Battle of the Belgian Microbrews

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Belgium is without a doubt home to some of the finest craft breweries on the planet. Small, independent, and traditional. Never pretentious. Everything you’d want in a true microbrewery. So we begrudgingly accepted the arduous task of pitting seven beers against each other in a Belgian brew battle royale.

Before we get to the beer tasting, however, you should know that we rated these brews on a scale of 1-5 stars – only against each other. These are, in our opinion, some of the best beers in the world, and so our ratings exist in that top echelon of all brews. Which is why this was such a dreaded assignment to complete.

And so with the aforementioned esteem for all these labels, let’s get on with the tasting.


#7 - Duvel (2.5 stars)

  • Style: Strong Pale Ale
  • AVB: 8.5%
  • Brewer: Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat N.V.

Crisp and light, this brew bends surely toward a bitter edge with a slight (at best) hint of citrus.


#6 - Maredsous (3 stars)

  • Style: Tripel
  • AVB: 10%
  • Brewer: Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat N.V.

Overtly bitter from beginning to finish, this hoppy brew is straight up and down, no frills attached.


#5 - La Chouffe (3.5 stars)

  • Style: Strong Pale Ale
  • AVB: 8%
  • Brewer: Brasserie d’Achouffe

Spicy and sweet from the get-go, this ale packs a refreshing punch with a dry, slightly floral finish.


#4 – Piraat (3.5 stars)

  • Style: IPA
  • AVB: 10.5%
  • Brewer: Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Aggressive but not overpowering, this IPA is delightfully sharp yet subtly creamy through the finish.


#3 - Chimay Tripel, White (4 stars)

  • Style: Strong Pale Ale
  • AVB: 8.5%
  • Brewer: Bières de Chimay S.A.

Bold from the first sip, this well-balanced ale finds its home between sweet and bitter with a subtle raisin aftertaste.


#2 – Gulden Draak, Dark Triple (4.5 stars)

  • Style: Strong Dark Ale
  • AVB: 10.5%
  • Brewer: Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

If the smell of chocolate covered cherries doesn’t catch your attention at the onset of enjoying this brew, the forthcoming gentle intensity and distinct hoppy finish certainly will.


*WINNER* – Kasteel Donker (5 stars)

kasteel

  • Style: Quadrupel
  • AVB: 11%
  • Brewer: Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.

Wow. Sweet and powerful, this quad charges the palate with robust dark fruits, figs, and cherries, with an almost scotch-like kick through the finish. Remarkable.


Now it’s your turn. Tell us where we went right, where we went wrong, and which series of craft beers we should taste-test next.

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