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Michael Jackson - The Beer Hunter - Belgium Beers


 


Belgium Beer

Beer in Belgium varies from the popular pale lager to lambic beer and Flemish red. Belgian beer-brewing's origins go back to the Middle Ages. There are approximately 125 breweries in the country, ranging from international giants to microbreweries. In Europe, only Germany, France and the United Kingdom are home to more breweries. Belgian breweries produce about 800 standard beers. When special one-off beers are included, the total number of Belgian beers is approximately 8700. Belgians drink 93 litres of beer a year on average.

Belgium Beer History
Beer has been made in Belgium since the Middle Ages. It is believed today that beer was brewed at some monasteries during this period; however, no written proof exists. The Trappist monasteries that now brew beer in Belgium were occupied in the late 18th century primarily by monks fleeing the French Revolution. However, the first Trappist brewery in Belgium did not start operation until 10 December 1836, almost 50 years after the Revolution. That beer was exclusively for the monks and is described as "dark and sweet." The first recorded sale of beer was on 1 June 1861.

Trappist beers
Trappist beers are beers brewed in a Trappist monastery. For a beer to qualify for Trappist certification, the brewery must be in or near a monastery, the monks must play a role in its production and policies and the profits from the sale must be used to support the monastery and/or social programs outside. Only seven monasteries currently meet these qualifications, six of which are in Belgium and one in the Netherlands. The current Trappist producers are Achel, Chimay, Koningshoeven (the Netherlands), Orval, Rochefort, Westmalle, and Westvleteren. Trappist beer is a controlled term of origin: it tells where the beers come from, it is not the name of a beer style. Beyond saying they are mostly top-fermented, the beers produced by the Trappist have very little in common.      
 
Michael Jackson - Beer Hunter

Michael Jackson (March 27, 1942 30 August 30, 2007) was an English writer and journalist. He was the author of several influential books about beer and whisky. Jackson was born in Wetherby, West Yorkshire. His father Isaac Jakowitz had Anglicised his Lithuanian Jewish surname to Jackson. He went to King James's School in Almondbury and became a journalist, most notably in Edinburgh where he first encountered whisky. On his return to London he briefly edited the advertising trade journal "Campaign".

Michael Jackson became famous in beer circles in 1977 when his book The World Guide To Beer was published. This was later translated into more than ten languages and is still considered to be one of the most fundamental books on the subject.
  


The modern theory of beer style is largely based on the work done by Michael Jackson in his 1977 book The World Guide To Beer in which Jackson categorised a variety of beers from around the world in local style groups suggested by local customs and names. His work had a special influence on the popularisation of the brewing culture in North America, and he would later host a popular show entitled The Beer Hunter, which was shown on Channel 4 and the Discovery Channel. During his 30 year career as a critic, he wrote columns for a large number of newspapers and magazines.

Jackson considered beer as a component of culture and described beers in their cultural context. Although he traveled around the world and discovered different beer cultures, he was especially fond of the Belgian beers. He was appointed to an honorary officer of the Ridderschap van de Roerstok in 1997 for his important contribution to the international success of the Belgian beers. This honour had previously only been given to brewers. In 1998, Jackson brought forth his own line of beer glassware. Shortly after, Jackson also helped create and worked with the only beer club he ever endorsed, Michael Jackson's Rare Beer Club.

Michael Jackson was also an important reviewer of whiskies. In his book The Malt Whisky Companion, he reviewed a large number of whiskies and them gave marks from 0100, considering only those with a score above seventy-five worth purchasing. In many ways, his work in the world of whisky exceeded his significance as a beer writer. He was arguably the most important writer on whisky since the Victorian commentator Alfred Barnard and certainly the most significant and influential modern whisky writer. This was recognized by the prestigious award of "Master of the Quaich" and the prodigious sale of his whisky books and sell-out attendances at his tastings. He had enormous influence on the development of single malt whisky globally.



Michael Jackson & Frank Cronin
at the Helenboch Brewery - 1990

 





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Top 10
Ales & Lagers
in the USA

Golden Ale
Blonde Ale
English Summer Ale
English Pale Ale

English IPA
Imperial IPA
Bitter
ESB
English Mild Ale
 English Brown Ale
Porter
Stout
Oatmeal Stout
Imperial Stout
Old Ale 
Barley Wine
Scottish Ale
Strong Scottish
Irish Red Ale
American Amber
American Pale Ale
American IPA
American Brown Ale
German Alt
German Kolsch
German Wheat
German
Hefeweizen
Belgian Saison
Belgian Ale
Belgian Abbey Ale
Belgian Lambic
Belgian Witbier


Lagers
American Light Lager
American Pilsner
American 
Premium Lager

Amber Lagers
Bohemian Pilsner
German Pilsner
Munchner Helles

Munchner Dunkel
Marzen
Oktoberfest
Schwarzbier
Bock
DoppleBock


Hybrids
American Cream Ale
American Wheat
American specialty wheat

Fruit/Vegetable beer
Pumpkin beer
Herb and Spice beer
Chocolate Beer
Coffee beer
Rye/Roggen Beer
Wood / Barrel
Aged beer
Wood/Barrel
Aged strong beer
Smoked/Rauch beer

Specialty Ales/Lagers




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