We’ve been fortunate to move to what some would call “the beer capitol of the world” – Belgium.
A couple interesting stats on Belgian Beer:
- +2000 different kinds of beer in Belgium (according to some stats)
- Each beer has its very own glass (walk into any bar and you see them all hanging from the ceiling)
- Alcohol content ranges from 4-12% (for comparison – USA beers are about 3.5%)
- Some beer still made by Trappist monks
Joe, of course, is ecstatic about everything beer. I think he’s outlandishly claimed that he will try all 2000+ beers, riiiight.
In order to “help” him with that goal, we’ve discovered that each city (even small towns) seems to have its very own beer festival (awesome). These beer festivals are exactly what you would think – places to go and try tons of different beers. So far, we’ve gone to 2, Antwerp and Gent.
The festivals were VERY different, but the concept was the same. You buy your own glass and then buy tokens to try the different beers (*perk: Gent let you sell your cup back for 3 euro). Obvvi, I’m not a beer conossieur or an experienced festival go-er, but below are some comparisons followed by my thoughts:
|200+ beers||75+ beers|
|Antwerp centrum square||Courtyard of a school (really)|
|Approx 15 stations (each brewer had it’s own tent complete with real wooden bars, beer flags, etc)||4 stations with card tables (computer paper with beer name)|
|Cheese, sausage, sandwiches||Hot dogs and sandwiches|
|Walking folk band (very good)||Improv entertainment (practiced in the courtyard by doing what looked like “medieval times” skits)|
We unanimously voted that Antwerp was much better (no brainer). When we walked into the Gent school, we actually started laughing, but in the end, is there ever a loser when it comes to a Belgium beer festival?
Here are some pics – can you guess which festival is which?! HA. Also, I know I said I’d try to take a pic of every beer we tried, but come on, who was I kidding. I think I took 1…
Side note: For those of you living in Gent, there is an amazing beer store just outside the center that sells beer by the bottle. It has a HUGE selection. For wine lovers, it also has a nice cellar of both reds/whites + wine of the month at a discounted price. The website has an English translation and lists all products (plus some fun stuff like…beer & headaches). http://www.dehopduvel.be/engels/index.html