Amber beers have their origins in Celtic countries and territories. They appeared at the beginning of the 19th century, probably in response to stouts deemed too bitter for some consumers.
Even if they did not emerge in Belgium, it is all the same clergymen who are at work to design this new style. The amber beers are generally clearer and less bitter than stouts, but not like pale ales and IPAs, which are also starting to lose market share.
Monks created this style by replacing part of the light malt with roasted malt (used in the making of stouts). They put 10% which gives this coppery or golden colour.
The taste is less sweet and more spicy. There are notes of liquorice, hazelnut, toast or also notes of dried fruit. Brewers often add spices and sometimes the fermentation sugar is replaced by honey which adds body and roundness to the beer.
Today this style is everywhere and all breweries usually have one in their range. Relatively accessible in terms of taste, this kind of beer is one of the most consumed in the world.
Even industrial brewing groups make it, often they have several beers of this style in their catalogues. This also means that amber style beer has been greatly corrupted over time and the characteristics established during its creation are no longer respected today.