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Some Belgian beers have underworld-inspired names. What is the origin of this tradition?

Question by Chris B: Some Belgian beers have underworld-inspired names. What is the origin of this tradition?
Some examples: Duvel (Devil), Judas, and Satan Red. Even Great Divide Brewing Co. in Denver has a Belgian-style ale named “Hades.” How did this tradition get started?

Best answer:

Answer by Poopypuss4
Most Belgian Beers were originally made by Monks, so it was probably to scare everyone so they wouldn’t have to share.

I don’t share a good Lambic when I get one.

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  1. india lima foxtrot

     /  December 1, 2012

    Because hangovers are hell.

  2. Joshua

     /  December 1, 2012

    A lot of the modern ones have the religious or medieval names as a sort of branding to associate their products with the ones that have existed for hundreds of years (most of which are named after the actual abbeys and monasteries their recipes originate from and/or are produced in).

  3. 2wicky

     /  December 1, 2012

    I don’t really think it is a tradition, but more of a cultural thing. Belgians tend not to take themselves too seriously. So the same goes for when they name their beers.

    And keeping in mind that Belgium is a catholic country and that even in the smallest village, you’ll find both a church and a café, biblical references are quickly made. Such as:

    Lucifer – devil
    Helleketelbier – hells couldron
    De Verboden Vrucht – forbidden fruit
    Duivels Bier – Devilish Beer (Not to be confused with Duvel)
    Zonderik – sinner

    Of course, there are many more beers with strange and silly names, some that might escape you if you are not familiar with Flemish dialect words.

    Deugniet – mischievous person
    Dikkenek – fat nek (Flemish term for an arrogent person)
    Dulle Teve – Mad bitch
    Ezel Bruin – Brown Donkey
    Riebediebie – gone, out of here
    Houtenkop – hangover
    kwak – the sound it makes when you drink it from it’s famous glass
    Leute – fun
    Mug – mosquito
    Ne koopstoot – headbutt
    Stouterik – a person that does no good

    Bachus – Dionysus
    Delirium Tremens

    Mort Subite – Sudden death
    Femme Fatale
    La Guillotine

    And when these are on tap, you have to be careful what you order :)
    Nog ééntje – one more.
    ‘t zelfde – the same.


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