Geography and history explain why the Farmhouse Ale tradition has stayed alive in Nord-Pas-de-Calais or northern France. Also known as the Bière de Garde region, this area is nestled right against the Belgian border.
Similar to the origins of IPA, Saisons were and are highly hopped. Hops acted as a preservative and kept the beers in good condition for their long storage periods. Add the existence of wild yeast in the process and the result is a finished beer that is quite bitter and tart.
While lagers and German Pilsners reign supreme in most areas of the country, Altbier accounts for almost half the beer consumed in Düsseldorf, and local Altbier breweries and quaint brewpubs churn out surprising volumes of the antique beer style.
If you find yourself trapped in a beer wasteland, do not despair, for there is hope. Like Virgil leading Dante through the pits of Hell, let this guide lead you safely to survival in an otherwise uninhabitable clime.
The Belgian town of Ingelmunster may be small, but beer-wise, it’s huge. Located in the province of West Flanders, Ingelmunster is a place with a long history, jam-packed with political and religious strife and, of course, untold hectoliters of fine Belgian beer.