Here is one Belgian beer that I find I honestly enjoy. Stella is probably the most famous Belgian beer worldwide and is widely available on draught in bars all over Ontario. The self-described "deluxe beer of Belgium" has been brewed since 1366. Additionally, the label also states that "beer is to Belgium what wine is to France". Apparently, I figured that out fairly quickly on my own. It pours the same colour as typical pilsner, goes down smooth and finishes with little aftertaste. However, my one caveat is the green bottle. I have found that green bottled beers always seem to go 'skunked' faster than beer stored in brown bottles. This particular bottle had that funky Heineken taste to it, which I have never encountered with draught Stella (and wasn't that bad as to turn me off drinking it). My advice to anyone looking to juice this one up would be to buy cans or enjoy it at your local pub. While not a standout by any means, Stella Artois is an approachable beer that most people should enjoy.
My final verdict on Belgian beers hasn't changed much since my initial assessment. Belgium may be a hotspot of ancient brewing tradition, but their beers are not the greatest examples of brewing many make them out to be. I could see myself knocking back a few Hoegaarten on a patio in the summer, or a Stella Artois in the pub if the mood struck me but I don't think I'd reach for either as fast as I would a Schneider Weiss or Guinness. If anyone has any suggestions for other varieties of Belgian beers to review (or even better, a free sample!), feel free to contact me and we'll try to accomodate your requests in 2009. Happy drinking!