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Belgian Beer


Bill Poster
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Went to Brugge;girlfriend thought i was being romantic- in the end i had sampled 15 different brews and i cannot remember all.

My top five

Leffe

Westmalle tripel

Zot

Hendrik

Brugge Tripel

the last 3 fantastic local brews

Orval, Palm, Duvel worth a mention of course

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Are we talking about Belgian style or actually made in Belgium?

Of your list I think I've only seen Leffe and Duvel.

My favorites from Belgium are Nostradamus and Troublette, both by Brasserie Caracole.

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[...]

My favorites from Belgium are Nostradamus and Troublette, both by Brasserie Caracole.

Oh, cool! I saw the Nostradamus just last weekend and was wondering about it. I will have to give it a try.

Somewhere I read, the odder the name and the label of Belgian Beer, the more interesting the beer inside. Nostradamus certainly has a quirky name and label!

~Erik

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Like all of my top lists, this is subject to change at any moment but for now:

Orval

.

.

.

.

.

Rodenbach

Drie Fonteinen Gueuze

Westvletern 12

Maredsous 8

aka Michael

Chi mangia bene, vive bene!

"...And bring us the finest food you've got, stuffed with the second finest."

"Excellent, sir. Lobster stuffed with tacos."

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I seldom come across Belgian beers I don't like.

I've recently been fascinated by the beers of Brasserie Fantôme and the Belgian style beer of Belgian expat Pierre Lebbe at Brasserie Lebbe.

The Brasserie Fantôme are dry and fantastically complex and probably not appealing to all, with their clear notes of hay and farmyard (brett).

However, I find, after tasting both of these clearly hand made beers, the clean tasting Belgian style ales of Unibroue and Ommegang seem a bit soul-less.

I did recently try a new Belgian beer called something like "lost cow" that I didn't care for. It was darker in style, almost like a Belgian Barley Wine. Just didn't do it for me.*

~Erik

*Haven't figured out what this beer was called; but, I suspect it may have been from the Netherlands, not Belgium.

Edited by eje (log)

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Hmmm... I've never managed to get very good Orval in the States. I think it's especially sensitive to handling.

Mine favorites in no particular order, would go something like this:

Rodenbach Grand Cru

Chimay Cinq Cents

Any of the really sour, horsey lambics

Duvel

I need to get back into beer more. I used to really seek out a lot of interesting beers, especially beers of Belgium. But my beer drinking has tapered off as my cocktail and spirits drinking has increased. I was reminded of my fondness for Belgian beers during a recent trip to Burp Castle in NYC for a friend's birthday. Sadly, their once comprehensive list has seriously declined over the last decade. I can remember when it wouldn't fit on a single page.

--

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5. Saison Dupont

4. Geuze Boon

3. De Koninck

2. Duvel

1. (tie) Chimay Blanche and Bosteels Tripel Karmeleit

If we include american producers of Belgian styles, then Ommegang's Hennepin would have to be squeezed in there somewhere.

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Going through my notes from last year's trip, my five would be:

Morte Subite - Sudden Death, a Belgian game of chance actually, but also a great name for a great beer

Leffe Blonde - always an easy choice

Hapkin Blonde - recommended by Michael Jackson, and a nice counterpoint to the easy-to-find Leffe.

Pauwel Kwak - for the wooden contraption to hold the glass if nothing else

Cantillon Rose de Gambrinus for a framboise

The beer circus in Brussels is a great place to graze through things. Plus, they have a wonderful hamhock with mustard.

If you're buying for the room, the Temple of Beer is a pleasant place of worship.

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are you nuts?! i can't answer this question :)

not in any particular order: Westie 8 [or 12. can't decide!], Leffe tripel, Rochefort 8, Caracole Cuvée, Gouden Carolus Tripel.

