When in Brussels you have to drink beers, right? Well of course you do!
There are thousands of types of beer in Brussels, you can get them in every bar/restaurant/shop even the supermarkets have shelves filled with different kinds. But if you are a big fan of beer but allergic to gluten, like my dad, you are fucked.
Back in the day there wasn’t a weekend, or sunny day my dad didn’t have a nice cold brewster. But because of his coeliac disease he is now not able to do that anymore. Even though wine is fine, it’s not as quenching and satisfying as a cold beer in the sun.
So i made it my duty to find him some beer to enjoy.
I have read somewhere that the popular bar “Delirium” had more than 10 gluten-free beers. SO after a long day of sightseeing we went in to the delirium café. The first thing you notice when you walk-in is the smell of beer and you get hit in the face with the heat. We went straight to the bar to ask for the gluten-free beers. The lovely bar people looked at us funny because apparently they don’t work with brands but they categorize with flavors. You have: Dark, Blonde, White, Amber, Fruity, etc.
Luckily for us he knew one brand, that’s where our journey began. Delirium has a big brochure with all the beers they have in storage. It tells you the name and the alcohol content of the beers, it also lets you know if the beer is organic or gluten-free. After looking through the brochure 5 times we found some gluten-free beers. Unfortunately it was not the 10 we hoped for. They had 6 types of beers.
For me it was so nice to see my dad enjoying a good tasteful beer after all this time. Before getting to tipsy we left Delirium to look for dinner.
The next day while wondering around the city center of Brussels we found a very cute organic place called the sister that served organic alcohol as well. I am a sucker for organic picturesque lunch rooms like this one so after some bitching from my brother we went in, and thank heavens we did.
After my dad explained, in his best english/spanish/french/italian, that he wanted a beer “sans gluten” the owner gave us 7 options. 3 of them we already tried at delirium. The owner recommended we get a “flight“. This is a small beer tasting of 4 types of beer of 16 cl , you have to order 2 if you are taking bottled beer so he doesn’t have to throw away the rest. This was perfect for us, my dad and I took the 4 gluten-free beers we hadn’t tried before and my brother choose 4 other beers with gluten. The owner offered some gluten-free snacks and we had a lovely evening. You can read more about this perfect place in my other blog about Brussels here.
Now I will tell you about the 10 gluten-free beers I found in Brussels with the help of my brother and dad.
- Brunehaut 6.5%
Brunehauts gluten-free organic beers are developed on the farm domaine du graux. This farm found a way to remove the gluten during the brewing process. The brewery was founded in 1890 by the Allard family in Guignies. In 1991 they moved to a newer building and changed the name from brewery st. Joseph to Brunehaut. Brunehaut blonde has a light golden look and a fresh taste. It is very smooth and light. Perfect for a sunny day.
- Brunehaut 5.5%
It’s pale in colour and tastes kind of the same. The taste of hop is very overpowering.
Personaly I didn’t like it that much.
- Brunehaut triple 8.0%
A beautiful full beer with a copper appearance. This beer is heavy but fresh at the same time. It’s not bitter and has a slight caramel after taste.
- Brunehautpomfrais 5.5%
It has a vibrant red color and as the name says it is strawberry/apple flavor. The apple is not really there, but the strawberry sure is. It’s not too sweet. Excellent for summer instead of something like Jillz. It is not the type of beer I would go for, but it is a good alternative if you like the sweet type of beer.
- Brunehaut amber 6.5%
This beer is my favorite. It is rustic brown of color with quite a sweet smell.
The first sip is not at all what you would expect, as it is much less sweet than the smell. It has a light fruity taste with a hint of caramel. This beer is very enjoyable for early fall.
- Caulier blonde 6.8%
Caulier is a Belgium beer that was founded in 1848. It is the only naturally sugar free beer on the market. This gluten free beer won a silver award for the best beer.
It is a typically blonde beer, it doesn’t stand out that much. The color is foggy yellow, with a citrus taste. Full but not too heavy, a little bit of a bitter after taste. A good summer beer with the taste of flowers and fruit.
- Mongozo white 4.8%
This brand is from Holland and is an organic fair trade This was the brand that was the first gluten free beer I hear of a couple of years ago. I wasn’t a fan back then and I’m still not a fan. It has no taste or smell. It is like a bubbly water with a slight beer-ish taste. It was really very carbonated.
- Leireken blond buckweat 6%
This is a Belgium beer founded in the fifties. The founder used organic spelt and buckweat. Because of its popularity they moved to a bigger brewery in 2007.
It’s a pale golden beer. The smell is a little citrusy, like the taste.
It has some spicy notes and a slightly bitter after taste due to the buckweat.
- Leireken brown buckweat 6%
This beer has a brilliant hazy dark golden color. It has a herbal taste with a sour after taste. The smell is a little bit like the taste.
- Grisette organic blonde 5.5%
Grisette is a Belgium beer and was founded in brasserie St.-Fueillien in Le Roeulx around 1900.
It’s a pale yellow beer not very foamy. It starts of as a fresh light beer but has a bitter and dry after taste.
My overall experience is very positive and it will make it a lot easier to buy my dad a birthday gift.
He enjoyed every sip and felt like old times.
The Brunehaut is for sure the best option and has a flavor for everybody. My all-time favorite was the Amber, but for the really warm summer days the blonde edition is a good option.
My conclusion is that you should never go for the white option no matter what brand. Often it has little to no taste.
Even if you have a gluten allergy you should never give up on a good beer. But remember “drink met mate” (Drink responsibly)