Best Belgian Pale Ale from America? From Belgium?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by ToriBug13, Jun 25, 2013.

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  1. ToriBug13

    ToriBug13 Initiate (0) May 10, 2013 California

    The title says it all. What do you think is the best is the best American Belgian Pale Ale? Best Belgian Pale Ale? Or even just your favorite- the might not be a "best" answer!
  2. jtdolla911

    jtdolla911 Aspirant (238) Nov 18, 2011 Massachusetts

    American Belgian Pale would Green Flash Rayon Vert, or Le Freak if you can find it. It's technically a Belgian IPA, but still worth a look. Orval Trappist ale or De la Senne Taras Boulba for Belgians
  3. Dtapeski

    Dtapeski Initiate (60) Oct 26, 2012 Colorado

    I'm a huge fan of North Coast Pranqster
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  4. gatornation

    gatornation Poo-Bah (6,213) Apr 18, 2007 Minnesota
    Society Trader

    a little off post best American Belgian IPA is Bedlam from Ale Asylum best Belgian Pale Ale is Cuvee De Ranke (classified as such)
  5. cmoody91

    cmoody91 Initiate (0) Mar 21, 2010 Illinois

    Considering Cuvee de Ranke is a blend of soured pale ales with added lambic and Westvleteren 12 is a Quad those are probably not the best examples...
  6. DmouthCaliBrewz

    DmouthCaliBrewz Initiate (0) Mar 29, 2013 New Hampshire

    RR Damnation

    Dunno about from Belgium, haven't tried any memorable pales
  7. Danny1217

    Danny1217 Champion (826) Jul 15, 2011 Florida

  8. mpyoung215

    mpyoung215 Initiate (0) Dec 28, 2010 Massachusetts

    The Royale from Gigantic is a great Belgian-style pale from the States
  9. kojevergas

    kojevergas Poo-Bah (9,564) Aug 15, 2010 Louisiana
    Society Trader

    American: Levud's.

    Belgian: If we're counting enkel/patersbier as "Belgian Pale" (which I don't think we should), Chimay Doree. Otherwise, Westvleteren Blonde.
  10. RyanGoodman

    RyanGoodman Initiate (0) Nov 16, 2011 Bolivia

    +1 Green Flash Rayon Vert. That beer changed my palate forever. From what I've observed, it's a love it or hate it brew. If you haven't tried it, its definitely worth checking out. A very interesting take on a BPA.....
  11. thecraftculture

    thecraftculture Initiate (83) Nov 28, 2012 Florida

    Clown Shoes Muffin Top or Tramp Stamp, both Belgian IPA's.
  12. InVinoVeritas

    InVinoVeritas Devotee (442) Apr 16, 2012 Wisconsin

    If you open up the conversation to Belgian IPA's from America, I'm going with Ale Asylum's Bedlam.
  13. NoLeafClover44

    NoLeafClover44 Defender (660) Feb 24, 2011 Delaware

    Lots of good beers being mentioned here, but very few are true Belgian Pale Ales (as defined by this site, at least). I have always been unclear on what exactly separates a BPA from BIPA but I guess that's no different than the countless arguments over APA vs. IPA. I really enjoy Belgian Pale Ales for their crisp and hoppy character, but I am very sensitive to the astringent finish/linger that many contain. GF Rayon Vert is probably my favorite, followed by some of Ommegang's offerings. Rare Vos and BPA are both great, but I thought the Thrones beer was excellent. I really need to try some of the other beers mentioned, especially the Westy Blonde.
  14. FriarTuckInLuck

    FriarTuckInLuck Initiate (0) Dec 15, 2011 Arizona

    Matilda from Goose Island is pretty fantastic. Rayon Vert is awesome to. Bos Keun is a BSPA I think, but it is definitely worth seeking out.
    Rhettroactive likes this.
  15. impending

    impending Meyvn (1,282) Mar 12, 2010 California

    most of what fits the classic definition of belgian pale ale is rather unexciting, tending toward bland
    but tweaking the curve towards a belgian ipa, the hops add taste complexity
    the best traditional versions I've had are

    US = Defenestration & Redemption
    Belgium = Westvleteren Blond & Orval & Cuvee De Ranke
    Sweden = Omnipollo's Leon
    Canada = Raftman
    and Societe's The Harlot for good measure
  16. patto1ro

    patto1ro Zealot (566) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    Orval - closest thing to an authentic IPA brewed anywhere in the world.
  17. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,656) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    My ‘new’ favorite US brewed Belgian Pale Ale is Ommegang Fleur De Houblon.

    Below is something I posted yesterday:

    “In my opinion, Fleur De Houblon is a very, very tasty Belgian Pale Ale. An excellent combination of ‘Belgiany’ flavors with hop flavor/aroma.”

