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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What is Belgium’s oldest beer?

28 August 2018 by - No comments

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.

Brasserie à Vapeur: Belgium’s last steam brewery

Back in February I visited the wonderful Brasserie à Vapeur in the small village of Pipaix in the province of Hainaut, Belgium. Going there is quite an experience…

Fact check: the Vandervelde Law

A Belgian law from 1919 aimed at combating alcohol abuse, is credited with creating the heavy Belgian beers we now know so well: the dubbels, the tripels, the Duvels. But is it true? Time for a fact check.

The lost hop varieties of Belgium

Belgium is a hop producing country. However, Belgium has given up its native hop varieties long ago. Varieties that were once a staple of lambic and all the other traditional Belgian beers.