Belgian Lager

Belgian LagerLager lover, lager lout … it’s a strange thing, but the British have become known for their dedication to another nation’s beer!  There’s another strange thing too - guess what lager is most popular in Belgium?

Did you say Stella Artois?

Sorry. Whilst Stella, as she’s familiarly known, is the most popular Belgian lager outside Belgium, the best loved lager inside the country is Jupiler which dominates by having about 40% of the consumer market, compared to Stella Artois which has just 8%.

Belgian Lager Taste

Called a Pilsner or Pils inside Belgium, a light-bodied lager is a common lunchtime choice for Belgian drinkers who often save their consumption of Abbey or Trappist ales for weekends or later in the day. Golden and refreshing, the Belgian lager is a delicious drink, popular when eating food, especially seafood.

Best Belgian Lagers

Here’s a quick run-down of some of our favourite lagers and their common uses:

maes pils Belgian lagerMaes Pils

- is both draught inside Belgium and bottled for consumption outside the country. It’s a light golden lager with a very solid head and a mild, crisp mouth feel that appeals to those used to Stella Artois. A popular lager for bar drinking - this is the one you’re most likely to see when Belgians get together to watch sport

Cristal Alken

- clear and light, cristal (crystal) lives up to its name with a very light, almost undefined first taste and then a crisp clean finish. Like all the Pilsners, it has a great head, with a tall creamy stand. Lightly chill Cristal for best experience - a favourite for drinking with seafood, this one is a real summer lager.


- the yellowest of the lagers, with the classic tall strong head of the lager beer, it’s light and somewhat bready, or cereal-like with a certain amount of bitterness in the aftertaste. It’s slightly towards the medium end in terms of weight on the palate and is definitely easy to drink. Drunk across Belgium, this is the commonest lager ordered in any Belgian bar. If you invite a Belgian to a party, and he brings some beer, this is the beer he will probably bring.

Primus Pils

- A light bright gold, sweeter than both Cristal and Maes, Primus Pils is variously described as apple-like, banana-like or citrusy, however you describe it, it’s clearly fruity in flavour. This lager gives less sense of hops and more of the palate of the traditional Belgian lambic ales, although it’s much lighter and more mild than any lambic brew. This is one that female drinkers love, and for some reason that nobody can clearly explain, it’s the lager that Belgians like to drink with spicy food, specifically, Mexican!

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