Belgian Beer ...
I'm taking some baby steps towards exploring Belgian beer.
Whenver I drink in the Daily Pint I order Chimay. But, admittedly, that's not all that often.
Then, the other day I went out looking for some PIlsner Urquell (a longshot in my neighborhood liquor store where imported means from Mexico -- which is not a bad thing to this Modelo drinker) and while they had no PUrq, they had a sixer of Stella Artois. (FYI - It was nine bucks for six bottles.)
Which was.is delicious and in a different way than Chimay.
So, I've done a tiny bit of online research and sure enough, the Belgians have an excellent beer repuation. I'm two for two in loving them
Are there bars have a great selection of Belgian beers?
Are there any liquor stores where nice imports from Belgium are discounted?
What other Belgian beers do Chowhounders recommend?
Is there such a thing as Belgian cuisine in Los Angeles -- a Belgian restaurant (that doesn't just server waffles)?
P.S. - I've read the Wikipedia entry on Belgian beer ... but I want Chowhound advice, not encyclopedia advice.
Hey Ladies' Man! ;) You found a good thread, and there's tons of others when you do a word search on this site...
With the growing popularity of Belgian brews, more places are carrying the more common ones like Chimay and Duvel. As much as I like Stellar Artois for what it is, I don't consider it the type of Belgian beer that most have come to identify with this category. I'm in the same fish bowl as you - a growing Belgian beer guppy. I've been drinking Belgians for about four years now and started out slow. But now I'm drinking almost nothing but Belgians. Aside from my second favorite, hefs, or an occasional import or craft, I seem to always gravitate back to the Belgians. Belgians just have everything that I look for in a good brew. Lambics, a totally different category IMHO, are worth seeking out as well, but stay away from the stuff at TJ's. That brand tastes more like a shandy - very sweet and fruity - seriously like a teenager's drink.
I'm lucky in that I'm five minutes from Beverage Warehouse which has a pretty decent selection of Belgians and Belgian-styles in their store. I never counted but I try a few different ones each time I go there (about once every month), and I feel I'm making very slow progress in getting to the end of their selection. I recently had a nice Petrus Winter, which was nice, red, caramel-like and smooooooth... the box included a nice beer glass to boot. I'd rather have more beer instead, but I'll take the glass as concession...
It sounds like Lucky Baldwin's is the Holy Grail of truly great Belgians and a broad selection to boot. They have a Belgian beer fest there annually if that says anything. I'm one who sticks close to the Westside for the most part, so a trip out there will have to wait for the right time and occasion, but it's tops on my list - even above the great Chinese they have out that way.
Beeradvocate.com has alot of active blogging going on - you may consider them as a good source as well... At the same time, you may get a little disappointed in that when I was actively using their site, there seemed to be alot of apparently nice brews that are regional outside of LA, which makes casual tastings of alot of those mentioned out of the question. Still, this site is a great source of information. There are some serious beer-heads active on this site.
Keep this thread active - let us know what you've liked! And no crushes on the barmaids - your gal at Tacomiendo will turn green with envy. >;-}
I think you're referring to the beer that PaulF mentions - Pilsner Urquell. The last time I czeched, both the bottle and their website, Stella Artois is as Belgian as moules et frites (Mussels and fries)... but I do share the same love for these brews as you, but I unlike me, a guppy, your more like a bold salmon, swimming up a stream pouring with Belgian brews. :)
There are more then 600 kinds of Belgian beers, so plenty of time to taste them all
as a Belgian living in MD. I'm able to find my faverd onces
Duvel/ Rodenbach/Orval/ Munk beer from West Vleteren and Corsendonck