Belgian Beer | Marty Nachel | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

5 Lessons (11m)
    • 1. Belgian Beer Introduction

    • 2. Belgian Beer Culture

    • 3. Belgian Beer Styles

    • 4. Trappist vs Abbey

    • 5. Spontaneous Fermentation

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About This Class

This class breaks down the mystique and the somewhat confusing realm of Belgian beer, making it more understandable and approachable.

This course is taught by professional beer judge, beer educator and the author of "Beer for Dummies" and "Homebrewing for Dummies", Marty Nachel

Meet Your Teacher

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Marty Nachel

Beer Me


* Author, "Beer for Dummies", "Homebrewing for Dummies"

* Beer Education Director for Tapville Social 

* Advisory Board member and adjunct instructor, College of DuPage (IL) "Business of Craft Beer" certificate program

* Professional International Beer Judge- Great American Beer Festival, World Beer Cup, Festival of Barrel Aged Beers, Copa Cerveza de Americas 

* Draught Master and former trainer for the Heineken brand



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1. Belgian Beer Introduction: Hello and welcome to this class on Belgian beer. I'll be your instructor. My name is Marty Natural. I maybe J C. P. Beer Judge. I'm also a professional beer judge, A new author of Beer for Dummies and Home Brewing for Dummies. I'm also an adviser and instructor at the Business of Craft Beer Certificate program outside of Chicago. One notion that I would like to dispel is that Belgian beers are all one singular category , when in fact there are at least a dozen different Belgian beer style categories. Belgian is naps, a beer style designation. It's simply denotes a country of origin. 2. Belgian Beer Culture: in this class segment. I would like to spend some time talking about Belgian beer culture, Anybody who has ever traveled to Belgium or who is familiar with Belgian beer. They understand that that Belgium is a beer lover's paradise simply because of the wide range of beer types that are made. Her different styles. Different brands from different breweries from fruity, too acidic, pale to dark, dry, too sweet, low alcohol contents of high alcohol content No other country on Earth offers as full of flavor spectrum in beer. As Belgium, it helps to understand that Belgium is a culturally and linguistically divided nation in the north northern half of the country. That's notice Flanders. The folks there speak Flemish, which is akin to Dutch and folks in the southern half of the country. It's known as Bologna. Those folks are known as Walloons and their Francophiles meeting. They speak French. One thing they all have in common, though, is that they have a beer culture. Belgian beer culture has been adopted as an intangible cultural heritage by the United Nations. What other country on earth actually has beer? Patron Saints, Belgian does the gentleman on the left You see is King Gambia's. He was Belgian royalty centuries ago, and he was known to drink copious amounts of beer not just in his lifetime but apparently on a daily basis. And the person on the right is known as ST Arnaud oldest. He was sainted because of the fact that he saved many, many lives during the plague. He got people to drink beer instead of the polluted water at the time, and you can see the inscription over his head, says Bebe. A Servizi, um non Aquaman, which means I drink beer, not water. Belgium is one of the few places in the world that has a maze own Deborah shoes, and that's the Brewers. Guild Hall, located in the capital city of Brussels, Belgium, can boast of having over 1500 different brands of beer, thanks to the many breweries that that the countryside and because of the number of breweries and beers and beer bars that served the trade, Belgium actually has companies that do nothing else but set up tours. They have beer tourism throughout the country. It's a big deal, and as part of Belgian gastronomy, they have something called cuisine, olive year and This is the tradition of integrating beer into the mealtime experience. From the appetizer through desert. Many people are probably not aware of this but half shoots, which are also known in Belgium, or how plants which are growing in Belgium. These shoots as they emerge from the soil in the springtime, those air actually edible, and they're served as though they were like asparagus. 