Bruegel Amber Ale | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

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Bruegel Amber AleBruegel Amber Ale
396 Ratings
Bruegel Amber AleBruegel Amber Ale

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-02-2002

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Ratings: 396 |  Reviews: 315
Reviews by hdofu:
Photo of hdofu
3.11/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

This wasn't one of my favorites when I sampled it, the color was gold with a white froth head it kind of had a taste like apple wine with even less sweetness, smell was kind of like spoiled wine or vinegar. It had a nice clean bubbly feel and a crisp finish I liked. Unfortunately the overall taste was less pleasant and it made it less drinkable in my oppinion.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Popsinc
3.16/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Another great looking beer that lacked substance and complexity. A cloudy amber pour with an enormous....HUGE...frothy head. The head holds up very nicely.

The nose is bland and dull. A slight woody hint and some earthy qualities but otherwise quite boring.

A very lively and bubly mouthfeel which is nice. The taste itself seems devoid of any distinct characteristics. A dry and mild woodiness...i can'r detect much else. No sweetness to speak of. No maltiness or hoppiness that stands out. No spice. Very boring.

I'm disappointed with this beer. Great looking, not so in the taste department.

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Photo of RoyalT
3.55/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance – The head was white, tight, and out of site. The bottle exploded when I popped the cap. I could have set this aside and had another beer while waiting for it to go down. The body was a darkish, cloudy Belgian orange.

Smell – Big orange and yeast aroma is a pleasure to experience. The spicing is a little on the lighter side with all the usual suspects present. The white pepper especially comes out well.

Taste – The spices come out bigger in the taste. They’re almost chalky and favor the darker varieties such as allspice. I thought it was a little overdone, but to each his own.

The sweetness is subtle, with hints of cantaloupe, pineapple, and banana. I missed the yeast from the nose, which would have made for terrific ale.

Mouthfeel – Heavy carbonation and medium-bodied. This one is a bit on the fizzy side and actually has a little dryness to it.

Drinkability – This went down in typical Belgian fashion. It was a little lighter than I had expected, but a good ale nevertheless.

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Photo of Todd
3.42/5  rDev -2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz short/stubby brown bottle. No freshness date.

Pours a cloudy orange/amber beer with a thin white, crisp lace. Twang of steel, grass and some soothing malty/butter.

Crisp and dry in the initial mouthfeel, with a snappy/fizzy carbonation. Reminiscent of sparkling mineral water, in many ways. Sharp citric bitterness, notes of lemon-grass, salt and hint of white pepper. Some medicinal phenols pull through, as well as a doughy/yeasty flavour. Thin toasted malt character, touch of buttery caramel and a mildly sweet fruity character of apricot in the back. Dry, flour finish with a lingering metallic twang.

A nice, albeit fairly average, amber. What it lacks in its appearance and overall dimension of character ... it makes up with its drinkability. The crisp, refreshing and basic flavours are welcome.

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Photo of generallee
4.3/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Poured from a 330ml/11.2oz bottle in to a tulip glass.

Appearance: It has a nice golden amber color with a slight haze. The head was crazy big, white in color and foamy with stiff peaks. It had a very long retention time and left cool lacing on the glass.

Smell: The aroma is full and has notes of sour apples and pears with earthy/funky Belgian yeast and doughy malts.

Taste/Mouth feel: It has a sour funky favor with some fruity esters as well. The first sip has a puckering affect on the palate. Then there is a dry earthy yeast flavor with some doughy malts and light fruity esters that give it some nice complexity. The body is light to medium with a somewhat thin texture that is alive with carbonation.

Notes: Overall I really enjoyed this ale. It had a nice refreshing character that would work very well with a light lunch, sea food, mild cheese or fruit.

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Photo of Jason
3.88/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. brown stubby bottle with no freshness date.

Appearance: Rich and creamy looking off white lace, orangey beige colour with the yeast stayed in the bottle which left a pretty clear beer in the glass.

Smell: Buttery candy, juicy fruit and a fermented malt twang make a mark in the aroma.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Flexing crispness off of the rolling medium leveled carbonation and moderate body. Lightly buttery from the diacetyl, bitter from the phenols and hopping that is also enhanced from the dry palate. Nice dry malt character that is more toasted pale grain than anything else. Powdery mineraly yeast and a limp alcoholic ester show up in the after taste.

