Lost Beers

The history of beer from Belgium, The Netherlands (Holland), and elsewhere. Looking for beer types that have vanished, and for the stories behind well-known styles, from IPA to gueuze, from saison to lager.

Recent comments

The memoirs of Jef Lambic

19 June 2019 by - No comments

In his ‘Mémoires de Jef Lambic’, a mysterious writer from Brussels described the beer and the pubs of his youth, in a late 19th century setting of gaslight and horsecars. But who actually wrote it, and what of it is true?


Lyon: a brewing island in a sea of wine

I love writing about the beer history of France. This time: Lyon. Europe’s southernmost traditional brewing city had a beer style of its own.

Dutch lager on the Belgian border, in the 1950s

When I learned that the archive of the Bavarian-style Van Waes-Boodts brewery in the province of Zeeland had been digitised, I gave in to the temptation to have a look…

When Hoegaarden was still spontaneously fermented

Spontaneous fermentation: it’s mainly known for lambic, but what if I tell you that once there was another spontaneously fermented Belgian beer type, one that was considerably different?

When Stella Artois made a ‘Special Dutch’ version for a country that didn’t like the taste of beer

In 1970s, the Dutch didn’t like heavy, hoppy beer. Even Stella Artois was too much for them…

A short history of Belgian Christmas beer

Another wonderful Belgian tradition: Christmas beer. But where does it come from exactly? That’s what I wanted to find out.

Stella Artois: so is it a Christmas beer or not?

The makers of Stella Artois will often tell you that it originally was a Christmas beer, when it was introduced in 1926. But was it?

Big data: Jacques Trifin’s beer labels

A wonderful resource for historical Belgian beer is label collector Jacques Trifin’s website. Not only does he own about 28,000 beer labels, the website is also very useful to make some very interesting quantitative analyses…