To appreciate the Belgian way of appreciating a beer, it is essential to study Belgian café life at first hand, in particular the reverence with which some beers are sipped. With several of the country’s finest beers coming in at over 10% ABV, this is understandable.
The punitive taxation applied to beer in the UK throughout the past hundred years has limited the ambitions of British brewing in the 20th century, but nonetheless the country has a richer heritage of stronger ale styles that most others.
None of the other styles of strong beer in the world have a living link with our brewing heritage, though it is a credit to the experimental nature of many of today’s better craft brewers that they have been created. Some are indeed masterpieces of ingenuity, leading in every case to some great examples of brewing prowess.