Announcement for The Session #91: My First Belgian

Announcement for The Session #91: My First Belgian

The Session, a.k.a. Beer Blogging Friday, is an opportunity once a month for beer bloggers from around the world to get together and write from their own unique perspective on a single topic. Each month, a different beer blogger hosts the Session, chooses a topic and creates a round-up listing all of the participants, along with a short pithy critique of each entry”.

Jake Scholan of Hipster Brewfus was our host last month, inviting us to partake in ‘Beer Fight Club’ in which he asked us to take on beers that had or that we thought might became a battle. I poured a Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers to see if it would be a fight.

Friday 5 September will see Belgian Smaak hosting Session #91.


“I have found great beers in Alaska and Patagonia and wonderful whiskies in Islay and Hokkaido, but in Belgium a Beer Hunter can never rest on his bar-stool”.

Michael Jackson. Antwerp. June 2006.

The topic that we have chosen for this month’s Session is ‘My First Belgian’.

Our blog is called ‘Belgian Smaak’. We drink beers from other countries around the world, but we’re really all about Belgium here.

Although David Turley of Musing Over a Pint did host a session on Belgian-style triples (A Tripel for Two) back in February 2009, we noticed that there has not yet been a Session dedicated to discussing beers from this country generally and so we feel that we are the hosts to do so.


The rules are that there are no rules. There is incredible opportunity at your fingertips; whether it be to write about the first time you tried a Flemish red brown ale or the time you got your tongue around a traditional Belgian witbier.

But if you have never tasted a Belgian beer, don’t worry. Now is your opportunity to jump in at the deep end. Have you found an excellent Saison? Have you ever had a Speciale Belge which took you by surprise? Or perhaps you love lambics, geuzes and faros.

Your first Belgian may have led you to ask what the hell was the difference between a trappistenbier and an adbijbier and how these beers gained their special logos. Or did you wonder how ‘Scotch’ came to be a popular beer style in Belgium?

Maybe you’ve tried a Belgian IPA and would like to compare it to its American or British cousins or perhaps you’ve stumbled across an unusual Belgian stout? Was there an interesting use of experimental spices or fruit in a Belgian beer you tasted or were you left feeling the effects of a Belgian quad or two on an evening memorable for all the wrong things?


You can even write about your first or your favourite Belgian-style beer which is made somewhere else in the world but inspired by Belgian beer culture, by a unique Belgian yeast strain or one which embraces Belgian beer traditions.

Some of the brews from Allagash Brewing Company or Russian River Brewing Company spring to mind as possibilities. There are even examples at home in Ireland – I met Rascal Brewing Company at the European Beer Bloggers Conference who brew Wit Woo, a Belgian style Witbier and a brewery has just opened in Westport in Mayo, Mescan Brewery, who produce a red tripel.

Feel free to explore how some Belgian beers manage to bring together years of brewing tradition with new and innovative techniques and ideas, such as the creation of a Champagne style beer or continuation of barrel aging traditions. Or perhaps you enjoyed a collaborative brew between a Belgian brewery and a brewery from another country?


It doesn’t even have to be your ‘first’. You could use the Session title as a reference to a moment when after many years of drinking a particular Belgian beer your eyes were suddenly opened to its charm, whether that be down to the particular circumstances surrounding its consumption or a personal story you’d like to share.


And don’t be afraid to tell us about a Belgian beer that you really hate if that’s what you’d rather do!

Our aim here is to explore, discuss and hopefully celebrate the ways (if any) in which this beer culture has personally impacted you, the beer blogging community.


Many bloggers will have participated in the Sessions before and will know the protocol, but if you are new and would like to get involved, I would really encourage you to do so. It’s easy!:

  1. Write a blog on this topic and publish it on or by Friday 5 September 2014, linking to this announcement in your post.
  2. Leave a comment below this announcement with a link to your post on that same day.
  3. Check back on Monday 8 September for a round-up of all the blog posts.

In the spirit of the Session, feel free also to tweet your link or comments at us (@belgiansmaak) or email us with any questions: taste[at]

Thanks for reading and good luck!

Beer Writer of the Year 2015 (British Guild of Beer Writers). Best Beer Blogger 2017 (North American Guild of Beer Writers). Certified Cicerone®. Accredited beer sommelier (UK Institute of Brewing & Distilling). Certified 'Zytholoog' (CVO Panta Rhei, Ghent). Professional Brewer (Siphon Brewing, Damme, Belgium).