Delirium Tremens is a strong blond beer brewed in Belgium. Visitors to bars stocking craft beer may recognise the pink elephant and swirling font of the word Delirium, from metal signs that often adorn pub interiors.


The beer shares its name with the medical condition brought about from withdrawal from alcohol, of which this brew packs a hefty amount. Often abbreviated to ‘the DTs’, the condition is characterised by symptoms including shaking, confusion and, in some cases, by seeing things. Hence the pink elephant on the eye-catching label of 33 centilitre bottles with a stone-like surface.

The label also bears ‘Anno 1654’ below the name of the brewery, Huyghe. That refers to the year from which there’s evidence of brewing at the Appelhoek in Melle, approximately five kilometres south-east of Ghent. Leon Huyghe bought the brewery in 1906. Yet it wasn’t until 1988 that Delirium Tremens was first produced. Ten years later, it was awarded a gold medal at the world beer championships in Chicago. It’s subsequently won a raft of distinctions, including a gold medal at last year’s International Beer Challenge in London.

The beer, as you’d expect from a blond, is golden in colour. When poured, it froths into a white head with a light, slightly malty aroma. I found that Delirium Tremens’ flavour opened up over the course of the glass. Brewed with three types of yeast, it has a crisp, refreshing flavour and a long, dry finish.

It pairs well with mature cheeses such as Oude Postel, made at an abbey about 30 kilometres east of Antwerp.

Brewery: Brouwerij Huyghe
Alcohol content: 8.5 per cent

Stuart Forster was named Journalist of the Year at the 2015, 2016 and 2019 Holland Press Awards. Five generations of his family have been actively involved in the brewing industry.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Scan Magazine Ltd.’