Notes: Wow this is a tasty little amber ale from Belgium. The plate of grapes, apple and mild cheeses went great with this brew. Certainly more of a pairing brew rather than a session brew.

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Photo of merlin48
4.23/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle with the same label as the larger bottle shown in the pic here, served in a tulip glass.
Geeeez! What a head. Be careful with the pour. Head is massive, beige tinted, and rocky as the coast of Maine. Longlasting, too. I had to take a large spoon and dip some of the head out to get to the body which is a slightly hazed, copper color. Sheet and patch lacing is abundant.
Aroma is fruity and spicy, with banana, lemon, allspice, cinnamon, and coriander.
Mouthfeel has explosive, Belgian carbonation, which I describe as a Pez candy dissolving in your mouth like an Alka Seltzer. Medium bodied ale.
Wonderful taste, and my expectations weren't very high for this one. Barnyard, earthy, yeast presence, mango, banana, brown sugar, some buttery diacetyl, and an excellent, bready, malt character. Fruity sweet, and yeasty dry and spicy. Lovely, dry finish.
Wow! This little, Belgian pale surprised me. Absolutely lovable. Drinkability suffers a bit from the massive, overcarbonation, but the patience is more than worth the trouble. This has an excellent meld of flavors, and I plan to stock up on a few of these. Low hops and low alcohol make this a poor candidate for cellaring, but I could enjoy a couple of these every day.

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Photo of jimiv73
4.05/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

this beer is excellent with a lot of earthieness to it! it poured off a nice crisping white head! and the the hoppy flavor came out but not as much as i would of liked! anyway i wont buy it again just due to the fact that its not really strong enough for me

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Photo of Swedes21
3.35/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

330 ml served in a chilled glass

Appearance - beer pours with a solid 3 fingers of head that appears very airy and full of carbonation. HEad appears to be slight off-white in colour. The beer is a dark amber with a lot of carbonation.

Smell - there is a definite clean smell to this beer. There is an appearance of fruit as well as some spices in the aroma. I can also smell some hops.

Taste - very light beer with a well balanced tasting. The fruits come through, hard to tell, but apple based. It is a straight forward tasting.

Mouthfeel - minimal carbonation added. The beer remains the same as the tasting, nothing added or taken away. There is no added bitterness or prolonged feel in the mouth.

Drinkability - This is a simple beer that brings a simple taste. Some nice aromas and easy to drink, there is nothing crazy about this beer.

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Photo of jondeelee
4.2/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smells strongly of honey--the expensive wildflower kind found in organic markets, that is--as well as boasting hints of apple cider, banana, and a slight spiciness that is somewhere between allspice and cloves.

On the tongue, honey is also the first flavor to come across, but that quickly evolves into a far darker flavor than would be expected, given the brew's golden tint. Think sweet molasses or light maple syrup here, or perhaps pure cane sugar with just a touch of pure vanilla. Light fruity esters hang just behind these darker sugars, with banana, apple, and pear notes dancing backstage, and far, far beneath them, lovely little hints of toasted grains. The aftertaste is dominated by honey and lightly-toasted biscuity grains, and lasts a considerable time longer than would be expected. There's virtually no hint of hops in this brew, except for a slight fuzz about the aftertaste.

Overall, this is a fine, full-bodied beer, and brought an unexpected and pleasurable dark sweetness to the table.

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Photo of Osiris9588
3.08/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle out of a mixed Belgian six pack offered by the Global Beer Network. Pours an amber color with bronze and golden undertones, rather clear. The three-finger white head offers some stiff foam, but dissipates quickly, leaving a small fluffy cap and some strands of sticky lacing.

The aroma offers nuts and raisins, but is domainated by an off-putting note of wet carboard. The flavor bursts with berry, slight malt, and a strong cola characteristic.

This beer is extremly light weight. It would be easy to forget you are even drinking a beer--very little hop or yeast characteristics, thus rendering it highly drinkable. However, it's not what I'm looking for from a Belgian Ale.

Could operate as a nice session beer (though is probably priced too high for that) or an introduction for the unitiated into Belgians. I could also see it paring well certain sharp cheeses.

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Photo of BadBadger
3.58/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The Bruegel Amber Ale pours into the snifter as a cloudy amber color. There is minimal head presence. The smell is yeasty and malty, no indication of the hops. The taste mirrors the smell, in being yeasty (even though care was taken to decant properly) and malty. The mouthfeel is relatively crisp, with only a small residue sticking to the tongue. A tasty treat but not what I would consider a beverage with high drinkability. Give it a try!

