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Top 27 Authentic Belgian Beers

Top 27 Authentic Belgian Beers

Modern craft beer would not be the same without the efforts and devotion to artisanal beermaking that our Belgian brewing forefathers put forth for centuries in advance of the rise of modern craft beer.

The full-bodied and delicious brews that those venerable breweries focused on set the table for the discovery and experimentation of early American craft brewing pioneers.

To honor those Belgian brewers, we’ve highlighted the best authentic Belgian beers that we’ve ever reviewed here at The Beer Connoisseur, dating back to our very first issue in 2009.

Of course, Belgium has perhaps the most storied history of any country when it comes to brewing delectable beers, so there are probably thousands that we have not reviewed here at BC. As always, this list is limited to beers that our judges have actually reviewed.

So pop open that aged cork-and-caged Quadrupel and sip it slowly while you read up on our list of the Top 27 Authentic Belgian Beers we’ve ever reviewed!


#27

91 
McChouffe

Brasserie d'Achouffe

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#26

91
Kriek des Jacobins

Brouwerij Omer Vander Ghinste

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"This authentic Belgian beer is light-bodied, highly carbonated, and it has a very slight creamy edge to it. For a Kriek, this beer is great because unlike most commercial Kriek I’ve had, this one is not overly sweet, but rather tart, crisp and dry. That is a very refreshing change and well appreciated."

– Judge Jason Johnson


 

#25

91
Bastogne Ardenne Spirit

Brasserie de Bastogne

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#24

91
Oude Geuze Boon Black Label

Brouwerij Boon

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"There's great flavor here, and there's no doubt this is a very good Belgian beer, but it's just a bit tough to drink because of that Spartan, bone-dry backdrop. I shared some around, and it was definitely popular, so you won't regret it -- and if you want your sour served straight, you'll love it!"

– Judge Josh Weikert


 

#23

92
Cuvée des Jacobins

Brouwerij Omer Vander Ghinste

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#22

92
Bocholt

Brouwerij Martens

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"This was a very refreshing authentic Belgian beer. It poured with a lovely white foamy head and was quite thirst-quenching with a nice clean grainy aroma and flavor. A clean and dry finish made me want to keep sipping this beer all night."

– Judge Susan Ruud


 

#21

92
Cliff Top Bock

Cliff Top Brewing Co.

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#20

92
Malheur 12

Brouwerij Malheur

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#19

92
Gulden Draak

Brouwerij Van Steenberge

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"Boasting a whopping 10.5 percent ABV, Gulden Draak is a seriously hefty Belgian brew. Bottle conditioned with wine yeast for the secondary fermentation, Gulden Draak’s aromas are dominated with notes of caramel, milk chocolate, blackcurrants and alcohol. Devilishly drinkable, but strong enough to merit respect and caution, this is the perfect dessert beer."

BC Review


 

#18

94
Cuvée des Jacobins Prestige

Brouwerij Omer Vander Ghinste

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#17

94
St. Feuillien Grand Cru

Brasserie St-Feuillien

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#16

94
Cuvée René

Brouwerij Lindemans

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"A classic example of what some consider the oldest existing beer in the world, Gueuze, Cuvée René is a traditional blend of young and old lambics produced in Belgium’s Senne River Valley. Remaining true to its lineage, this beer is effervescent, punishingly sour and almost cidery, while being possessed with an enchanting complexity of aromas and flavors unique to the region’s spontaneously fermented beers."

BC Review


 

#15

94
Vander Ghinste Oud Bruin

Brouwerij Omer Vander Ghinste

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#14

95
Wit

Brouwerij St. Bernardus

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"St. Bernardus Witbier is a wonderful example of a style that nearly went extinct. Developed in cooperation with Pierre Celis, who almost single-handedly resurrected Witbier, the St. Bernardus take on this timeless style evinces all the intriguing aromas and flavors of the classics. Elegant and refined, St. Bernardus Witbier is a highly quaffable authentic Belgian beer for those sweltering summer days."

BC Review


 

#13

95
Monk's Cafe Flemish Sour

Brouwerij Van Steenberge

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#12

95
Saison Imperiale

De Proef Brouwerij

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"This is a great Belgian Farmhouse Ale in pretty much every way -- the only thing I would do is reduce the carbonation slightly. However, the carbonation and clean/crisp finish are perfect for fatty food; I am going to have a second glass of this beer with some spicy French fries smothered in chopped chili peppers. A nice ribeye steak would also pair well with this beer."

