Maybe it's me, but before this year I don't remember hearing about or ever celebrating Belgian Independence Day. Now, I am seeing emails and web postings announcing celebrations in honor of this new found excuse to drink a good beer. I was curious about this upstart holiday and went to my go to source for all important information - Wikipedia. Apparently, Belgian Independence Day is a real historical event. Belgium declared its independence from the Dutch on July 21, 1831, and crowned as its new king, a prince from a German duchy (after a French duke turned down the job). I guess we're supposed to overlook Belgium getting valiantly steamrolled by Germany in World War I and II.
Let's call Belgian Independence Day what it is, it's craft beer's answer to Cinco de Mayo and St Patrick's Day. These two beer drinking days are dominated by macro Mexican beer and green beer - styles that make a beer snob shudder. Belgian Independence Day, now that's a date a serious beer drinker can get his or her arms around. Cantillons instead of Coronas, and gueuzes rather than green beer, what's not to like. Here's to Belgium and good King Leopold!