This book will guide you around Belgium’s breweries, large and small. Wherever you travel on Belgian roads, you will come across brewers. Often invisible – lurking behind abbey walls, or tucked away in castles, barns, stables, cafés, garages, kitchens or sheds – brewers are making beer in kettles, basins, tanks, and whatever else they have to hand!
In large breweries you will find the brewers in the control room, the ‘cockpit’ of the enterprise. Entire dynasties are built around the industry; they are proud of their brewing traditions, which go back as many as fifteen generations. Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum, starters are cobbling together their own equipment or buying basic brewing kits. They are often acquainted with an experienced colleague, who is only too happy to lend a helping hand and share wisdom and experience.
It is up to you whether or not you approve of their beers. Are you voting for weak, strong, pale, fruity, zesty, spicy, mild, sour, bitter or sweet? For accessible or layered, for a warming beer or a thirst-quencher, a degustation beer or a quaffable one? Tasting is the message. This book taps the keg, encouraging you to weigh up all the options and make your choice.