Lost Beers

The history of beer from Belgium, The Netherlands (Holland), France, and elsewhere. Looking for beer types of the past, now long gone. How did they taste? Why have they vanished? And busting some myths along the way…

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A pub crawl through 16th century Antwerp

15 November 2018 by - No comments

Antwerp pub life is eternal, if the ‘Mandement van Bacchus’ is anything to go by, a satirical text from 1580 that gives us an insight into the drinking habits of those days…


Fact check: Yvan De Baets on saison (and the results may shock you)

Every saison lover knows Phil Markowski’s 2004 book ‘Farmhouse ales’, and Yvan De Baets’ contribution on its history. But has anyone actually checked their sources? I have.

A recipe for Antwerp seef

And now a legendary beer from Antwerp: seef. But the city beer of Antwerp, that would have to be De Koninck? It may be now, but before that, things were different. So what was seef (pronounced: ‘safe’) exactly? Including a historic recipe…

What is Belgium’s oldest beer?

When making a beer trip to Belgium, you can easily get mesmerized by all the history you see. So that’s why this time I’ll try to answer the inevitable question: what is Belgium’s oldest beer?

The real Belgian ‘farmhouse ales’

After exploring the presence of saison beer in Belgian cities in the previous article, now: the countryside. What do we know about the historical rural beers of Wallonia?

What was a 19th century saison really like?

One important Belgian historic beer type is especially problematic: saison. This may shock saison lovers, but there is no historical text describing saison as a ‘farmhouse ale’…

Double saison from Maastricht

In Maastricht, you can visit the Netherlands’ most well-preserved historic brewery: De Keyzer. Most of the buildings and machines are still in place. Interestingly, they also have an old brewer’s notebook, and one of the recipes in it is for a ‘double saison’…

A French (and Belgian) beer for factory workers and farm hands

A Belgian agricultural journal from 1863 quotes a French recipe for a beer for factory workers. It remains to be seen whether the workers and farm hands really were all that pleased.