In the summer of 2009 I studied abroad in Belgium. Part of my graduation requirement was to take some form of a concentration to complete my Bachelors degree. I really wanted to do something other than take a class on campus for this requirement. A few friends of mine were talking about how they were studying abroad in Europe for their program. I had never been to Europe and thought that would be a great idea for me to learn and experience culture outside of America while still getting college credits. Luckily I had a family who supported my request to study in International Hotel Management abroad. I chose Belgium due to the fact that it was either that or Thailand. I would love to of gone to Thailand but with the world being in a rut during that time my family didn’t feel comfortable with me going over there alone.
While in Belgium I was surrounded by more beer than you could imagine. There was of course a lot of consumption of beer during this month abroad. This was my first time drinking real Belgian beer and I was in love. I didn’t ever want to go back to American beer. In Belgium, every beer comes served in its own individual glass. If you ordered a Stella it came in a Stella glass, ?If you ordered an Orval Trappist Ale it came in its very own designed Orval glass, etc. I loved the idea that every beer came in its own glass. The beer there is served in much smaller portions. You don’t get the usual 16 fluid ounces. Belgians believe in serving their beer as close to room temperature as possible, no ice cold beers here. Therefore, they serve in smaller glasses around 45 degrees so you can get all the flavor extracted from the beer. Belgian beers are very high in alcohol content and most beers such as Duvel for example have certain laws in the country with how many you are allowed to consume before operating a vehicle.
If you ever get the chance to go to Europe I suggest you make a stop in Belgium and get your hands on some wonderful Belgian beers. These beers have completely changed my way of drinking. I don’t hardly care for American beers much. Some great Belgian beer recommendations I have for you here in the US are: Stella Artois, Duvel, Orval trappist ale, Leffe, Chimay and if you enjoy fruity beers the cherry Lambic is very good as well.
Tour Belgium for beer: http://www.winemag.com/Wine-Enthusiast-Magazine/Web-2012/Tour-Belgium-for-Beer/