3. Belgian Beer Styles: in this segment, we're gonna be talking about Belgian beer styles, as you can see from this graphic. A map of Belgium. There are many, many different beers and beer styles from throughout the country, and it tends to be quite regional, as is done, that the concept of region ality is something you're going to see throughout Europe, but especially in Belgium. One thing I'd like to do here is to break down what kind of beer you could expect to see in Belgium if you travel there. The majority of all Belgian beer styles are top fermenting, which means they're ales. The minority of Belgian beer styles are bottom fermenting, which means they're lagers. Despite the fact that Ailes are much more highly recognized than their loggers, bloggers continue to outsell ales in Belgium by a wide margin. And that's thanks in large part to these beers you see here. These are brands within Belgium, and most everyone would recognize the international Stella Artois, but with two other breweries appears within the country are also jupiler and maize. So as I proceed into the specific styles, I want to mention that I'm using the Beer Judge certification program guidelines, uh, to set up this section. Belgian beer styles appeared at least four different beer styles categories with multiple sub categorizations. In the first category of European sour ale, we see that Belgium contributes Flanders Red Ale with Bruin. Otherwise Notice Flanders Brown Ale, non dick and Visit, and they're used with The asterisks is Fruit lambic, which is a subcategory of limbic, and I just want to take a quick look at who, Momix. When you find them in the market, they may be one of any many different kinds of fruits, including the label will say Creek in English. That would be cherry from laws. That raspberry poem is apple pesh is peach, and Cassie's is black current. So back to the major styles we have the Belgian Ale category, which includes with fear, Belgian pale ale and beer of the guard. Strong Belgian L category includes Belgian Blonde Ale, se Zone and Belgian Golden Strong. Now, finally, in the Trappist ale category, we see Trappist single, which is known cloak, really as ankle or patters dear, and is also Belgian Bouba Belden, triple and Belgian Dark strong L, which would include quadruple 4. Trappist vs Abbey: So in the previous section, I mentioned the beer styles known as Trappist ales. So I'm gonna talk a little bit about what differentiates between a Trappist and an abbey. The first concept we need to understand is that the word Trappist with a capital T, is a protected appellation. Only those breweries that are owned and or operated by Trappist monks could be labeled and marketed as such, and these rules come to us from the I. T. A or the International Trappist Association. In order for a brewery to comply with the I. T. A. Rules, beer must be brewed within the walls of a Trappist monastery, either by the monks or under their supervision. The brewery must also be of secondary importance within the monastery, and it should witness to the business practices proper for a monastic way of life. Brewery is not intended to be a profit making venture. The income simply covers the living expenses of the monks and the maintenance of the buildings and the ground. And Trappist breweries are constantly my heard to assure the irreproachable quality of their beers. So the six existing Trappist breweries in Belgium today our home, she may or ball. Bush Sports West Model and West Veteran, which is the producer of ST Sixties Beers. Now, when we compare Trappist too heavy ales, Abbey beers Evie Ailes that if your same thing are produced by secular or non monastic, non religious brewers, they are either produced by a commercial brewery under an arrangement with an extent monastery. Like once I just named branded with the name of a different or fictitious Abby by a commercial brewery or given a vaguely monastic heading raining. I'm sorry without mentioning a specific monastery by a commercial brewer. So popular Abbey Breweries in Belgium include Offer them but Stills. Course in Dunk Groom, Berrigan, Saverin Artists and Suffer Young. 5. Spontaneous Fermentation: it would be a gross oversight to talk about Belgian beer and not address the concept of spontaneous fermentation. While I was talking about beer styles, I mentioned Lum Vic and Gu Za, and these are two very, very unique beers with in the beer world because they are spontaneously fermented, as they have been for hundreds of years. The concept here is that brewers who are producing these beers do not add or pitch a used culture directly to the beer. They let Mother Nature do the work, and here's how it works. The hot words. After coming from the brew kettle, it's allowed to cool overnight in a shallow, open top vessel. Word is that exposed to air, it is inoculated with the micro floor unique to the region. That means the various yeast and bacteria's yeast, such as Britain Oh my sees and sacrum. ICI's and bacteria such as P a caucus entro Lactobacillus Macedo backer. Inoculate the word and begin the process of fermentation. And in this photo we see the cool ship as it's called. That's in Flemish in English, and you see the hot work being poured into this low, shallow a pan with no covering on it. And that's where the beer sits overnight. And you can see in the background that there are rumors that the ambient air from the outside can actually come in and sweep over the beer overnight. In the Seine River Value near Brussels, Belgium, up to 120 different yeast and bacteria have been found in cool work. They enter from the outside, air in from the old wooden timbers and slate tiles in the brewery. For this reason, lambic brewers are wary of changing anything in the brew houses for fear of disturbing the centuries old micro flora that make their beer unique.