Belgium Best Belgian Beers not exported to the US

Discussion in 'Europe' started by omgrich, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. omgrich

    omgrich Dec 24, 2013 Belgium

    Hey there!

    So I'm starting to trade more and I'm wondering what are the best Belgian beers that just aren't found in the states (at least not easily).

    Outside of the obvious Westy or the constantly asked for Cantillon, what would you send to beer lovers in USA?
     
  2. trevorjk

    trevorjk Aug 28, 2009 Netherlands
    Beer Trader

    Some De Struise stuff. Some De Molen Stuff. Some Drie Fonteinen. Alvinne, Rooie Dop, De Cam, and many other smaller breweries.

    Most people stateside look for the sours and imperial stouts. Barrel aged usually is better. Some others that do fairly well are some Flemish Browns and special Quads/strong ales. Otherwise most everything else has little to no trade value. But I do like to throw in a bottle or 2 of random good stuff when trading.

    But in reality,
    Cantillon (especially the seasonal releases - St Lamvinus(out now))
    Drie Fonteinen (Hommage, seasons set, ect)
    De Struise (black damnation series especially)
    De Molen (any rarer bottles or barrel aged stuff to the right trader though)
    Westvleteren
    And any vintage sours.

    Those are usually the only ones that people care about getting.
     
  3. Saind

    Saind Jan 4, 2014 Netherlands

    De Molen is a Dutch brewery.
    Apart from that there are a lot of small breweries here that I never see mentioned on the internet (which is extremely dominated by Americans) but you're not missing out on much. There are a lot of small breweries that make some good beers but nothing really unique.
     
  4. doopiedoopiedoo

    doopiedoopiedoo Oct 2, 2010 Netherlands

    U.S. traders want Belgian sours. We want their stouts.
     
    blckout20, Jwale73 and trevorjk like this.
  5. trevorjk

    trevorjk Aug 28, 2009 Netherlands
    Beer Trader

    Yeah I know De Molen is Dutch. But these 2 countries are so tiny that it is easy enough for us to get the stuff. And De Molen does hold a decent trade value.
     
  6. belvedere86

    belvedere86 Apr 1, 2013 Belgium
    Beer Trader

    Is Saint Lamvinus already released? Thought they said "end of January".
     
  7. omgrich

    omgrich Dec 24, 2013 Belgium

    What De Struise should I keep an eye out for, other than Black Damnation?

    Wait, St Lamvinus is out?!
     
  8. Saind

    Saind Jan 4, 2014 Netherlands

    Definitely the Pannepot en the reserva and grand reserva
     
  9. omgrich

    omgrich Dec 24, 2013 Belgium

    This is actually what I've been trading for! I've got Ten Fidy, Founders, Goose Island and a few others just waiting for me in my cellar in Mons!
     
  10. trevorjk

    trevorjk Aug 28, 2009 Netherlands
    Beer Trader

    well, I know of a wholesaler/retailer getting bottles later this week or early next. It is ready, I know that for sure. Sounds like they are just putting labels on now. - All of this is word of mouth from a reputable wholesale/retailer.
     
    belvedere86 likes this.
  11. ruttroshaggy

    ruttroshaggy Dec 3, 2012 Washington
    Beer Trader

    It was available at the brewery when I went this morning. Limit is 6 bottles.
     
    trevorjk likes this.
  12. spicoli00

    spicoli00 Jul 6, 2005 Indiana

    De Cam makes it to the U.S. i could buy a couple of the bottles of oude lambiek from my shop right now, though it's $40 a bottle :eek: but guessing not all of their offerings make it to the U.S.

    these make it to the U.S. and frankly are often shelf turds becaues of the price (~$10 for 11.2 oz bottle). more for me i guess.
     
  13. atpca

    atpca Jun 10, 2013 California
    Beer Trader

    I've been frustrated many times by trading/shipping for Belgians only to find them on the shelf locally less than a week later. Distribution on the larger production stuff is getting really good. While the US obsession with Cantillon can make finding things difficult... St. Giloise, LP Gueuze & Kriek Bio are all on the shelf right now; 3F Golden Blend is a "shelf turd" at a number of stores.. Pannepot, Tsjeeses, lots of dusty de Molen bottles too. Bockor is showing up in grocery stores, I got my last bottle of 3F Scharbeek at Whole Foods!
     
