glass award. Each beer seemed to have it's own glass and this is how you could tell if the bartender was drunk. I drank all of this one myself. It became my favorite one. For the hour it took me.
Look, it's a Lefe! And that green thing outside the window is the new-fangled Grand Christmas Tree they erected in the Grand Place that transcends through, I swear, the entire spectrum of colors in a spectacle of light and wonder before it settles itself back down to the expected green. And yes, that was before we started in on that evening's beer.
Ok, ok, since interest in that tree is high, here's a better pic. I never seemed to catch it any other color but green, it was tricksy that way. And I guess the "lean" is mine.
Here's a dark Chimay. I don't normally like dark beer. I don't do anything normally. But this was tasty and not too heavy. Plus, it was fresh. Geography in action!
Although it was surely bound to happen, I admit I didn't see it coming. A Mannekin Pis beer. (Reminded me of how we used to call Coors "piss water") It was seriously enjoyable. Unlike trying to find the famous statue in the rain.
THIS ONE! This one will knock your socks off with it's extremely high (even by their standards) alcohol content. Our original plan, when we were considering the consequences of drinking large amounts of higher alcohol beer on foreign soil long, long before we got there, was to split each beer. I don't think we did that once. This was Randy's favorite. (Two is too allowed!)
Ok, so, everywhere we went and everyone we shared beer enthusiasm with kept telling us we just had to go to the Delirium (bar? pub?), not sure of the real name. But they were always vague on directions. We thought we were in it twice but were mistaken (hey, it's a fine line between pleasantly buzzed and stupidly drunk, ok?). We did find it our last day there! The trays screwed to the ceiling is the verification of such. They have a catalog of beer they serve. That sucker was the size of the Fort Collins phone book! And since Belgiums are into the having world records (see previous chocolate blog), they hold the record for widest assortment of beers. Fun place, lots of men in uniform. And one freakishly tall woman who, sadly, was camera shy.
And LO!!! Lookie what I found there? A Brugge! I am a Brugge! They had Brugge beer. I drank it and made off with the Brugge glass it came in. (Which was the second crime I committed in this foreign country. Bold as brass, I tell ya.)(My maiden name is Bruggeman. I was always told we were German. Recently, I keep having Dutch people tell me I am not German but Dutch or Flemish. Whatever! I just like the beer.) This, THIS was my favorite beer.