Belgian Beer Recommendations?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by pro45, Dec 26, 2017.

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  1. pro45

    pro45 Initiate (0) Sep 11, 2016 New York

    I've slowly gotten into Tripels, SBPA's, and Pale Ales from Belgium. I can't do flanders reds, and sours, etc. They burn a hole in my stomach. My beer stores here carry a wide variety of Belgian beers. Aside from the ones brewed here in the USA, what other beers should I try that come from abroad? As for the Strong Dark pale ales, I really haven't liked any that I've tried. I'm not a "dark fruits" lover. Thanks!
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  2. StartedwithSAM

    StartedwithSAM Initiate (0) Feb 17, 2015 Virginia

  3. ESHBG

    ESHBG Disciple (330) Jul 30, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Great timing and I'll be watching this as well. I didn't enjoy Belgians all that much and some would give me bad heartburn so I never got that into exploring the style. But now I'm getting out of the IPAs a bit and would like to give Belgians another go.
    bbtkd likes this.
  4. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (3,169) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Society Trader

    If you aren't a fan of dark fruit, stay away from Quads and Belgian Strong Darks etc. Any of the Trappists Dubbels and Tripels you may like (reference style listings). Belgian Pale Ales, Witbiers and Saisons you should look into if you really like that yeasty taste from Belgium but want something lighter and not high ABV, not sour, not dark fruits.
    FBarber, StartedwithSAM and bbtkd like this.
  5. tsauce2

    tsauce2 Initiate (0) Oct 12, 2011 Indiana

    O.R.V.A.L. 'nuff said.
    puck1225, Gajo74, Beer-Panda and 3 others like this.
  6. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (13,048) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Society Trader

    So many. An excellent one to start with is Trappistes Rochefort 10, a Quad. Their 6 (Dubbel) and their 8 (Belgian Strong Dark Ale) are also outstanding. And let's not forget Westvleteren 12 (very hard to find here).
  7. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (7,522) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Society Trader

    2 of my favourites are Tripel Karmeleit and Saison DuPont.
  8. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (3,169) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Society Trader

    But he doesn't like dark fruits, and you recommend mostly dark fruit focused beer options.
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  9. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (13,048) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Society Trader

    Missed that - had others in my post that weren't but by the time I posted I removed them because others suggested them...
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  10. Shanex

    Shanex Poo-Bah (1,740) Dec 10, 2015 France
    Moderator Society Trader

    I can't speak for what is available in the US or NY specifically but I know for a fact because of WBAYDN that Tripel Karmeliet, Delirium, Westmalle Trippel, Orval, Chimay Tripel are. If you are willing to spend more than what you would pay for US brands.

    Its fine not to like red flanders although I would sip on Duchesse de Bourgogne every day until I die if I could.

    Saison Dupont is a fine recommendation but not cheap.
  11. laketang

    laketang Meyvn (1,343) Mar 22, 2015 Arizona

    Try a Reineart flemish wild ale, a strong pale ale.
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  12. Uniobrew31

    Uniobrew31 Zealot (520) Jan 16, 2012 Pennsylvania

    If you don't like dark fruit, stay away from quads. Hennepin saison by ommegang is good. Corsondonk triple or rousse is worth a try. And by all means try Duvel
  13. SABERG

    SABERG Poo-Bah (2,616) Sep 16, 2007 Massachusetts

    This is one I look for, St Bernardus Extra 4.

    Also consider offerings from Blaugeus, including Vermontois which is
    available in the area
    Cheers and keep exploring
  14. SABERG

    SABERG Poo-Bah (2,616) Sep 16, 2007 Massachusetts

    Have you tried the Spencer Trappist yet>
    The Trappist ale is solid
  15. HorseheadsHophead

    HorseheadsHophead Poo-Bah (2,226) Sep 15, 2014 New York

    Saison DuPont and Duvel - beers for life.
  16. teal

    teal Initiate (0) May 3, 2012 Wisconsin

    This thread is what makes Belgians so great.

    A person can say "I like Belgians but not XXX" and there are still Belgians to try that are MILES apart from what they may not like. There is such a breadth of style/flavor and experience available to someone willing to spend time with Belgian beer.

    Saison DuPont and Duvel are my top 2 that AREN'T sours but I tend to like sours the best....
  17. PatrickCT

    PatrickCT Poo-Bah (2,033) Feb 18, 2015 Connecticut

    Belgian imports are cheaper than many American brewed Belgian styles.
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  18. Shanex

    Shanex Poo-Bah (1,740) Dec 10, 2015 France
    Moderator Society Trader

    I'm genuinely surprised but it does make sense. Pretty clever these belgians. OP, enjoy then.
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  19. PatrickCT

    PatrickCT Poo-Bah (2,033) Feb 18, 2015 Connecticut

    Not all, but a lot of them. Lindeman's Grand Cru Oude Gueuze and Oude Kriek are about $12 a bottle here. Rodenbach and their variants start at $10. You'd be hard pressed to find American versions at that price.
    Single bottles like Orval are still pretty expensive here.
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  20. Greywulfken

    Greywulfken Poo-Bah (5,080) Aug 25, 2010 New York
    Society Trader

  21. Zorro

    Zorro Poo-Bah (4,969) Dec 25, 2003 California

    All of them.
    redeemer likes this.
  22. denver10

    denver10 Poo-Bah (2,956) Nov 17, 2010 New Mexico

    What I came to post.
    HorseheadsHophead likes this.
  23. utopiajane

    utopiajane Initiate (0) Jun 11, 2013 New York

    If Belgian Style beers are what you like Ommegang is great and so is Unibroue. la terrible and fin du monde are two of my favorites from them. My list of favorites form ommegang is too long to mention.
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  24. DoctorZombies

    DoctorZombies Poo-Bah (3,810) Feb 1, 2015 Florida
    Society Trader

    I like the Belgian Strong Golden Ales - Duvel, Delirium Tremens, Chouffe which I see in our beer stores, and Russian River’s Damnation if you visit the brewery and can pick up a bottle or two - Cheers!
  25. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,686) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado

    The entire line-up from Het Anker is worth exploring. Plus, I generally feel that their beers aren't super estery compared to some of the others. That will cut down on the dark fruit notes.
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  26. hopsputin

    hopsputin Poo-Bah (2,327) Apr 1, 2012 New Jersey

    Westmalle Tripel is another solid one that I don't think I saw mentioned above.

