A beginner's guide to Belgian beer styles

Although a small country, Belgium has an impressive number of famous beers of different styles. The choice of beers can make you dizzy, but it's also what makes Belgium so unique. Beers come in different colors, as many flavors and degrees of alcohol. Whether you prefer a fruity, sour or strong taste, there is something for everyone.  

To navigate among Belgian beers, it is useful to know some of the styles of belgian beers The most common. But before we dive into Belgian beer styles, you need to know about Trappist beers.

The trappist beers are brewed by monks in abbeys. There are only a few abbeys in the world that brew and most of them are in Belgium. Trappist beers come in a variety of styles, but shouldn't be overlooked by anyone trying their hand at Belgian beers.

Here is an overview of some of the Belgian beer styles:

1. Double

Quite strong in alcohol and dark in color, dubbel beer  is made from candy sugar which gives it tastes of chocolate and burnt caramel. The alcohol content is between 6 and 9%. Dubbel beer was created by Belgian monks at the monastery of Westmalle.

westmalle dubbel

2. Triple

Although lighter in color than the Dubbel, the Triple is stronger in alcohol. The colors are rather golden because it is brewed with light Pilsner malt. You can find different flavors in it like spicy, banana, fruity. Some beers even have a citrus flavor. The alcohol content varies between 7.5 and 10%. Be careful, as the alcohol level is not strong to the taste, but you will smell it.

3. Quadrupel

Quadrupel beer is the strongest compared to Dubbel and Triple. The alcohol content is between 10 and 13%. It is not intended for novice beer drinkers. The beer has a more malty profile and can taste dark fruit, bread, peppery spice with a sweet finish. The Quadrupel beers are darker blond beers.

4. White Beer or Witbier

As its name suggests, the color of this beer is very light. It is a refreshing and tasty beer made from wheat. white beer is brewed from unmalted wheat, but sometimes also oats or barley. Some spices can be used to make the taste more complex. The blood alcohol level is between 4.5 and 5.5%.

biere blanche

5. Belgian Pale Ale

Inspired by British Pale Ales, Belgian Pale Ale beers are known for their low bitterness and hop aroma. You can smell the flavor of caramel or roasted malt. Beer flavors are slightly sweet with tastes of toast, cookies, or other nutty flavors. Alcohol levels are between 4 and 6%. 

6. Old Brown 

Originating from the Flemish part of Belgium, an Oud Bruin or also known as Flanders Brown or Vieille Brune in French uses several strains of yeast or bacteria, this is called mixed fermentation. It is ideal for those looking for a slightly acidic beer. Oud Bruin beers are aged in barrels. They are offered in a wide range of blood alcohol content, from 4 to 11%. Dark beer flavors also vary, from fruity to orange, caramel or chocolate.

oud bruin

7. Lambic beer

One of the oldest styles of Belgian beer. Lambic beer (Lambiek) is a spontaneously fermented beer, brewed from barley, wheat and hops. The alcohol content is between 4.5 and 6% and the color ranges from copper blond to amber. It is brewed in Brussels and in Pajottenland, south-west of Brussels. It is a complex beer for which you have to train your palate. It is often highly rated by critics and considered one of the best beers by many connoisseurs.

8. Seasons

Type beers Season are ideal for summer. Their color ranges from gold to light amber. Often with high carbonation you can taste fruity and herbal aromas. The blood alcohol level is between 4.4 and 6.8%.

9. Stout

Today there are a large number of stout beers on the market and you can recognize them by their dark color. Stout is a top-fermented beer and itself has a number of variations. You can find imperial stouts, milk stouts, oatmeal stouts, and even chocolate stouts. Stouts are generally stronger beers. From 4 up to 12%.

biere stout


Do you have a favorite style? Or a favorite beer? 

Don't forget to check out our beer catalog, where you can find beers by styles and create your box of beers perfect. 

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