Tuesday Beer Trivia: Belgian Brewing

Put your knowledge of the Belgian brewing to the test in this week’s Tuesday Beer Trivia quiz.

Not long ago, Belgian beer was all but unknown in America except by those lucky few who ventured across the pond in the name of beer exploration. Today, Belgian beer styles continue to grow in popularity and have been a source of inspiration for professional and home brewers alike to push the limits of conventional beer styles as we know them.

After you take the Beer Trivia quiz below, scroll down to “Beer Trivia Answer Explanations” section to learn more about Belgian beer and brewing.

Beer Trivia Answer Explanations

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Question 1: In order to prevent non-Trappist commercial companies from using the Trappist name, eight Trappist abbeys got together and formed the International Trappist Association (ITA) in 1997. To become a member of the ITA, prospective abbeys must go through a rigorous application and evaluation period. Currently, the only ITA-recognized brewery in the United States is Spencer Trappist Brewery in Spencer, Massachusetts. Check out these 4 tips from Spencer Trappist Brewery on homebrewing great abbey ales.

Question 2: Warmer fermentation temperatures that may exceed 80° F can instill some of the spicy and fruity character that is common in many Belgian styles, but don’t get those confused with character created from actual spices like cardamom or orange peel. Learn more about the esters and phenols created by yeast.

Question 3: Gueuze is a blend of young and old lambics, which are bottled and aged further.

Question 4: It is common for Belgian brewers to ferment Bière de Garde with lager yeast and to conduct a lagering phase after fermentation. This is said to be because Bière de Garde was traditionally brewed and fermented in the colder months, but modern lager brewing has no doubt also had an influence. Cold fermentation leads to much less yeast-derived character compared to those found in most other Belgian ales.

Question 5: Monks often brew a special light ale called patersbier (“Father’s Beer” in Dutch) to drink for sustenance, while leaving them fully capable to take on the day’s endeavors. Learn more about patersbier and how to brew it at home (recipe included).

Sources: The Oxford Companion to Beer; Radical Brewing; BJCP.org

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