So, the United States lost against Belgium in the World Cup. They may have had their way with us on the pitch, but we’re having our way with their beer in the pint. With all due respect to Old World tradition, here are six American spins on Belgian beer.
Ommegang Hop House: The New York brewery departs from its spot-on traditional Belgian approach with this dry-hopped Belgian pale ale. The result is a prickly, intensely bitter mouthfeel, which drives a wash of sweet bubblegum and doughy malts as bright citrus and melon lend cheery brightness to the sip.
Coronado Hoppy Daze: This Belgian-style IPA’s zesty orange and lemon adopt subtle mint and pepper mid-sip, while a cushiony, bready base balances out the bitterness for an even-keeled, approachable swallow.
Knee Deep Belgo Hoptologist: It’s an imperial Belgian-style IPA, and it shows. A smack of catty, oniony hops hits the nose as this beer washes back with pungent scallions and pine; toasted bread and dark fruits weigh down the sip. A biting mix of peppery yeast, hop bitterness and boozy strength swells in the back for a long, dry finish.
Fort George North the VII: An imperial Belgian-style IPA aged in bourbon barrels? Sure! Orange and white pepper accent a warming, musty aroma. On the tongue, dank, piney hops overrun classic Belgian bubblegum and pepper; threads of oak enhance a swell of hop bitterness for a dry finish that lasts and lasts.
Empyrean Barrel-Aged Dark Tripel: A host of dark, roasted malts and a trip into a bourbon barrel transforms a classic tripel into something truly unique. Familiar tripel fruity esters of lemon and pear lace through a robust flow of toasted, roasted grains; dig deep to pull out hints of chocolate and raisin. Warming alcohol caps off the swallow, drawing out just a hint of bourbon spice.
Sound Ursus Spelaeus Belgian Imperial Stout: Not for the faint of heart, this chewy stout engulfs the tongue with malty richness: Intense layers of cocoa and smoky roast fuse seamlessly with dark cherries and raisins. Assertive alcohol lends a spicy bite as the sip wraps up with lingering, luscious chocolate on the tongue.