North Sea Drink
- Wine (no, not from this region)
- Beer (oh yes)
There are just a few tiny vineyards in Holland and Belgium, all far from our route Fortunately this means that you will be offered wines from all over the world instead.
Dutch beer is dominated by good old Heineken, Grolsch and Bavaria with Belgian Jupiler also making an appearance. Some microbreweries from Belgium (see below) have managed to squeeze into the market. In this region we have found three:
Belgium has some 8,700 different beers while there are more than 300 breweries and microbreweries. Given the scale it is hard to know where to start. To keep it simple here are the types of beer:
Trappist (no particular linking style but produced by 7 monasteries)
Abbey (like Trappist and may even have similar branding but commercially owned)
Blonde (pale ale with pilsner malt)
Brown (darker than blonde)
Champagne (made like the wine, yeast autolysis and secondary fermentation, you will recognise the bottles)
- Dubbel (brown and 6 to 8% ABV)
- Flemish Red (roasted oats, yoghurt type yeast and oak storage)
- Lambic (wild yeast based and often containing fruit)
Saison (traditionally low alcohol but now 6 to 8%, supposedly refreshing)
Scotch Ales (World War colonist, not unlike a pint of "heavy" though styles vary, labels normally show tartan)
Stout (some Guiness-ish while some are more like a milk stout)
- Wheat (cloudy)
Restaurants will often have a beer list as well as wine list.
Bruges has the Half Moon brewery which is open for visits.