Join Club

Your Beermonger: Planet Belgium

Editor’s Note: This sponsored column is written by Nick Anderson, beermonger at Arrowine (4508 Lee Highway).

It has been fun these past few weeks going over some of the basic styles and examples of those styles. I feel like it’s time to start exploring other parts of the world and maybe get a bit more specific when it comes to styles, beers, history, etc. The next few weeks of this column are going to be dedicated to exploring Belgian beers. There are many misconceptions and assumptions made by those unfamiliar with the beers of Belgium, and while I certainly won’t be able to clear ever one of them up I hope to at least clear a path for you to find an interest in what is historically the most interesting of the ‘big’ beer-producing nations.

Now don’t get me wrong: I swear by my belief that the United States has the most interesting and dramatically varied beer producing culture in the world. That said, it seems that most beer geeks I’ve met and known over the years (myself certainly included) have followed a path from intense hoppy American Pale Ales and IPAs to Belgian beers. It’s not an easy transition for everyone; it took me years to wrap my head and palate around the flavor profiles and archetypes traditional in Belgian beers that are truly foreign to us here in the States. I’ve said it many times to many people over the years: while traditional beers from the U.S., U.K., Germany and the like are different, they’re relatable under the umbrella of what we know here as “Ales” and “Lagers.” Belgium is akin to a completely different planet. On Planet Belgium we consider different styles to be their own countries, so rich and varied are their traditions.

Because of the very different and sometimes downright strange flavor profiles in Belgian beer, it’s easy for someone new to it to be put-off for a lack of preparedness. We’ll get into the details later on, but for now here are of basic rules to help you start your journey:

Free your mind and your palate will follow: If all you know of Belgian beer is Stella Artois and you’re looking to expand your knowledge, make this your mantra. Repeat it to yourself often. Never forget it. You will have to adjust to new ideas and accept a whole new paradigm of what beer is and what flavors make sense. The use of spices, sugars, fruit, and wild yeasts are par for the course depending on which beer is in your glass at any given time, creating brews that are unlike anything you’ve ever had. Keep a clear head about yourself and judge each beverage on its own merits, not by how “weird” it might be compared to what you may be used to. I cannot stress this enough.

Look before you leap: Never pass up advice or recommendations from people who know, and are able to relate to your experience. This is the one time I might advise not just picking something off a menu “just because” or grabbing a bottle off the shelf because it looks interesting. It is simply far too easy to stumble into something that you may not be “ready” for yet. I know how that sounds but hear me out: that 11.2% ABV bottle of Quadruple may be your favorite beer ever someday — but if you have it tonight it may be so drastically divergent from anything you’ve had before that it may sour you to strong Belgian beers in general. An extra few minutes to question a bartender, server, or beer guy can help open a whole new world to you.

Next week, we’ll start picking apart the major Belgian styles and recommending specific beers to try. Until then, happy drinking.


Nick Anderson keeps a blog at, and can be found on Twitter at @The_Beermonger. Sign up for Arrowine’s money saving email offers and free wine and beer tastings at

Recent Stories

Today may be rainy, but in general the weather is getting warmer, the cherry blossoms are in peak bloom, and it’s a great time to get out of the house….

Say hello to the curious bunny named Franscisca. This sweet girl is currently in foster and can’t wait to find her forever home! Her friends at Animal Welfare League of…

Public safety in Arlington County is poised to be increasingly automated and unmanned, with more traffic enforcement cameras and drones potentially coming soon. The updates came during a work session…

Retail businesses have struggled to make a go of it at 3800 Langston Blvd, but another looks set to give it a try. The condo building in Cherrydale has seen…

Synetic Theater Camps are a wildly fun, highly accessible choice for young people who love moving, playing games, and making memories. Registration is open now for Summer Camps (sessions June 20-August 25) and there are even a few spots left for Spring Break camp, April 3­-7.

Located in National Landing, these performance-based camps are designed for students of all ages – no theater or performance experience required.

Led by professional teaching artists, campers learn acting, movement, and technical theater skills through the lens of Physical Theater. Physical Theater incorporates acting, movement, dance, mime, and acrobatics. If you’ve seen a Cirque du Soleil performance, you’ll find many similarities.

Most first-time campers are new to the performing arts, and teaching artists are well-versed in engaging students at all levels. Parents and campers report that one of the best parts of Synetic is the community, with many families returning year after year because they feel a strong sense of belonging.

Read More

Submit your own Announcement here.

EDBS Dental Billing Solutions is pleased to announce that it has achieved compliance with the federally mandated standards of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) through the use of Compliancy Group’s proprietary HIPAA methodology, The Guard® compliance tracking software, and HIPAA Seal of Compliance®.

The HIPAA Seal of Compliance is issued to organizations that have implemented an effective HIPAA compliance program through the use of The Guard, Compliancy Group’s proprietary compliance tracking solution.

Clients and patients are becoming more aware of the requirements of HIPAA compliance and how the regulation protects their personal information. Forward-thinking providers like EDBS Dental Billing Solutions choose the HIPAA Seal of Compliance to differentiate their services.

“Since the nature of our business being exclusively remote, we take HIPAA compliance very seriously. With the help of Compliancy Group, we are able to take steps to fortify our systems to protect PHI information and familiarize each employee about HIPAA and how we can further safeguard PHI data.” said EDBS Dental Billing Solutions founder Goldie De Leon.

Read More

Submit your own Announcement here.

WHS Spring Festival

Join us at the WHS Spring Festival on April 22, 2023, from 10am- 3pm at Wakefield High School(main parking lot). Come out to shop, play, and eat!

Shop local vendors, arts & crafts, new and used items, food vendors/trucks, and

District 27 Toastmasters 2023 Virtual Conference

District 27 Toastmasters invites you to its annual conference where you can hear phenomenal speakers, attend professional development and personal growth seminars about leadership, negotiation, communication, teamwork, and mentorship. Learn how to develop your personal story and how to improve


Subscribe to our mailing list