    DanE likes this.
  18. Rollzroyce21

    Rollzroyce21 Meyvn (1,016) Oct 24, 2009 California

    JP Lucierniga
  19. StoutSnob40

    StoutSnob40 Poo-Bah (2,629) Jan 4, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    I'm so glad people aren't mentioning Duvel.. That stuff just isn't very good.
    belvedere86 likes this.
  20. mrw1zard

    mrw1zard Initiate (0) Apr 5, 2013 Alabama

    I'm adding another vote for GI Matilda. Love it. Also a big fan of Ommegang BPA. Just a thought!
  21. AnchorBaby

    AnchorBaby Initiate (0) Oct 12, 2010 California

  22. prdstmnky

    prdstmnky Devotee (466) Jan 8, 2010 Vermont

    No love for Brooklyn Local #1?
  23. cookiequiz

    cookiequiz Aspirant (257) Apr 15, 2013 California


    I'd say it ticks both nationality boxes, too.
    TheSack, djs467 and Rollzroyce21 like this.
  24. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,656) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I love Brooklyn Local 1 but at 9% ABV that beer is really a Belgian Strong Pale Ale vs. a Belgian Pale Ale.

  25. prdstmnky

    prdstmnky Devotee (466) Jan 8, 2010 Vermont

    Aren't all Belgian strong pale ales, Belgian pale ales? Its like squares and rectangles.
    Rollzroyce21 likes this.
  26. LambicPentameter

    LambicPentameter Meyvn (1,428) Aug 29, 2012 Nebraska

    It's a tricky question, because the styles really get all jumbled up here in my opinion. Especially if you throw "American-made" vs. "Belgian-made" into the mix. There can be a wide range of diversity within the style. And then there's the whole issue of "Belgian IPA", which is something of a cross between a Belgian Tripel and an American IPA. Seems like that muddies the waters a bit, but whatevs...

    There's also the question of whether we should include Belgian Strong Pale Ales in this discussion. It seems others believe we should, and I agree, so here are my faves:

    • BPA: Rayon Vert
    • BSPA: Matilda
    • BIPA: Le Freak

    • BPA: Orval
    • BSPA: Duvel (snide comments about it not being good notwithstanding)
    • BIPA: Houblon Chouffe (come to think of it, this may be the only Belgian-made BIPA I've tried)

    Honorable mention...
    • BPA: Ommegang BPA
    • BSPA: Delirium Tremens, Pranqster
    • BIPA: Deschutes Chainbreaker, Vivant Triomphe
    BigJim5021 likes this.
  27. derftron

    derftron Disciple (389) Feb 8, 2012 Oregon

    Double Mountain Pale Death. I have 3 bottles in my fridge now, as they will not be available much longer

    strong belgian pale ale. will knock you out if not careful.

    Rayon Vert is pretty good too
  28. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,656) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Well, if somebody asked what is the best American Pale Ale would you suggest an American style IPA as an ‘answer’? They are both Pale Ales but different.


    Edit: LambicPentameter did a great job in his post addressing this matter.
  29. prdstmnky

    prdstmnky Devotee (466) Jan 8, 2010 Vermont

    After a question or two, probably as there are better quality examples out there imo.

    Of course they are different, but I personally think there are more similarities than differences.
  30. cookiequiz

    cookiequiz Aspirant (257) Apr 15, 2013 California

    Have you noticed how frequently Zombie Dust is mentioned in those 'best IPA' threads?
  31. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,656) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    “Have you noticed how frequently Zombie Dust is mentioned in those 'best IPA' threads?” I personally have not noticed that but at 6.4% ABV and 60 IBUs, Zombie Dust is certainly within the realm of being an IPA.

  32. cookiequiz

    cookiequiz Aspirant (257) Apr 15, 2013 California

    That's the point!
  33. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,656) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    And my point is that Brooklyn Local 1 at 9% ABV is not a Belgian Pale Ale.

  34. SanDNigel

    SanDNigel Initiate (0) Apr 2, 2013 California

    Ommegang BPA is great (especially on a sun-shiny day)
    GF Rayon Vert
    Lot's of great ones though...
  35. BigJim5021

    BigJim5021 Zealot (512) Sep 2, 2007 Indiana

    Ommegang BPA and Fleur de Houblon both get my motor running as far as American BPAs are concerned. Orval is the obvious answer for a true BPA. Occam's Razor and all that.

    And while I definitely classify Duvel as a BSPA, to anyone that doesn't like it... good. More for me.
    TongoRad likes this.
  36. utopiajane

    utopiajane Poo-Bah (2,556) Jun 11, 2013 New York

    I think that ommegang is the best contemporary belgian style brewery out there. Everything they do has class and is stylish and belgian. The BPA is amazing,rare vos as sly as the name implies,Three philosphers is graceful and rich, the art of darkness so good, the hennepin - my favorite, iron throne delicate and delightful, . . . I could go on but I need to go buy some lava soap as a tribute to great brewing.
  37. BB1313

    BB1313 Poo-Bah (3,984) Jul 16, 2009 Ohio
    Society Trader

    Green Flash Rayon Vert and Orval..
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