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.

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Crabbeleer, a historic beer returns… or does it?

9 March 2021 by - No comments

Gent 1847. A brewer claims to have found the recipe for a Medieval beer called ‘crabbeleer’. And people’s hero Jacob van Artevelde drank it. Hmm… do you mind if we check the facts first..?


Drijdraad: a lost strong brown beer (and sometimes weak coffee)

Drijdraad was ‘the best variety of Mechelen brown beer.’ And in the Land of Waas it means: strong beer, also bland coffee.’ Okay, tell me more?

Fact check: the 1852 Belgian beer law

A 1852 Belgian law that ‘was the kiss of death for hundreds of small breweries’? That calls for an investigation. Let’s check some facts!

Georges Lacambre: the man who taught Belgium how to brew

On the Cimétière de Passy in Paris lies Georges Lacambre: the man who, with his 1851 book, taught Belgium how to brew. But who was he?

A small history of Flemish old brown (and red) – 2

After a somewhat uncertain start, the old brown beer of Flanders had acquired some fame by the end of the 19th century. Beer from Oudenaarde was well-known, and Rodenbach was expanding too.

A small history of Flemish old brown (and red) – 1

A deadly accident in Geraardsbergen in 1877 is one of the earliest solid pieces of evidence for the existence of the beer that I was looking for: Flemish old brown.

Flemish brown, red or red brown? How Michael Jackson invented a beer style out of thin air

Nowhere in traditional literature on Belgian beer is there even the slightest mention of a ‘red’ beer. So where does ‘Flanders red’ come from?

Berliner Alt: it sounds German, but it’s a Dutch lost beer

‘Do you know this beer style?’ Marco Lauret, brewer at Duits & Lauret, asked me. So what exactly was this Berliner Oud?