The magazine Men’s Journal has listed 12 Belgian beers among its “The 100 Best Beers in the World”. The beers – predominantly American as might be expected – are listed in no particular order. The selection is, for connoisseurs of Belgian beer, uncontroversial, tending to stick to the tried and tested (and the Trappist), with the exception of one from De Dolle Brouwers from Esen in West Flanders.
The beers in question are:
Rochefort 8: “The Trappist monastery behind the 8 dates back to 1230, with brewing operations starting up in 1595. It’s safe to say, the experience shows”.
Achel Extra Brown: “Expect an initially subtle beer that expands as it warms, branching into dried fruit notes as well as candy-like cocoa and toffee”.
Saison Dupont: “Brasserie Dupont doesn’t just make beer that recalls a rustic farmhouse tradition: they embody the tradition”.
Hommelbier: “Bracing bitterness and floral and spicy hop character don’t leap to mind when beer drinkers think of Belgian beers, but that’s the central appeal of one of our favourites”.
Duvel: “The signature flavour inspired enough imitators to beget the entire Belgian golden strong style, but so far no one has concocted a more demonic example than the original”.
Sint-Bernardus Wit: “a slightly thicker, juicier take on the Belgian wheat beer with big orange peel, peach, and apricot flavours over a spicy, bready wheat backbone”.
Tilquin Oude Gueuze: “This is a perfect funky sour that’s thirst quenching and delicious”.
Cantillon Kriek: “Aside from being one of the great sour beers in the world, this kriek (Dutch for cherry) is also an easy contender for world’s best fruit beer”.
Westvleteren 12: “ To describe, simply, what it’s like to drink this incredibly complex beer, it’s so packed with flavour that one sip to the next, the character can change from earthy, to fruity, and occasionally mildly hoppy”.
Westmalle Tripel: “an impressive 9.5-percent ABV with a dry, dangerously drinkable body”.
Orval: “The secondary fermentation produces complex fruit flavours and aromas of lemon peel along with a deep and complex barnyard funkiness”.
Oerbier Special Reserva: “On paper, Oerbier Special Reserva sounds so wild, you’d assume it hails from a cutting-edge American brewery”.
To add to what is not a particularly adventurous selection, Belgian Beer & Food would like to offer our colleagues at Men’s Journal a few suggestions for further exploration:
Keikoppen from De Plukker in Poperinge, hoppy beer made by the man who grows the hops (see BB&F No. 2)
Chimay Triple: Less well-known than the famous blue-cap, but a delicious, fruity beer, full of flavour and body
Ichtegem’s Grand Cru: One the more obscure Flemish red-brown ales, where sourness is only the gateway to a vertigo-inducing depth of flavour
St. Feuillien Grand Cru: a true champagne among beers, bright and bubbly, a great place to start (and finish) the evening
Liefmans Goudenband: voted Best Belgian Beer at the recent Brussels Beer Challenge, this class sour beer from East Flanders is worthy of the title. A beer of staggering complexity, to be sipped in an attitude of appropriate reverence.
Read the whole MJ article here: http://www.mensjournal.com/expert-advice/the-100-best-beers-in-the-world-20141106