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Photo of ADR
3.28/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A tour through a Van Steenberge variety pack (minus previously tasted Gulden Draake and Piraat)...stubby bottle...

Opaque bright brown, a mountain of bottle conditioned rocky head in a Schell German Pale tulip glass. Lots and lots of lacing properties. Slightly lemony and estery aromas, background yeastiness and honey. Light body and effervescent carbonation. The taste leans towards lime citrus and considerable astringency...drying starts early and the brew finishes with its signature carbonation but relatively little flavor. Brewed at a low ABV, this one doesn't get me excited, sort of like a Lemon/Lime soda with alcohol.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear amber bodied ale, a large off white head forms thick with lacing surrounding my glass of ale without any problems. Aromatics offer up sweet caramelized alchol notes almost a butterscotch like quality, with a bitter dry leafy herbal quality. Flavor brings out pronounced alcohol and malt flavor combined with two layers of the typical Belgian style ale. A massive layer of stickiness is provided by the Belgian ales malt complexity bringing sugary layers to the surface, a very nice table beer. Mouthfeel is medium to light bodied with a very dry herbal hop and caramel malt flavored finish...something that every drinker should expeerience at least more than once or twice. I love Van Steenberge and the Sharp Edge a local beer bar who got me into beer.

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Photo of chinchill
3.13/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

330 ml bottle from a Belgian sampler 6-pack. A towering head quickly filled my pint glass as I hastily poured beer from a bottle that overflowed upon opening. Several pours were needed to empty the bottle into my oversized glass.

A - clear light amber with a huge sudsy head with medium retention. Leaves globs of foam on the sides of the glass.

S - sweet & yeasty, with lightly toasted malts. Detectable hops. Hints of butter and bread dough.

T - Sweet; more yeasty and less hoppy than aroma suggests. A light bitterness and a bit of sour in the finish. Has Belgian yeasty complexity, but is less hoppy [for BPA; not for an amber], or more yeasty, than I would like. Relatively poor finish.

M - good, if rather high, carbonation; medium/light, near watery body; crisp, semi-dry feel.

O - about average for style

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Photo of biboergosum
3.82/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml stubby bottle.

This beer pours a hazy medium golden amber hue, with two fingers of foamy, almost rocky, off-white head, which leaves a coral reef ring of lace around the glass on its way out. It smells of sweet, muted caramelized malts, a bit of breadiness, and some nice, earthy Belgian yeast. The taste is more bready in the way of malt, some fruity spiciness, that unavoidable Belgian yeastiness, very soft in this case, and earthy hops. The carbonation is moderate, the body medium-light in weight, and a little too zingy to deem outright smooth. It finishes off-dry, the yeast coming up a bit more to challenge the malt for top billing.

An generally enjoyable Belgian amber ale, the expected sweetness mostly tempered by the inherent yeast complexities.

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Photo of mintjellie
3.78/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours pale orange topped by a thick pile of foamy, white head. The fairly well retained head leaves behind a thick lace on the walls of my glass. Aroma of pear, funky rotting apple, mild caramel, and light herbal hops. I get the slightest whiff of alcohol from it. Tastes of pear and apple, finishes leafy and herbal; earthy and dry. Bitterness on the low side of medium. It somehow tastes rustic, or at least what I would imagine to be rustic. Medium bodied with a lively, fine carbonation. Satisfyingly simple; an easy drinker with down-to-earth charm.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.3/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz. bottle > Stella glass
Part of the global Beer Network variety 6-pack.

A deep amber with light orange hues shows off it's amny tiny bubbles that creates this lively, white head with moderate retention, only lightly sticky.

The nose is consists mostly of sour fruits, green apples, sweet-tarts, minty hops, smells slightly of an ephemere. KINDA WEIRD.

A light and thin malt is taken over by an out-of control sour edge, fermented green grapes and green apples gives a tart and tangy flavor. If this was a rodenbauch...I could understand. The body is thin and pale feeling with a bitter, green herbal hop finish that lies right under the sour fruits flavor. The feeling is of champagne-dryness and slightly thin.

I really don't mind sour ale's, but i'm not sure that this is what they were going for!?

