All That Glitters: Golden Ales

We Americans had a golden day in the Olympics today!  Shaun White rode to glory defending his Olympic title in the halfpipe.  Speedskater Shani Davis (the first African-American to win an individual gold medal in a Winter Games btw) won gold in the 1000m, and Alpine skier Lindsey Vonn won gold in the womens' downhill on an injured shin! 

Congratulations to America's Gold Medal winners.  You rock!  You've worked so hard and have achieved the ultimate.  Now its time to relax.  But before you head off to Disneyland, why not have a beer?  What beer you may ask?  Well, a Golden Ale of course!

One of the Beer Chicks' favorite beer styles of all time, the Golden Ale or Strong Golden Ale got its roots in the Belgian Trappist tradition, and became its own style because it was so often imitated. A famous example is Duvel, brewed by the Moortgat brewery. Duvel, which is Flemish for ‘Devil’, is one of the top selling beers in Belgium, and has become a beacon for many other breweries, defining an Abbey-style Ale that is light golden to amber with big, but rounded flavors.

This beer style usually sports a huge cotton-like head and has soft tropical and stone fruit notes in the nose. The spice comes through in the end of this beer along with a welcoming warmth that comes from a high alcohol content.

Here’s some gold for you:

  • Don De Dieu – Unibroue
    Chambly, Quebec
    :  We already wrote about this great Canadian brewery, and this beer does not disappoint.  It's a nod to the quintessential Golden Ale, Duvel. Bright and spicy with good fruit and a boozy finish. 9% ABV.

  • Duvel – Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat
    Breendonk, Belgium:
    Green apples, bitter orange peel, lemon zest and a spicy hoppiness help make this beer the defining example of this style. 8.5% ABV.

  • Damnation – Russian River Brewing Co.
    Santa Rosa, CA:
    A hoppier Golden Ale with notes of bananas, pear and pepper. Nice dry finish. 7% ABV.