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Belgian Beer


Bill Poster
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Surprised no one's mentioned Delirium Tremens!

THAT is a great beer.

~ C

Edited by C_Ruark (log)
"There's something very Khmer Rouge about Alice Waters that has become unrealistic." - Bourdain; interviewed on dcist.com
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I don't remember which Belgians I've tasted and gotten banana/bubblegum, probably because I dismissed them right away. It could be that it's also sweetness that I don't like. It's no secret around here that I don't like sweet beer. I hope I'm not getting mixed up about a type of beer; however, I do think it's Belgian beer that reminded me of bananas and/or bubblegum. I also don't like pronounced sourness. In any case, some Belgian-style beers that I liked were by Ommegang. Am I correct in my recollection that Ommegang beers are Belgian-style?

Maybe I should just accept it that I don't care for these beers and move on, but I hate it when others are so enthusiastic about a certain kind of beer and I don't enjoy it.

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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In any case, some Belgian-style beers that I liked were by Ommegang.  Am I correct in my recollection that Ommegang beers are Belgian-style?

Yup, Ommegang is Belgian in style. The eponymous Ommegang is in the style of a Belgian dubbel, and the Hennepin is a Saison/Farmhouse Ale/Biere de Garde type beer. I'm not so much a fan of the 3 Philosophers, as I find it too sweet and too hoppy for a style that should have a more pronounced sourness. The Rare Vos just strikes me a not particularly interesting. Their Witte is an alright witbier, but I like the Celis and Hoegaarden style more.

The joy of Belgian beers is that they are all so varied and different. "Belgian" doesn't really signify a style, but rather tells you you're rolling the dice and anything might come up in your glass if you don't know what you're asking for. I find that fun, though there are some belgian styles I don't care for.

Trippels are not my cup of tea. Too sweet and hoppy for my tastes...

Edited by cdh (log)

Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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For a tour of some of the many and varied Belgian styles, have a look at http://www.bjcp.org/styles04/ and go through the subcategories under 16, 17 and 18. That at least scratches the surface of Belgian brewing, but is by no means comprehensive.

Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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Here's my top five - with the proviso that I like the darker Belgian styles:

Brasserie Des Rocs Triple Impériale

Trappistes Rochefort 10

Gouden Carolus Carolus D'Or - Cuvée Van De Keizer

Petrus Aged Pale

Corsendonk Christmas Ale

With honorable mention to two brew Belgian style brews from non-Belgian brewers:

Three Philosophers

Yeti

I note that my list is very different than many others, but that's OK.

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  • 1 month later...

Tried De Ranke XX Bitter recently and enjoyed it.

I think this is the first time I've had a Belgian in this style. Sort of reminded me of a restrained West Coast IPA. Well, if the West Coast IPA in question chose to use completely different hops from any other West Coast IPA.

I guess I would describe the taste as a double hoppy (Imperial?) Czech Pilsner. Nicely balanced and light. Great hot weather beer.

Edited by eje (log)

---

Erik Ellestad

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

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Piraat by brewery Van Steenberge is the first real Belgian my husband and I tasted and it literally changed our palettes. We are committed craft brew drinkers now and love the Belgian styles. It is still my husband's number one beer.

Saxo

Caracole

Leffe Blond

Delirium Tremens

I'm leaving off too many.................

and Cassis (that's my dessert beer!)

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Orval

Fantome (various - love the "Hiver" and "Pisenlit" especially)

Cantillon ( various - all of them spontaneously fermented with wild yeast) love them all from their staple Gueuze to the "Rose de Gambrinus" (sour raspberrry lambic) - I'm particularly fond of their all malt version - "Iris")

Chouffe - love the relatively new ultra hoppy "Dobbelon Tripel IPA"

De Dolle - (the Mad brewers) Orbier, Arabier and "Dulle Teve" (Crazy Bitch) Stille Nacht (Christmas Ale) is always excellent too.

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  • 1 month later...
Tried De Ranke XX Bitter recently and enjoyed it.

I think this is the first time I've had a Belgian in this style.  Sort of reminded me of a restrained West Coast IPA.  Well, if the West Coast IPA in question chose to use completely different hops from any other West Coast IPA.

I guess I would describe the taste as a double hoppy (Imperial?) Czech Pilsner.  Nicely balanced and light.  Great hot weather beer.

That beer is in a class by itself. Many of the other belgian beers, even the best ones, seem to be variations on a theme, this one went it's own direction away from the white beers.

It is like some of the west coast high end stuff. wish I could afford it aw my regular.

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  • 3 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

In no particular order...

Westy 8

Westy 12

Rochefort 10

Leifmans Goudenband

Gouden Carolous Cuvee Van de Keizer

Narrowing down to 5 was really hard as Belgians are my fave beer style. Unfortunatley the Westies are probably only a memory not much chance of drinking it regularly (if ever again)...so I should sub those with Abbey des Rocs brun and St Bernardus 12 and Chimay blue.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

So no one mentioned foret saison perhaps my favorite beer on earth which I've only ever seen at the Pegu club. Its an organic belgium farmhouse ale. Anyway its off but on the subject but I need to reasearch belgium beers here in NYC and was wondering if anyone has recomendations other that DBA or the ginger man for an interesting watering hole where I can sample a wide variety of belgium ales.

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  • 8 months later...

I've wanted to try De Dolle Dulle Teve for a while now. The name sort of put me off.

I mean, "Mad Bitch?"

Apparently the brewers mean this name in some sort of affectionate way towards their Mother who often leads the tours of their brewery?! Belgians! Who knows!

Anyway, goddamn, this is a nice beer!

I'm not normally a fan of the triple, as many are too sweet, but this one manages to marry sweetness with complexity and a dry finish.

I had it with a spicy, fishy, dinner and it went toe to toe with my dinner in terms of complexity, matching it and complementing it in ways I didn't expect at all.

Just fantastic.

Definitely has to go in my top ten beers!

---

Erik Ellestad

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

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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