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Photo of DruC4
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of Metalmonk
4.07/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A coppery bronze color pours into the Chimay goblet, and the head is a bit soapy and not huge, thinning to a skim rather quickly. A good bit of bubble action, running fast from bottom to top only to be greeted by a thin skim of foam.

The aroma is simple and evocative of the country's many beers: fruit and funk combine, both likely the result of the yeast strain, while the malt presence is quite gentle and hops are nowhere equally subtle.

More fruit (green apple, pear), nutty yeast and yellow cake batter in the flavor. Malts seem like they could be of the pilsner variety, and the entire thing is a straightforward, crisp, apple-ish pale ale that has an earthy, even pastoral feel. You can totally imagine 18th century farmhands in Flanders drinking this stuff out of ceramic mugs or something.

Always liked the softness of this beer; texturally it's soothing and unobtrusive. Perhaps even a bit understated, but it gives a nice relaxing vibe to this beer, and certainly increases the drinkability a notch, along with the friendly alcohol level.

This is not a Belgian beer out to kill and conquer, and it shouldn't be judged as such. Bruegel is your no-nonsense Belgian pale ale; eminently drinkable, likable, seemingly brewed with love, pure and simple. It's a typical example of its style, which is not to say it's average; it's just a fine, straightforward Belgian beer and that's that.

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Photo of mattfancett
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of emsroth
3.79/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bought as part of a 6 beer taster pack so be looking for 5 more reviews

330ml stubby bottle

App: True amber with a slight head. Plenty of sticky lacing.

Smell: Honey. Thick, resinous malt. A touch a floral hops. One dimensional but wonderful.

Taste: Not much up front, all flavor is delayed. Sweet honey with apple fades into an assertive hop bitterness. The grassiness of the hops is aggressively drying, and the bitterness dominates. After the hops, the end is a sweet, slightly grainy flavor that hangs on the edges of the palette asking you to please drink more.

Tight, crisp carbonation that fades as the beer is drank. The substantial body that defines belgian beers.

The aroma is great, but the hop character is a bit aggressive for me in a belgian.

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Photo of Sammy
3.6/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

If a huge head, then a yummy root beer float. Some molasses in there? Second ferment in the bottle. An average beer from this world class brewery. Sweet taste followed on by tart and peppery spice and fruit, then long and dry aftertaste. Try just before meat dinner in lieu of wine.

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Photo of pmcadamis
3.7/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Slightly hazy orange marigold hue with a creamy and thick two finger head that leaves solid sheets of cream down the side of the glass...these sheets eventually erode into a massive web-work of lace.

S - Buttermilk, pipe tobacco, creamy butter, cream cheese, and sour cream. This is one uniquely scented brew! It's lactic acid dairy notes are totally unexpected and amazing! There is a hint of grape leaf, vinegar, and mild phenolic plasticy notes too.

T - Some of the dairy notes from the nose carry over into the flavor, but somehow they don't work quite as well on the tongue as they do in the nose. Sour cream and cream cheese flavors abound, along with some hay-like hops. Nowhere near as complex or as assertive as the nose either.

M - Creamy and full bodied with a soft carbonation and a very dry finish.

D - Decently drinkable, but I wouldn't want to drink more than one as the oddball flavors get a little uncomfortable at times.

Note: This brew is named after the Flemish Painter Peter Bruegel who painted the "Peasant's Dance" painting on the gorgeous label. You can read about the beer and Peter Bruegel here:

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Photo of FernMaster
3.08/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into my Boulevard Goblet.

I poured this beer before sitting down to reading Oliver Twist for my capstone. I was planning on sipping this beer for at least six chapters but I didn't get through three before I had actually finished the bottle! It's a very simple straight-forward Belgian Pale Ale. It pours a clear golden amber, with very little head and lacing on the glass, caused by my Goblet I'm certain. The smell isn't anything noteworthy, malts, yeast straight-forward. The taste again has nothing else to it really, very simple brewed beer. No need to mess with fancy ingredients like DFH here, no. The taste however is crisp and moderately sweet and Bruegel drinks really well. I finished the beer faster than expected just because you can tip it back and not really feel the effect of the alcohol or sit and focus on the different traits of the beer. It's simple and once more for emphasis, straight-forward. Not the most exciting beer in the world, I'd probably never purchase Bruegel again but I'm not disappointed I drank it either.

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Bruegel Amber Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Beer rating: 3.49 out of 5 with 396 ratings