------------------------------------

[i'm so lucky to be living in NL...so easy to obtain all my favourites!!! :) ]

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Geez! I could claim five beers just from one brewery! In fact, that brewery would be De Dolle! I like all their beers, Arabier, Oerbier, Boskeun, Stille Nacht, Dulle Teve, etc! Let's see! Then there would be Rochefort 6, 8, and 10! Of Course Westmalle beers would make my lust, er, list! And most lambics or Gueuzes would make my list, too! Oh heck, let's just say all the Trappists and Abbey beers! I can't narrow it down to just five! I LIKE ALL BELGIAN BEERS! (Well, I'm not too fond of Stella Artois!)

Bob R in OKC

Bob R in OKC

Home Brewer, Beer & Food Lover!

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I was just in Belgium a few weeks ago, and I don't think we had a beer we didn't like. Favorites were:

Westmalle Tripel (Double was pretty good too)

Rochfort 8

Morte Subite

Chimay Blue

Unfortunately, we were only there for 3 days, so our tasting capacity was limited. I'm itching to go back, but in the meantime, the Whole Foods near us carries quite a good selection of belgian beers.

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Tried the "Reinaert Flemish Wild Ale" from De Proefbrouwerij last Friday.

At 9%, it certainly was a good way to get the party started.

It's a tart, dry beer with elements of fruit in the nose.

I enjoyed the first few sips; but, as it warmed, a bitter element to the finish lingered at the back of my tongue. Pretty striking Hay-Barnyard-Brett funk element to the aftertaste, as well.

It's an interesting beer; but, I doubt I would seek it out again.

Edited by eje (log)

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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For one, it depends on how the beer is served:

I could normally pass on any of the Chimays in bottles, but on tap that stuff turns into something else; same with De Konink.

I'm surprised no one mentioned Troubadour yet, one of my current favorites.

Otherwise, I stick with the Trappists, Westmalle Triple being my top pick.

Drink maker, heart taker!

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Has anyone had Avery Brewery's (Boulder, CO) The Reverend? It is a Belgian quadrupel ale and has a very unusual sweet flavor and a bit of fruitiness, totally unlike any other Belgian style ale I've ever tasted. The website indicates that they use a lot of added Belgian candy sugar. I wonder if this style is a New World invention or if there are breweries in Belgium that make a similar style?

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"quad" is just marketing blather for a belgian strong dark ale. There are plenty of them, both Trappist and non-Trappist.  See http://www.bjcp.org/styles04/Category18.html#style18E for a discussion of the style.

What a great resource! Thanks for the link.

Actually, what I am interested in is not the 'quad' designation but the high amount of candy sugars.

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All these listings of Belgian beers are making me wish I liked them more than I do. Are there any suggestions from the lists for someone like me who wants to acquire a taste for them, but doesn't like the strong presence of banana bubblegum?

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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Are there any suggestions from the lists for someone like me who wants to acquire a taste for them, but doesn't like the strong presence of banana bubblegum?

Hmmm. Seems to me that it's really only the witbiers that would have the banana/bubblegum ester thing going on. And even then, I don't think it's too pronounced in most Belgian brews, what with the spicing and all (coriander, orange peel, etc etc); it's more in the German weizens that you'll really get banana to a noticeable degree.

If you're looking for Belgian brews that aren't so sweet, that's another story though... Typically, there will be more sweetness and less bittering in general (and also a disposition to a balancing sourness rather than bitterness), but there are always exceptions. Orval, to my mind, is the gold standard of the more bitter side of Belgian brewing. So there's something to try!

What Belgians (styles and/or specific breweries) have you tried and not liked?

Christopher

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Susan, it must be that different people are wired differently, because I've never tasted a beer that had an identifiable banana or bubblegum flavor... at least as far as my palate is concerned. What Belgians have you tried where you've noticed it?

I doubt a golden strong ale like Duvel would be objectionable in that way.

Witbiers get some spiciness, but no bubblegum or bananas.

You sure won't get gum or anything other than wine-y fruit from the sour ale family, e.g. everything from Rodenbach, Liefmans Goudenband.

Lambics have lots going on in them, but I don't think bananas (unintentionally) or bubblegum (ever) turn up in them.

Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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