When it comes to beer, few countries can rival the brewing prowess of Belgium. Known for its rich brewing traditions and unique beer styles, Belgium has produced some of the finest beers in the world. As a beer enthusiast with a love for Belgian brews, I have had the pleasure of exploring the diverse and flavorful offerings that this beer-loving nation has to offer. In this article, I will share with you my personal top 14 picks for the best Belgian beers. So sit back, grab a cold one, and let’s dive into the world of Belgian beer!
Let’s kick off this list with a true Belgian classic – Duvel. This golden strong ale is known for its heavenly combination of fruity esters, spicy notes, and a crisp, dry finish. It’s no wonder that Duvel has become synonymous with Belgian beer excellence.
2. Westvleteren 12
Next up is a beer that is often hailed as the best in the world – Westvleteren 12. This Trappist beer is brewed by the monks of the Saint Sixtus Abbey and is notoriously hard to get your hands on. But trust me, if you ever get the chance to try it, it’s an experience you won’t forget.
3. Rochefort 10
Rochefort 10 is another Trappist beer that deserves a spot on this list. This dark, complex quadrupel is a true masterpiece of brewing, with flavors of dried fruit, caramel, and spice. It’s a beer to savor and enjoy slowly.
Orval is a Belgian beer with a cult following, and for good reason. This unique beer is known for its distinct brettanomyces yeast character, which imparts funky, earthy flavors and aromas. It’s a beer that evolves with age, making each bottle a unique experience.
5. Chimay Blue
Chimay Blue, also known as “Grande Réserve,” is a Belgian strong dark ale that is rich, complex, and full-bodied. With flavors of dark fruit, caramel, and a hint of spice, it’s a beer that demands attention and appreciation.
6. Saison Dupont
If you’re a fan of farmhouse ales, then Saison Dupont is a must-try. This iconic Belgian saison is a refreshing, golden beer with a lively carbonation and flavors of citrus, pepper, and a touch of rustic funk. It’s a beer that captures the essence of Belgian brewing traditions.
7. Westmalle Tripel
Westmalle Tripel is a classic example of a Belgian tripel. This beer is known for its golden color, creamy head, and a flavor profile that balances fruity esters, spicy phenols, and a hint of bitterness. It’s a beer that showcases the skill and craftsmanship of Belgian brewers.
8. St. Bernardus Abt 12
St. Bernardus Abt 12 is often referred to as the “poor man’s Westvleteren 12,” but don’t let that fool you. This Belgian quadrupel is a world-class beer in its own right, with flavors of dark fruit, chocolate, and a velvety smooth mouthfeel.
9. Gulden Draak
Gulden Draak is a strong Belgian dark ale that packs a punch. With its deep amber color, rich malty sweetness, and warming alcohol presence, it’s a beer that demands respect. Take your time with this one and let the complex flavors unfold.
10. La Chouffe
If you’re looking for a beer with a playful and quirky personality, look no further than La Chouffe. This Belgian golden ale is known for its gnome mascot and its lively, effervescent character. With flavors of tropical fruit, spice, and a touch of sweetness, it’s a beer that brings a smile to your face.
11. Rodenbach Grand Cru
Rodenbach Grand Cru is a beer for the sour beer lovers out there. This Flemish red ale is aged in oak foeders, resulting in a complex blend of tartness, fruity acidity, and a touch of sweetness. It’s a beer that challenges your palate and keeps you coming back for more.
12. Tripel Karmeliet
Tripel Karmeliet is a beautiful example of a Belgian tripel that showcases the use of multiple grains in brewing. This beer is made with barley, wheat, and oats, resulting in a smooth, creamy mouthfeel and a complex flavor profile with notes of banana, clove, and a hint of vanilla.
Kwak is not just a beer, it’s an experience. Served in its iconic glass with a wooden stand, this Belgian strong ale is known for its deep amber color, malty sweetness, and a touch of spiciness. It’s a beer that always sparks conversation and adds a touch of novelty to your drinking session.
14. Oude Gueuze Boon
Last but not least, we have Oude Gueuze Boon, a traditional Belgian lambic beer that undergoes spontaneous fermentation and blending. With its complex flavors of tartness, funk, and a touch of oak, it’s a beer that exemplifies the art of traditional Belgian brewing.
So there you have it – my personal selection of the 14 best Belgian beers. Each beer on this list represents the rich brewing heritage and diversity of flavors that Belgium has to offer. Whether you’re a seasoned beer aficionado or just starting your journey into the world of craft beer, I encourage you to seek out these Belgian gems and discover the magic for yourself. Cheers!