  14. omgrich

    omgrich Dec 24, 2013 Belgium

    This situation is exactly what I'm trying to avoid. There are a ton of great Belgians that don't get the attention over the hype noise! And I can't believe 3F is just sitting around! The addition of 4 year old lambic makes it GREAT and on top of that, Armand is fantastic brewer/blender, more than happy to talk to folks walking into the shop.
     
  15. atpca

    atpca Jun 10, 2013 California
    Beer Trader

    I'm always a little reluctant to recommend it to people, I like being able to find it! Golden Blend is one of my all time favorites. Be quite upset when it gets even more expensive.
     
  16. omgrich

    omgrich Dec 24, 2013 Belgium

    You're currently in the states? Have you had Golden Doesjel yet? It's been a favorite recently.
     
  17. Saind

    Saind Jan 4, 2014 Netherlands

    Seems like the golden one is easier to get in the USA than in the Netherlands. I've yet to find it. The green oude geuze is for sale 5 minutes from my home but not even the biggest beer store in the Netherlands had the gold one :(
     
  18. atpca

    atpca Jun 10, 2013 California
    Beer Trader

    No! I *almost* ordered some, but since it's supposed to get US distribution, I decided to try and wait. I've been drinking some other straight lambics recently, and I have to admit I miss the carbonation.
     
  19. ethanp

    ethanp May 14, 2011 Georgia
    Beer Trader

    If you don't mind me asking where in CA are you finding Cantillon on the shelf and 3F Scharbeek at Whole Foods!?
     
  20. atpca

    atpca Jun 10, 2013 California
    Beer Trader

    3F Scharbeek at both Bay St, Oakland & Potrero Hill SF whole foods -- irregularly, admittedly. The Cantillon is at the "Trappist Family" bottle shops, they've been metering it out but my local has had the 3 mentioned on the shelf for 3+ weeks now.
     
  21. omgrich

    omgrich Dec 24, 2013 Belgium

    Haha yeah, some folks aren't used to the flatter taste of unblended old lambics or gueze that's been aged for a super long time. I love it. It's wildly deep and complex!
     
  22. jb3304

    jb3304 Mar 29, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Can someone here tell me how different is a Cantillon Kriek vs a LP Kriek? I've only had the LP Kriek and it blew me away how good it was. I have a Kriek on the way and wondering what to expect.
    Any feedback would be appreciated.

    Cheers!
     
  23. atpca

    atpca Jun 10, 2013 California
    Beer Trader

    Two completely different beers. LP is a ton sweeter -- the Lou Pepe beers have 50% more fruit than the standard versions. Expect the standard Kriek to be thinner & a lot more tart. Both fantastic!
     
  24. jb3304

    jb3304 Mar 29, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Thanks for the response. I'm looking forward to trying it! Haven't really tried much Cantillon as it is so hard to get here.
     
  25. Dirty25

    Dirty25 Jan 22, 2012 Germany

    I was told by a beer shop owner in Belgium that LP uses different cherries as well. They use ones locally grown in Brussels and the flavor of them is bigger and more intense. LP tastes like cherry juice to me, it's fantastic. The regular is just like a normal Kriek, still really good.
     
    jb3304 likes this.
  26. Dirty25

    Dirty25 Jan 22, 2012 Germany

    Back on subject, there is a lot of breweries that are exported but are nearly impossible to find in the states. I have never seen 3F, cantillon, and Fantome in all my travels in the state. Fou Foune and LP variants will get you anything you really want...if you want to trade them!
     
  27. ManforallSaisons

    ManforallSaisons Mar 20, 2008 Belgium

    This seems like a good occasion to make my standard plea to look beyond C and 3F in the lambic family, as Girardin, De Cam, Hanssens et al. make worthy entrants but are less likely to make it out. Of other favorites that would merit a wider audience (if they chose to export more), I'm thinking of Slaghmuylder, Ellezelloise, Smisje, de la Senne, Rullés, Blaugies (not without its admirers stateside)... and has anyone heard lately from Brasserie du Flo?
     