– Judge Nelson Crowle


 

#11

96
Vintage 2013

Brouwerij Rodenbach

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#10

96
La Chouffe

Brasserie d'Achouffe

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"Deftly camouflaging its deceptive alcohol strength among layers of ripe fruit aromas and honeyed malt, La Chouffe from Brasserie Achouffe is truly a world class Belgian strong golden ale. Though highly quaffable, this brew packs a respectable ABV (8%) and should be savored in moderation."

BC Review


 

#9

96
Saison Dupont

Brasserie Dupont

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"For more than a century and a half, Brasserie Dupont has produced what is surely the benchmark by which all farmhouse ales are measured – Saison Dupont. A truly rustic country beer that is still produced on a working farm in the Wallonian countryside of Belgium, Saison Dupont keeps alive the tradition of honest, artisanal brewing."

BC Review


 

#8

96
Fruitage

Brouwerij Rodenbach

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A complex blend of aromatics delight the nostrils upon first pour. Dark cherries are first evidenced and combine pleasantly with a light lactic tartness and just a touch of Brettanomyces. The flavor profile manifests a quintessential balance of fruity character and tartness along with oaky notes while the malt remains complementary. A truly one-of-a-kind easy drinking sour that delivers a complexity of flavors and aromas without the use of higher alcohol levels."

– Judge James Link 


 

#7

96
Goudenband

Brouwerij Liefmans

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 "A vibrant, moderately sour flavor profile comes across as refreshing -- yet complex -- with layers of fruit esters giving way to a lactic/acetic acid finish. The refreshing, acidic backbone of this well-aged, medium-bodied authentic Belgian ale is balanced by sweet, dark, biscuity malts and complex esters, which produce a charming, sweet and sour conclusion."

BC Review


 

#6

97
Vintage 2015

Brouwerij Rodenbach

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"This is a very complex beer with lots going on. This is an excellent example of the complexities that can be found in a Flanders Red Ale, and I would highly recommend it to all lovers of sour beers and to those wine drinkers looking for a beer to fit their palate."

– Judge James Link


 

#5

97
Westmalle Dubbel

Brewery Der Trappisten Van Westmalle

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"Dubbels are usually a bit lighter and more complex than other Belgian dark strong ales. This Dubbel has more than enough complexity. This is a complex beer, but the integration of the flavors gives it an elegant simplicity. This is clearly a Belgian beer, not as big as some, but more interesting than most."

– Judge Tom Cannon


 

#4

97
Alexander

Brouwerij Rodenbach

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"I was very happy to be served this authentic Belgian beer and hope to be able to have more of it. To say this is a very solid Fruit Lambic is an understatement of how good I think it is. This beer blew me away -- all of its flavor components are spot-on, the balance is intricate and the experience of the beer as a whole was great." 

– Judge Jason Johnson


 

#3

97
Bouket

De Proef Brouwerij and Trillium Brewing Co.

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"I believe this Belgian collaboration beer to almost flawless; I have not had a commercial beer this fresh or bright. The balance between the Brett character and the hops is excellent. Normally, I find Brett to be overdone in many beers; it tends to overtake the rest of the beer, but the brewers of this were able to restrain the Brett to a perfect degree, allowing the hops to shine bright. A near-perfect beer for any occasion."

– Judge Jason Johnson


 

#2

98
Oude Geuze Boon

Brouwerij Boon

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"A one-of-a-kind style, Gueuze is a carbonated blend of aged and young Lambic. Its rustic flavors provide a window into Lambic's traditional fermentation environment. Highly carbonated, this example is cleansing and full of texture. It is difficult not to drink this Gueuze too quickly; to truly enjoy it is to witness it evolve over time. Typifying both art and craft, this Gueuze is wonderful."  

– Judge Jim Koebel


 

#1

99
Hanssens Oude Kriek

Hanssens Artisanaal

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"Hanssens has been producing some of the most widely acclaimed lambic, especially kriek and gueuze, in recent memory. All of the judges picked up on the beer’s age and offered comments on the depth and complexity that it lent the beer’s aromas and flavors. This is undoubtedly an epic brew that any self-respecting beer connoisseur should take great pains to acquire and – if possible – lay down for a while. It will be well worth the wait."

– BC Review