    Fantôme Saison is another I really enjoy. It has a unique yeasty (if I'm remembering correctly) quality that I loved.

    Some honorable mentions from me also are: Affligem Blond, St. Bernardus Wit, and Achel 8.

    If you're open to any more suggestions from beers brewed in North America, Lost Abbey and Unibroue has a bunch of good Belgian brews.
  27. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Initiate (0) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania

    Just about anything that says Tripel or Strong Golden/Pale Ale should be right up your alley.

    Good luck and happy hunting!
  28. pat61

    pat61 Initiate (0) Dec 29, 2010 Minnesota

    Try both Unibroue and St. Bernardus. They are both bargains for the quality of their beer. All of the Trappist beers are worth trying. Duvel is a must and other beers from the same brewery are good. Saison Dupont is a classic but I have found 30% or more of their beer in green bottles is skunky. If you don't like the dark fruity stuff go for the Tripels.
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  29. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (4,427) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Moderator Society Trader

    OP, you are in NY so you shouldn't have any issue finding these. These would be my recommendations for each go the styles you listed.

    • Westmalle Tripel
    • La fin du Monde (admittedly Canadian, but really a very good beer and holds it own against the Belgians)
    • Achel Blonde
    • St. Bernadus Tripel
    • Chimay White
    • Tripel Karmeliet
    Belgian strong pale ale:
    • Duvel ...
    • Duvel ...
    • Duvel ... (seriously its one my all time favorite beers)
    • Delerium Tremens
    • La Chouffe
    Belgian pale ale:
    • Orval (however do note that this is a beer that although not a sour, does take on a sourish character due to the yeast. It might not agree with you if you are sensitive to those types of things)
    • Spencer Trappist Ale (Mass., USA, but still Trappist)
    • Affligem blond
    • St. Bernardus Extra 4
    • Kasteel blond
    #29 FBarber, Dec 27, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
  30. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,878) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Not so much sour but more like funky (e.g., barnyard) since Brett is added at bottling. It has been my experience that you need a minimum of 6 months of bottle age for the Brett produced flavors to be expressive.

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  31. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (4,427) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Moderator Society Trader

    Funky is an excellent term for it. I've only had it fresh once since I greatly prefer it with some age on it to allow that Brett to come through. Still that funk may not agree with the OP depending on how sensitive he is to the funky/sour/acidic type flavors in beer.
  32. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,878) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Yes, the funk may not be appealing? So far he has just listed sour and Orval (fresh or aged) is not sour.


    P.S. FWIW I am personally not a big fan of sour but I am a BIG fan of funky flavors from Brett. I have a homebrewed batch of Belgian Pale Ale (BPA) where I used some Brett in my basement.
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  33. Reemer686

    Reemer686 Initiate (0) Oct 13, 2014 Maryland

    St Bernardus Abt 12 is one of my absolute favorite beers. Give it a try!
  34. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Initiate (0) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania

    If the OP only liked Quads/BSDAs . . . .
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  35. Gajo74

    Gajo74 Poo-Bah (2,759) Sep 14, 2014 New York
    Society Trader

    You’re from NY? Try Brooklyn Local 1; actually easy to find everywhere. A good representation of Belgian Strong Pale Ale.
  36. puck1225

    puck1225 Poo-Bah (3,227) Dec 22, 2013 Texas
    Society Trader

    There are many great Belgian beers. My favorite is Orval!
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  37. PittBeerGirl

    PittBeerGirl Poo-Bah (1,967) Feb 27, 2007 Ohio

    I am a huge BSPA, Belgian IPAs, Saisons, and the like. Lots of great suggestions so far.

    I would say the best traditional American Belgian breweries are Ommegang, Allagash, and Unibroue. All of these breweries have a great classic lineup.

    We used tripel karmeliet as our wedding toast. That and Chimay white are my favorite tripels.

    Duvel and Duvel Tripel Hop are fantastic for BSPAs. I also love Houblon Chouffe.

    If you find yourself into Saisons you have to try the Fantome lineup
  38. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Initiate (0) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania

    I think a lot of people forget about the "standard" lineup from Allagash. Great Belgian style beers.

    I also think a lot of people forget about, or at least overlook, the Trappist/Abbey witbiers and tripels and look to the quads and dubbels for some reason.
  39. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (4,427) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Moderator Society Trader

    I don't mean to be pedantic but Unibroue is technically Canadian not American :stuck_out_tongue:
  40. zid

    zid Meyvn (1,267) Feb 15, 2010 New York

    Although the amount of praise for Saison Dupont can create a dangerously lofty set of expectations, it's probably my favorite beer from Belgium that's available in bottles in the US. I think it's incredibly special. Try it in a brown bottle. I just started to see the Cuvee Dry Hopping Styrian Eureka versions on the shelf... so it's a great time to give that variant a shot.

    Although it might seem ridiculous to consider Westmalle undervalued, it just might be a fitting description. Try their tripel if you haven't... and if you are feeling adventurous enough for some single-digit-ABV "dark fruits" despite your initial feelings, try their dubbel.

    It really depends on the style and brand.
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