Best Belgian Beers

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Belgian beer is difficult to categorize. Styles range from lip-smacking sours to zesty pilsners, with ruby ales, hoppy IPAs, and wheat beers thrown in for good measure.

Since the first Belgian beers came into the market, the ripple effect has been felt worldwide. If there’s one thing that the vast selection of ales has in common, it’s their near-unwavering quality – and a lot of history. There are the world-famous Trappist beers, which have been made by monks within the confines of Benedictine abbeys for centuries and are consistently considered among the best in the world.

The beer world is much better thanks to centuries of Belgian beer skill, from their yeast mastery to the grit of Trappist monks, and beer drinkers have profited from it. You no longer need a passport to visit and interact with breweries worldwide that produce wonderful beer.

While picking the best is a difficult process, we drafted a list of some of the best Belgian beers to drink.

Blanche De Bruxelles

Tasting Notes: Coriander, Bread, Orange Peel

Alcohol by volume: 4.5%

Historically, farm brewers created witbiers to highlight the wheat harvest of the year – the greater the crop, the better the beer. The style is less seasonal these days, but the greatest brewers still realize that it’s only as excellent as the wheat they use. Blanche De Bruxelles is made with a 40% wheat base and left unfiltered to highlight that high proportion.

Boon Oude Geuze Mariage Parfait

Tasting Notes: Vinegar, Lemon, Oak

Alcohol by volume: 8%

Frank Boon, the company’s founder, did a lot to keep this unique Belgian beer style alive. Boon Oude Geuze Mariage Parfait is a lambic made entirely from spontaneous fermentation, with a fruity fragrance and a gentle tartness that won’t pucker your lips.

Cuvee des Jacobins Rouge

Tasting Notes: Vinegar, Cherry, Oak

Alcohol by volume: 5.5%

Look no further than Cuvee des Jacobins Rouge if you’re searching for a sour that ticks all the checkboxes when it comes to being steeped in tradition. The beer develops a sharp sourness that is complemented with some oak flavors from the barrel after being spontaneously fermented in a coolship then barrel-aged for at least 18 months. It’s so sour that it’s almost enamel-eroding, but it’s not quite there yet.

De La Senne Taras Boulba

Tasting Notes: Lemon, Hops, Spice

Alcohol by volume: 4.5%

Belgian beers’ higher alcohol by volume (ABV) is one aspect that may deter drinkers. Brasserie de la Senne has developed Taras Boulba, a pale ale with plenty of yeasty, hoppy characteristics and less than 5% ABV, to provide a break from the boozy triples and quads. It’s a more recent variation of the type, but it’s a very popular beer in Brussels—a fantastic sample of a hoppy Belgian pale ale.

Gouden Carolus Classic

Tasting Notes: Toffee, Malt, Fig

Alcohol by volume: 8.5%

There was a time when the beers of Belgian cities defined them. The city of Mechelen built its fame on Gouden Carolus, which was called after Emperor Charles’ golden coins. This black brew has a rich, warming flavor akin to that of a glass of red wine. It’s a dark, powerful, well-balanced beer from Mechelen’s medieval town.

La Chouffe Golden Ale

Tasting Notes: Coriander, Floral, Hops

Alcohol by volume: 8%

This boozy and bright beer, often known as the drink with the gnome on the label, is surprisingly drinkable, considering its higher ABV. Honey notes, hoppy, sweet, high-ABV, floral: this beer has it all.

Omer Traditional Blond Ale

Tasting Notes: Fruit, Yeast, Hops

Alcohol by volume: 8%

It is currently among the most popular beers in Belgium. Of course, the beer of choice in Belgium, a very well-balanced, tasty strong blond beer, doesn’t scrimp on the quality. It’s a delicious and fruity beer with a hint of bite, brewed with malted barley from three hops varieties and France’s Loire region.

Orval Trappist Ale

Tasting Notes: Fruit, Malt, Hops

Alcohol by volume: 6.2%

Belgian beer experts applauded Ovral across the board. The beer, which has been brewed at the Abbaye Notre-Dame d’Orval since 1931, has come to represent Trappist brewing traditions and the dedication and general quality of Belgian brews.

Orval is widely considered a top European beer and among the best beers in the world, yet others claim that it is still underappreciated. It’s one of the few ‘ideal’ beers since it’s complex, elegant, and slightly funky while being bright, crisp, and refreshing.

Saison Dupont Farmhouse Ale

Tasting Notes: Sweet, Bread, Spice

Alcohol by volume: 6.5%

Saison Dupont is a rich beer with all the hallmarks of a special occasion drink. The liquid within the bottle is complex and is sealed with a cork and cage. With bready malt sweetness with floral and orange peel flavors, and a dry, crisp finish, it’s the yardstick by which other saisons are judged and for a good cause.

St. Bernardus Abt. 12

Tasting Notes: Raisins, Bread, Spice

Alcohol by volume: 10%

Bernie’ is a regular on our draft list, and the brewery’s flagship beer, St. Bernardus Abt. 12, has been made using the same formula since 1946. It’s the perfect beer to introduce a guest to Belgian beer, with dried plum, graham cracker, caramel, toast, and banana notes. It’s rich, complex, elegant, and strong, but it’s so excellent that it’s kind of undeniable.

Tripel Karmeliet

Tasting Notes: Malt, Lemon, Banana

Alcohol by volume: 8.4%

The beer has been produced in the same manner for centuries, with a secret blend of oats, barley, and wheat to give it a complex flavor and creamy texture. We suggest the bottle version over the draft one. This beer has high carbonation and should be served in a large glass.

Verzet Oud Bruin

Tasting Notes: Oak, Cherry, Spice

Alcohol by volume: 6%

While Brouwerij ‘t Verzet is one of the newer brewers in a country with a long-brewing history, it blended developing forms, such as IPAs, with historic varieties, like its oud bruin. A unique take on the style is traditionally created; this unpasteurized variant is a well-balanced tart beer.

Westmalle Trappist Dubbel

Tasting Notes: Caramel, Malt, Dark Fruit

Alcohol by volume: 7%

We can’t think of a better Dubbel than this one, which is crisp and dry with flavors of chocolate, dark toffee, and a tinge of red fruit. It’s delectable and a must-try if you’re in the Belgian region.

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