Belgian Beer 101: From history to styles – WTOP

WASHINGTON — Now through July 21, fans of Belgian beer have two reasons to raise their tulip glasses.

For starters, Americans are celebrating National Belgian Beer Week for the first time in the U.S. It also happens to be Belgian Restaurant Week, here in D.C. 

A little fuzzy on the fizzy beverage? Never fear: Dean Myers, cicerone at Brasserie Beck, runs through the basics of Belgian beer:

A beer that’s steeped in tradition

Some of the oldest, most well-known breweries in the U.S. have been around for about 150 years. In contrast, the Belgian brewery Val-Dieu just celebrated its 800th anniversary.

Today’s Belgian beer scene is more commercial than ever before, but it wasn’t always that way. Myers says beer was originally brewed at abbeys and was meant to be consumed by the local congregation and community. Monks living at the monasteries oversaw the beer production and revenue from the sales helped to fund church outreach. These monastery based-breweries still exist, but now, there’s also a mix of large-scale commercial and microbreweries throughout the country.

(AP Photo/Yves Logghe)

Ready to give Belgian beer a try? Check out events going on throughout the week at Brasserie Beck and local restaurants participating in Belgian Restaurant Week.

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