Monday 18 February 2008

Top ten Belgian beers

So, what are the best Belgian beers?

Well, after tasting more than 450 of the who knows how many Belgian beers out there, I think I have a pretty good grasp of what I like. But there is such a variety of styles, and different beers suit different occasions, so it is very difficult to create an ordered list. Thus, the following is simply my top ten Belgian beers in alphabetical order:

    ♦ Achel Brune Extra

    ♦ Black in Japan

    ♦ Cantillon gueuze

    ♦ Chimay Grande Réserve (aged)

    ♦ Deus

    ♦ Orval

    ♦ Rochefort

    ♦ St Bernardus Abt 12 Special Edition

    ♦ Taras Boulba

    ♦ Westmalle Extra

Being considered for the top ten...
 ♦ Brasserie de Bellevaux Black
 ♦ Scheldebrouwerij Oesterstout
 ♦ Boon Kriek Mariage Parfait 2008
 ♦ V Cense
 ♦ St Feuillien Grand Cru

    What? No Westvleteren??

(page occasionally updated)


  1. nice list, I'll keep it in my favorites for an occasion :)

  2. Where in Belgium can I find Deus for 10 euros? My folks will be in Leuven and I want them to try it...

  3. Deus is in bigger Delhaize supermarkets for 10 or 11, though I haven't seen it there for a while now, sadly. perhaps only around the holidays?

  4. While drinking a Westmalle Tripel tonight I discovered your blog. I've been enjoying the hell out of it and learning about tons of new beers to try. I too write a beer blog though it sure ain't as classy as yours!

    Take care,

  5. Great list, I will have to pick up the St. Bernardus and give it a try. I feel like I've cheated myself as its been on the shelf there for so long. The aged Chimay Grand Reserve is our personal fav, but we've not tried a few on your list, something to look forward to!!

  6. My top10:

    1. Westvleteren 12
    2. Delirium Tremens (from tap!!!!)
    3. Affligem Tripel (from tap!!!)
    4. Chimay Bleu
    5. Delirium Nocturnum (from tap!!!)
    6. Trappistes Rochefort 10
    7. Achel Extra Bruin
    8. Delirium Xmas (from tap!!!)
    9. Westvleteren 8
    10. St. Bernardus 12

    Out of your list I haven't tried Deus, Cantillon Geuze. I don't think Floreffe or other versions of St. Bernardus hit the top10. You see I am a Delirium fan but I have a reason to be: have been several times to the Delirum Café in Brussels. Huge mistake to miss it and miss their beers from tap. Tripel Karmeliet is also close to being top10 for me and Orval.

  7. HOE is m favorite. Lived in Belgium 15 years. No KWAK on your list? Oh my. Top shelf item and a must to have on your list.

  8. hey guys help me am in brussels at the end of this month a very short trip i would like to know the must drink beer when i am there thank you

  9. Come have a "Kwak Max" in Gent sometime! It's only drunk by tourists, but damn fine way to embarrass oneself!

  10. Hello
    Just set up own blog recently. Feel free to pop along and link our sites

    For the record, have you tried Het Kapittel Dubbel - reckon you might like that one. Top class brown

  11. not to sound common or anything, but as a belgian myself, its either blonde affligem during meals,

    and jupiler when i go out with mates (alot of jupiler that is) :)

  12. Surprised you left off the Westmalle Triple and Duvel. You also left off the St Bernardus Triple, which is really nice. Kwak and Delirium aren't that great.

    Here's my list, though I'm not at 100 yet (I haven't tried Westvleteren 12, Floreffe, or Deus, but I will)

    1. St Bernardus 12
    2. Westvleteren 8
    3. Duvel
    4. Westmalle Triple
    5. Rochefort 10
    6. Orval
    7. Rochefort 6
    8. St Bernardus Pater
    9. St Bernardus Triple
    10. Achel Blonde

  13. also GOUDEN CAROLUS TRIPEL, TRIPEL KARMELIET and BARBAR are very good belgian beers

  14. I'm not seeing Straffe Hendrik here? Could well be the Jimmy Hendrix of beers!

  15. I just moved to Belgium, so I'll have to take your list to the grocery store the next time I go. So far the Grimbergen Dubble is my fav!

  16. stella artois?

  17. nobody has mentioned chouffe.. it is azesome

  18. No Westmalle in your top 10? I would enlist Dubbel and Trippel...

  19. A must-taste is Omer, in my opinion. Also the Duvel Tripel Hop and Pannepot are favorites of mine. Real pearls in beerland : )

    Greetings from a little town in the Flanders

  20. I agree with a lot of your list. But after I read that you don't enjoy Duvel I decided I wanted to beat you to death with my bare fists.

  21. Belgium beers !!!!

  22. And something sweet? try Lindemans Kriek
    And a "witkap" ?

  23. Ghulden Cop, a new beer from Belgium. Only to get @ Geraardsbergen (Grammont)

  24. in your full list i noticed you tasted some of the De Ranke beers, but the top one is missing. check 'Cuvée De Ranke' a blend of old brown flemish ale and girandin!

  25. Does no one drink Gulden Draak?

  26. On quads: I'm quite familiar with Rochefort 10, Chimay Blue and St. Bernardus 12 and up ti1l recently ranked those highest.
    Last weekend another quad made it up to my top 3: Malheur 12 - I recommend you taste it if you get the chance.
    (Westy might possibly shuffle the order again, we'll see in a couple of weeks :) )

  27. This is a solid list, but which Rochefort? I assume 10. Good to see Zennebrouwerij and Jandrain-Jandrenouille in there. DeuS raised an eyebrow -- not an obvious choice but there's a case to made for it. I'd have to find room for Orval and single lambic, probably an aged one from Boon.

  28. Thanks. With Rochefort, I like 6 and 10 so it's kind of a dodge for me to just say "Rochefort" here, I admit... a way of sneaking in an eleventh in the top ten...

  29. De Koninck? Worthy of a mention

  30. Degustibus non disputatum est.

    Hard to argue with any of these lists really. But regardless of your preferences, When in Antwerp, find the Kulminator--a fine place to sit and sample Belgium's best brews...

    --Dr. Citrus

  31. Why isn`t Leffe on the list? ;-)

  32. All Belgian Beers are great. Taste is subjective. Same applies to wine.

  33. My top 10.
    Total Belgian beers tried so far: 1388

    3 Fonteinen Armand’4 Oude Geuze Lente
    Abbaye des Rocs Brune (fresh)
    Cantillon Kriek (75 cl.)
    Cantillon Mamouche (fesh)
    De Dolle Stille Nacht Reserva 2010
    De la Senne Taras Boulba
    Dupont Avec les Bons Vœux (bottle)
    Hanssens Scarenbecca Kriek
    Orval (4 – 6 weeks)
    Struise Woody Albert


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