Belgian beer is the best in the world. There, I said it. Not only are Belgian beers some of the finest in existence, but they offer a wide variety of flavors and styles that can be paired with almost any meal or occasion.
The only problem is that there are so many fantastic Belgian beers available today (and throughout history) it can be hard to know where to start when you’re out at a bar or restaurant ordering one for yourself. Well, we’ve got you covered! Here are our picks for six classic Belgian beers and what makes each one unique:
The Trappist monks of Westmalle brew the Westmalle Tripel. It has an ABV of 8.5%, a light body and low bitterness. The beer is made with pale, pilsner and aromatic malts.
The Rochefort 10 is a Belgian Trappist beer brewed by the monks of the Notre-Dame de Saint-Remy Abbey in Rochefort, Belgium. It’s dark, strong, and sweet—with a 9.2% alcohol by volume content—and bottled in an elegant bottle topped with a cork stopper.
The beer is well known for its rich flavors that may include caramel, chocolate or coffee (depending on how long you let it age).
La Chouffe is a Belgian wheat beer. The brewery that produces La Chouffe, Brasserie d’Achouffe, is located in the village of Achouffe. It was founded by Pierre Gobron and Christian Bauweraerts in the 1980s.
Heverlee is a Belgian brown ale brewed by Brasserie Van Honsebrouck. It’s 5.5% ABV and is bottle-conditioned, which means it contains yeast, like champagne. This gives it the characteristic of being full-bodied and fruity—a classic example of how all beers are not one-size-fits-all when it comes to style.
Rodenbach Grand Cru
Rodenbach Grand Cru is a Flanders Red Ale that is made with sour cherries. The beer is aged in oak barrels for one year, giving it a tart, sour flavor and making it more complex than other Belgian beers.
Rodenbach Grand Cru goes well with cheese and charcuterie boards, but it’s also delicious on its own as an apéritif drink before dinner or as an after-dinner digestif.
Chimay Blue is a Belgian Trappist ale, of which there are only six in the world. It’s an 11% ABV beer that has been brewed since 1862 by monks at the Abbaye de Scourmont Abbey in Chimay, Belgium.
This beer is dark brown with red highlights and a small head. The taste is malty with notes of caramel sweetness and chocolatey undertones. Chimay Blue has a long finish that lingers on your tongue long after you’ve finished drinking it—this makes it ideal for pairing with dessert or cheese plates! Belgian beers are great. We should all try them!
If you’re looking to brew your own Belgian beer, there are a few things to keep in mind. Belgian beers have a wide variety of ingredients and can be paired with many foods. They are also often complex and more than the sum of their parts. If you have not tried them before, now is the time!