Today is International Beer Day, and what better way to celebrate than with some Belgian gold. Belgium is considered to brew some of the best beers in the world. No matter what type of beer you prefer, from ales to quads, Belgians have perfected the craft. Thankfully, due to the popularity of the craft beer market, a lot of these Belgian brews are now easily available in the U.S. So if you’re looking to get into the world of Belgian beers, we’re here to help, but be prepared to shell out some cash because quality does not come cheap.
Houblon Chouffe (Brewery Achouffe)
If I’m at a bar and I see a tap with their gnome logo, I’m ordering it. This might be the most accessible beer in this list and if you’re a newbie when it comes to Belgians, this is a good place to start. It has a slight fruit like taste, but not overwhelming at all, and it tastes more like a Tripel than an IPA. The balance in this beer makes it very easy to drink and at a 9% ABV, you will definitely be feeling your money’s worth after a few glasses. You can find a large format bottle or a 4 pack for around $12-14. I also recommend other beers from this brewery such as La Chouffe.
St. Bernardus Abt 12 (St. Bernardus Brewery)
First Quad on the list, St Bernardus doesn’t disappoint. The caramel and fruit scent and taste makes this one of the smoothest 10% ABV beers you’ll ever taste. It’s become more accessible as of late, and you can get it at a good craft beer bar for $10 minimum. You can come across a 4 pack of this for around $18 or a 750ml bottle for $12. If you’re already on a St. Bernardus mood, then grab a drink of their Tripel or Prior 8 while you’re at it.
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (Westvleteren Brewery)Exquisite and complex flavors are packed in this brew. A thick beer packed with a mix of plum, grape, and caramel that will definitely leave you wanting more. The only downside is that it’s damn near impossible to find in the U.S., and if you do or manage to order it online, it’ll range from about $80-90 for a 6 pack. This is a beer geek’s must have and if you manage to get your hands on a bottle, it’ll be good to treat yourself to one. Just don’t get used to it.
Westmalle Trappist Tripel (Westmalle Brewery)One of the best beer’s I’ve ever had. The taste is reminiscent of bananas, along with a nice touch of bitter hops. If you see this, purchase it instantly. At a bar, it might run you around $15 a glass. If you’re lucky enough to find it at a store, a single bottle might set you back $7-8 or you can try to find a large format bottle for around $13. It is well worth it.
Trappistes Rochefort 10 (Rochefort Brewery)
I try to introduce as many people as I can to this beer. This is what heaven tastes like. I would love to sit here and bullshit you about its complex flavor and amazing scent, but it really won’t do it justice. At 11% ABV, the alcohol content and amazing taste is perfect for it’s price. It might range from $12-15 a glass at your favorite bar. If you find it at a liquor/craft beer spot, it’ll set you back about $8-10 for a single bottle. Worth every penny. Make sure to also try their Rochefort 6 & 8. Liquid gold.