White beers, the result of a mixture of oats and wheat, called Walgbaert and Happe, were made in Brussels in the fifteenth century. Roetbier and Zwart-bier were, as their names tell us, red and black beers. Cuyte was at one time a favourite and aristocratic drink. It has since fallen from its high estate. There are some forty kinds of beer, at least, now manufactured in Brussels. The white beer of Louvain in South Brabant is the most esteemed; but an Englishman has described it as having the flavour of pitch, soapsuds and vinegar. The winter brew is termed Faro, the summer Lambic. The Faro is by some said to be prepared from the strong Lambic and a small beer called Mars. All Belgium beers, according to the opinion of some experts, have a certain stamp of vinosity. In addition to the Lambic and Faro, which are distinguished in this particular, may be mentioned the Uitzet of Flanders, the Arge of Antwerp, and Fortes-saisons of the Walloons. The white sparkling beers of Louvain are the best of summer beers, they are succeeded by those of Hougaerde and Diest. The brown beers of Malines and the Saison of Liege possess good reports. Latterly the Grisettes of Gem-bloux, the beer of Dinant, the blonde of Buiche, and the ale of Oppuers have been creditably mentioned.
1 This is the sweet potato, introduced into Europe before the common potato.
2 For an interesting account of this, vid., Dr. Charnock's Verba Nominalia.