A couple of years ago, I wrote a post that discussed a side of my heritage than some of you may not have known. It was fun to take some time to remember how I got here and discuss some beverages native to Belgium and choose non-Belgian beverages to enjoy with the local cuisine.
Last month, my grandmother passed away; today would have been her 94th birthday.
As I got to know more about our family’s history, I had no idea that alcoholic beverage industry was in my blood. Grandma worked in a liquor factory putting labels on bottles as a teenager during World War II. So if the bombs were coming in, she and her coworkers had to run out of the factory since fire plus alcohol is a life-threatening combination. And even though she was working in a liquor factory, she didn’t drink (maybe alcoholic beverages are not in my blood after all).
Grandma’s hometown of Hasselt is located in the part of Belgium that was part of Flanders (so she spoke Flemish, not French as they do farther south). Flanders boasts a ton of breweries making classic Belgian beers of so many styles. Today, I raise a glass to Grandma on her birthday. Join me with any of the three beers below (or anything else of your choosing, honestly).
Leffe Blonde Ale: Leffe has classic banana bread flavor, floral aromatics, and is lightly hopped. Pretty easy drinking at 6.6% abv.
Duvel Golden Ale: This is a strong pale ale that is quite popular and easy to find. Citrusy and spicy (especially cloves), malty on the palate, but gives way to a grapefruitiness on the finish to make this lively. 8.5% abv.
Westmalle Dubbel: Beautiful deep brown color with cherry, brown sugar, cinnamon, and a sturdy, savory bread character. No bitterness, nutty on the finish. Very malty and creamy, perfect for a cold day by the fire. 7.0% abv