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Old 04-12-2011, 08:04 PM   #1
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Default What's up with Belgian beers?

I love Belgian beers, but half of Belgian-style beers taste like garbage to me. It seems like a lot of American brewers think a tripel should taste like banana or rubbery esters. Victory golden monkey and New Belgian tripel are terrible, IMO, and don't taste anything like what a good tripel (Cinq cents, Allagash tripel) should taste like. Why is this? Does anyone like these beers?

Also, what's up with the high cost? There's nothing inherently difficult or costly in making them. I can make a dubbel or tripel for under 20 bucks, using washed yeast. That's cheaper than a pale ale.

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Old 04-12-2011, 08:11 PM   #2
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I do not like New Belgium's dubbel, but have not tried their tripel.

Are you making your own dark candied sugar for your Dubbel? I need to try that, it is expensive to buy it at the LHBS.

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Old 04-12-2011, 08:16 PM   #3
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One of the few common threads running through all the various Belgian styles is a very characterful yeast. Different strains turn out a very different product, and when you combine that with the myriad grainbills and fermentation schedules that can be used, there are a lot of vastly different flavors to contend with. It's not surprising you don't like them all. I know I certainly don't.

If you haven't done it already, try some beers from Ommegang, Unibroue, and Jolly Pumpkin. They're a few of the North American breweries doing these styles that I find to have a pretty consistent product range. Their prices are also much more reasonable. The cost is one reason I've been getting into brewing these myself in the past year or so.

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Old 04-12-2011, 08:23 PM   #4
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One of the few common threads running through all the various Belgian styles is a very characterful yeast. Different strains turn out a very different product, and when you combine that with the myriad grainbills and fermentation schedules that can be used, there are a lot of vastly different flavors to contend with. It's not surprising you don't like them all. I know I certainly don't.

If you haven't done it already, try some beers from Ommegang, Unibroue, and Jolly Pumpkin. They're a few of the North American breweries doing these styles that I find to have a pretty consistent product range. Their prices are also much more reasonable. The cost is one reason I've been getting into brewing these myself in the past year or so.
I brewed up a belgian batch, then realized I have FIVE FULL GALLONS of it. That's a lot for me and SWMBO to handle of that style, lol.
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:28 PM   #5
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If you haven't done it already, try some beers from Ommegang, Unibroue, and Jolly Pumpkin. They're a few of the North American breweries doing these styles that I find to have a pretty consistent product range. Their prices are also much more reasonable. The cost is one reason I've been getting into brewing these myself in the past year or so.
I had a Unibroue Blanche de Chambly (well, two actually) last week. They were VERY good.
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:33 PM   #6
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I brewed up a belgian batch, then realized I have FIVE FULL GALLONS of it. That's a lot for me and SWMBO to handle of that style, lol.
Lucky for you, it only gets better with age.
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:35 PM   #7
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I brewed up a belgian batch, then realized I have FIVE FULL GALLONS of it. That's a lot for me and SWMBO to handle of that style, lol.
What style? If you're looking for someone to help you polish that off, just let me know. I'll PM you my address.
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:47 PM   #8
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New Belgium tripel is crap. I agree with you on that one. I had a Anderson Valley Tripel a few months ago and thought the same thing. It was really sweet and I didn't like it at all. I do think there are breweries that do a good job of doing Belgian style beers. Unfortunately, not all breweries do good Belgians.

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Old 04-12-2011, 08:58 PM   #9
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Can't stand New Belgium, especially their Belgian style ales. Bleh.

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Old 04-12-2011, 09:05 PM   #10
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I like the New Belgium Abbey Ale and Tripel. They are definatly on the sweet side but I like the low hop and malty flavor. I recently had Ommegang that I liked and I have a Westmalle Tripel that I am waiting to try.
The thing about "Belgian" beer is that every brew is unique.

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