What is a Belgian-Style Beer?
Belgium has a very long history of brewing well-renowned beers. The Romans may have brought brewing to that part of Europe thousands of years ago, and many Belgian breweries can trace their roots back to the Middle Ages. So it’s no surprise that Belgian-style beers are still popular with beer lovers around the world.
It’s difficult to define a Belgian beer according to narrow characteristics because Belgium’s brewers are famous for their individuality and creativity within different styles.
But there are some common flavors and aromas you can look for in Belgian-style beers. Many Belgian beers will have a distinct spicy, herbal or fruity taste – light on hops but high in flavor.
What is a Belgian-Style Ale?
Belgian beers are primarily ales – not lagers. Ales are made with top-fermenting yeasts that ferment at warmer temperatures. Lagers are made with bottom-fermenting yeasts that ferment at cooler temperatures and require a longer time to mature.
Belgian-style ales come in many different variations, but some popular styles include:
- Belgian white beers (witbier): Light, cloudy beers with a creamy, fruity flavor – often with strong coriander and orange notes
- Dubbels: Different varieties of brown ales, often with caramel, spicy and malty flavors
- Tripels: Bold, dense beers with a bit more bitterness, a golden color and hints of fruit, sweetness and spice
- Lambics: Spontaneously fermented beers made from unmalted wheat, malted barley and aged hops, featuring a wide variety of flavors, from fruity to sour
Dogfish Head Belgian-Style Ales to Try
This Belgian-style brown ale is complex and rich, brewed with beet sugar, raisins and Belgian-style yeast. It contains 8% alcohol by volume.
Our Belgian-style white ale is bright, refreshing and impossible not to like. We made it as a tribute to our friends at 3 Fonteinen Brewery in Belgium, and it highlights flavors of orange, lemongrass and coriander.