  28. atpca

    atpca Jun 10, 2013 California
    Beer Trader

    SF, CA at least sees a ton of de la Senne. Taras Boulba is practically the house ale at Trappist Provisions. Band of Brothers, Brussels Calling, Jambe De Bois, Manneken-Penn, Zinnebir... all make fairly regular appearances on shelves.
     
    ManforallSaisons likes this.
  29. atpca

    atpca Jun 10, 2013 California
    Beer Trader

    Maybe not easy to find, and some of the smaller Fantome bottlings for sure don't but as I mentioned above, if you can't find 3F (Kriek, OG, Golden Blend) or the more common Fantome's in Northern California you're just not looking very hard. Cantillon's are a lot harder and the LP Fruits & Fou Foune usually do sell out the first day they're on shelves, but the markups we see ($65USD for Fou Foune & Mamouche, $55 for Lou Pepe, $40 for Classic, Cuvee, Kriek, etc) do curb the demand a lot.
     
  30. belvedere86

    belvedere86 Apr 1, 2013 Belgium
    Beer Trader

    strange that Mamouche is more expensive then LP...
     
  31. trevorjk

    trevorjk Aug 28, 2009 Netherlands
    Beer Trader

    Damn, I should start asking more for my bottles when I trade :p Heck, I am trading a Fou Foune this weekend for an Event Horizon and 2 BCBS (roughly $25-30) Damn beer karma and being fair... :p
     
  32. trevorjk

    trevorjk Aug 28, 2009 Netherlands
    Beer Trader

    More LP gets to the states than Mamouche. That and a lot of American beer geeks getting into Belgian sours love the up front fruitiness.
     
  33. belvedere86

    belvedere86 Apr 1, 2013 Belgium
    Beer Trader

    yeah maybe , but when you offer bottles for trade they all seem to prefer a LP above mamouche. seems like (almost) no one cares for mamouch if FF or LP's are available to pick from.
     
  34. trevorjk

    trevorjk Aug 28, 2009 Netherlands
    Beer Trader

    It does seam that way. But they do sell. The prices people will pay for these beers can be rediculous. Kind of like Three Floyds Dark Lord sells for €99 here when they are $15 from Three Floyds. Sadly I must admit, That I have recently been going on * just to check out the prices for what bottles are selling for. Fou Foune is selling between $50-$75 all day in the states right now.
     
  35. belvedere86

    belvedere86 Apr 1, 2013 Belgium
    Beer Trader

    but nevertheless most of the time these trades are good for both sides.
     
  36. Dirty25

    Dirty25 Jan 22, 2012 Germany

    FF is traders gold. I traded 2 bottles and one mamouche for 2 prop and one backyard. I threw in a gueze and grand Cru for 2 each of BCBBW and BCBCS. Another trade of 3 landed me one DDG, one BCBS cherry rye, and a chocolate rain. I plan on keeping more next year though maybe not trading any away
     
  37. SStein

    SStein Dec 26, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    I check out * for a basis on stuff I am looking to trade. It is easier than trying to troll through the ISO forum. I am sure I am not getting the best deal on the sours I am putting, but I am getting the beers I want to and get some good karma in the process. The prices of harder to get American beers still shocks me everytime I see it over here. I think De Hopduvel had Chocolate Rain for 90Euro.
     
  38. ManforallSaisons

    ManforallSaisons Mar 20, 2008 Belgium

    Very good news. The export only a minority of production but with their new, bigger plant that will be bigger in absolute terms.
     
  39. brianmandell

    brianmandell Apr 3, 2011 New York
    Beer Trader

    I was told that Shelton bros only imports about 200 cases of Cantillon to the US annually.
     
  40. jb3304

    jb3304 Mar 29, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I have an LP Kriek (07 sticker) and debating whether to trade it for 1:1 for a LP Framboise (2010 sticker).
    I've never tried the Framboise. Any thoughts from those who've has both?

    Thanks!
     
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