The Beers of Wallonia Book














Book Cover








The Beers of Wallonia : Belgium's Best Kept Secret is the authoritative guide to the beers and breweries of the little-known region of Wallonia, the French-speaking southern half of Belgium.

Each brewery has been personally visited and every beer sampled by both authors on more than one occasion, giving a consistent record of tasting notes.

All 223 beers are here, plus their label variations. From the internationally-acclaimed Trappist brews of Chimay, Rochefort and Orval to the artisanal beers of Fantome. From the long-established standards of Union and Dubuisson to the latest offerings of newcomers Vervifontaine and Ambly. The massive 2,200,000 hectolitre per annum Jupiler beer factory is here, as is the tiny La Touffe operation, run from the back of the owner's house.

With the Flemish products stealing most of the limelight in recent years, The Beers of Wallonia : Belgium's Best Kept Secret will introduce beer drinkers to the treasure-trove of excellent, original and often truly artisanal beers found in Wallonia offering a taste and character to excite the palate of anyone searching for those elusive new experiences.

Whether travelling to Belgium to do some of your own beer-hunting or relaxing at home with a well-aged vintage ale, this book is the essential guide to enhance your enjoyment of Wallonian beer.


Detailed description and photograph of every brewery in Wallonia, complete with a brief history and general information including:

  • Address and telephone/fax numbers
  • Opening times
  • Tour availability (with required notice, costs and languages spoken)
  • Annual output in hectolitres
  • Availability of bottles, cases and glasses at the brewery
  • Accurate 'how to find' directions

Tasting notes on every beer made in Wallonia including:

  • Picture of almost every beer label
  • Alcohol by volume
  • Bottle sizes and closure type, plus availability on draught
  • Declared ingredients
  • Whether it will improve with age
  • How to store
  • How to serve

Comprehensive index, including all known current 'label' beers and list of French-named products not made in Wallonia

Where to drink and buy section - with recommendations from the breweries themselves for bars/cafes and beer shops

Feature articles - including a brewing day at Brasserie À Vapeur and a potted history of Trappist breweries





GB Flag

The book that gave me the most pleasure, or at least led me to it was The Beers Of Wallonia. An exhaustive survey of the breweries of French-speaking Belgium. One of those books whose detail borders n the obsessive, and all the more wonderful for it. The Independent (UK national newspaper) Books Of The Year 29/11/97.

One of the best titles I came across was The Beers Of Wallonia. This well-produced book comes at an appropriate time. Every beer and brewery is recognised, described and given the Woods/Rigley scores. Each brewery is photographed, each beer label is illustrated and there are recommendations of the best bars to drink the beers. This is a wonderful piece of research and if you have any interest in Belgian beers then this book is a must for you. "What's Brewing" CAMRA's monthly newspaper.

The invaluable, pioneering, thorough Beers Of Wallonia. Michael Jackson (reviewing Beers Of France) Dec '98

The classiest book is the quaintly titled The Beers Of Wallonia - Belgium's Best Kept Secret. Wallonia has many wonderful beers to it's credit that deserve better recognition.....few folk have spoken up for them until this rather beautifully produced book came out. Barrie Pepper. Chairman, Guild of British Beer Writers.

I was absolutely delighted with The Beers Of Wallonia and had difficulty in putting it down. Whilst my first choice has to be Orval the next visit to the Ardennes will have even more detours than normal. You both should be justifiably proud of this major guidebook, the wealth of careful detail and enticing reviews should make this a must for travelling beer drinkers. Allen Worsfold. UK Representative of Orval

We realise Wallonia isn't part of France, but this is simply too good a pocket guide to pass over. France Magazine. Spring 1997

USA Flag

The detail and completeness with which the authors have described Wallonia's brewing landscape is unprecedented, and this book will prove itself invaluable to very beer tourist and Belgian beer aficionado.........Woods and Rigley rate each beer on a ten point scale. The rating system is innovative.........Aspiring beer judges will recognise similarities between these sensory evaluations and the manner in which beers are scored and evaluated in American homebrew competitions. With such unusually complete descriptions this guide could be a very useful learning tool. .......Woods and Rigley have set a new standard for books of this type........If they could manage, I would encourage them to produce a companion volume covering Flanders, as it would surely overshadow any previous work. Martin Manning. Brewing Techniques (USA) Jan/Feb 1997

Dutch Flag

I have started to read your book, it is amazing to see how much a 'foreigner' knows about beers in Wallonia. Is there any better book in Belgium? My Compliments. Theo Flissebaalje. Editor PINT-Nieuws

For the descriptions of the breweries The Beers Of Wallonia is justified in calling itself a guide, indeed a very good one. Review in PINT-Nieuws February 1997.

Belgian Flag

The authors have spent a lot of time tracking down the breweries : no small feat given the phenomenal lack of knowledge of local brews in Wallonia. For its detail, enthusiasm for the subject and sheer usefulness, Beers Of Wallonia is a must-buy for Belgian beer buffs. Michael Leahy in The Bulletin, Brussels 16/01/97.

The beer descriptions are well-written, providing full tasting notes without descending to beer snobbery and arcane terminology. The only complaint I have about the book is that it only covers 36 breweries; but if that is all there is in Wallonia, it is hardly the fault of the authors! Instead, I look forward to the follow-up - "The Beers of Flanders"... Soundbite: A well-produced book, providing a welcome update on (half of) the Belgian beer scene. Dirk Manuel on BeerScene Web Site.



The Direction-Generale des Relations Exterieures de l'Agence Wallone a l'Exportation. In other words, the body responsible for Foreign Affairs in the Wallonian Export promotion agency, have taken enough copies to distribute to each of their offices worldwide for use as reference material.



© 1997 J.Woods & K.Rigley

This page last updated Monday 31st December 2001