Best Belgian Beer: Styles, To Try Now & When in Belgium

The world of Belgian beer is both revered and respected by beer lovers around the globe around. Belgium has creative brewers meticulously crafting various styles—from sour lambics to layered Tripels—that are unlike anything else. 

And for many living stateside, quality Belgians have become surprisingly accessible in recent years as well. Here are the best Belgian beers to try now, as well as try experience when in Belgium.

10 Best Belgian Beers To Try:

  • Chimay Blue
  • Duvel
  • Orval
  • Rochefort 10
  • Westmalle Dubbel
  • St. Bernardus Abt 12
  • La Trappe Quadrupel
  • Delirium Tremens
  • Petrus Aged Pale
  • Rodenbach Grand Cru

Belgian Beer Styles Explained

Belgian beer is renowned for its various styles, including Dubbel, Tripel, Quadrupel, Brown Ale, and Witbier.

Belgian Dubbel

Belgian Dubbel is a traditional beer style originating from Belgium that has become popular among craft brewers and beer enthusiasts worldwide. This dark and complex ale typically doubles the alcohol percentage of a regular beer, containing 6-7% ABV on average.

Belgian Dubbel beers are brewed with caramelized Belgian candi sugar, giving it its dark brown color and adding layers of sweetness to the flavor profile.

Notable notes include malt, raisin, caramel, figs, prune, spice, and chocolate – giving this unique style an aroma and flavor that remains in your memory long after tasting it!

Some of the most famous examples of this classic Belgian beer style include Chimay (red top & blue top)

Westmalle’s Trappist Dubbel – which is known for being dry and crisp with hints of dark toffee flavors accompanied by fruity aromas

Rochefort 8 (which pours nearly black but provides an array of complex flavors such as licorice or coffee) and La Chouffe Golden Ale for one of Belgium’s iconic blonde ales.

Belgian Tripel

Belgian Tripel beer is a style of Trappist and Abbey ales brewed initially by Catholic monks in monasteries. Its unusually high alcohol content defines it — up to nine percent ABV — and its intense flavor blends fruit, spice, malt, and Belgian yeast all in one glass.

On the palate, it can be sweet, with flavors of banana or pear often present; however, this sweetness is balanced out by components such as clove, pepper, and up-front bitterness.

As far as serving goes, Belgian Tripel requires special care—it should be served at about 45℉ (7℃) to ensure that drinkers experience all subtle notes found within its flavor portfolio.

Serving glasses should always include traditional Chalices or Tulips – these two designs aid greatly when exposing aromas while helping carbonation levels within each pour once they settle down after swelling strongly upon pouring into their respective containers.

Belgian Quadrupel

Belgian Quadrupel is a strong, dark ale that packs some serious punch. It has an alcohol content that is usually around 10 – 12%, which gives it one of the higher ABV percentages among Belgian beer styles.

Its dark golden hue and silky malt profile also fall in the middle of the color scheme. This type of beer is typically sweet but can be surprisingly complex due to its blend of spices and raisin-like flavors imparted by specialty malts used to make this style.

The balance between these flavors makes it smoother than other high abv ales, like barleywines or imperial stouts, yet still flavorful enough for those seeking a unique experience from their beer drinking.

Some notable Belgian Quadrupel brews include Chimay (red top and blue top), Westmalle Dubbel and Tripel, Rochefort 10, Duvel, Tripel Karmeliet, Gouden Carolus Classic, St Bernardus Abt 12 and Leffe Brune & Blond.

Belgian Brown Ale

Belgian Brown Ale is one of the top Belgian beer styles. It has an alcohol content that varies between 4–10%, making it slightly more potent than your average beer. The characteristic of all Belgian brown ales is intense aromas, rich malty flavors, and often hints of tobacco.

They have a mild hop aroma and can be pretty sweet due to some residual sugars that ferment during brewing. Considered somewhat underrated when compared to other more popular Belgian beer styles like Dubbel, Tripel, or Quadrupel, the complexity of this style is not always appreciated at first glance.

Belgian Witbier

Belgian Witbier is one of the most famous beer styles and has remained popular for centuries. It is typically brewed with at least 40% wheat, hence its name, though this varies from brewery to brewery based on their preference and unique recipes.

Traditionally Blanche de Bruxelles was one of the quintessential Belgian witbiers relied heavily upon due to its high-quality ingredients sourced from the surrounding countryside.

Belgian Witbier is unique in that it employs a specific strain of yeast that produces aromas and flavors reminiscent of bananas, coriander (or orange peel) coupled with other supportive acidic/sweet elements such as clove or fruit esters.

Long fermentation times also contribute to some alcohol content, ensuring strength and full-bodied flavor notes like malt sweetness and hop bitterness are balanced well.

Popular breweries known for producing exceptional Belgian witbiers include Leffe Brune, Kwak, Chambly Grand Cru Biere De Garde, St Feuillien Triple, and Luppoo Blence De Louvain, which all carry distinct traditional flavors embedded into their recipes.

Top Belgian Beers You Need to Try and Why

Belgium’s famed breweries, such as Chimay and Orval, offer some of the world’s most well-known beers – from Rochefort 10 to Brugse Zot Dubbel.

Chimay (Red Top And Blue Top)

Chimay (red top and blue top) is regarded as one of the finest examples of Belgian beer. Chimay has been uniquely crafted by Trappist monks at the Abbey of Notre Dame de Scourmont since 1862, using a centuries-old brewing process that produces two distinct flavors: Red Top and Blue Top.

Chimay Red Top is an artisanal copper Dubbel ale with a dark fruit flavor, while Blue Top is a robust dark ale characterized by its complexity and notes of caramel. Both beers undergo bottle conditioning to mature their flavors further for up to 6 weeks before release.


Orval Trappist Ale is a world-renowned, award-winning Belgian beer that continues to embody the traditions of great Belgian brewing. It embodies everything that makes delicious and unique craft beer from Belgium and has a special place in the hearts of many.

Orval’s signature red top, complex flavor profile, and robust finish distinguish it from other Belgian beers. The unique taste comes from its two fermentations: one with yeast and another with Brettanomyces bruxellensis—a type of wild yeast strain found naturally in the air near the Orval Abbey, where the beer is brewed.

This process gives it a distinct aroma highlighting notes of fruit, spice, caramelized malt character, citrus zest, and honey, and a dry finish at 6.9%.

Westmalle Dubbel

Westmalle Dubbel is a classic Belgian abbey beer brewed by the Trappist monks of Westmalle since the mid-1800s. It boasts an impressive 7% ABV and a delicate, complex flavor profile with dark toffee, chocolate, raisins, and red fruit notes.

Unlike other Belgian beers, which are often sweet, this beer is dry yet still pleasantly malty on the first sip. On top of its contrasting flavors – luxurious depth from roasted malts resting on a crisp finish – it presents an aroma worthy of being sniffed like delicate perfume: charred wood peppered with cherries, dates, and dried apricot for good measure.

The pour reveals itself as invitingly deep amber with ruby hues and ample carbonation to hold close to its fragrant quality throughout the drinking process.

In terms of food pairings, Westmalle Dubbel pairs well with smoked meats such as ham or bacon due to the intense sweetness of its aromas; aged cheeses like cheddar also marry nicely in accompanying bites between sips because they provide bready softness followed by creamy finesse against lightly bitter hops lingering within the corners of each drink itself.

Westmalle Tripel

Westmalle Tripel is a Trappist beer brewed by the monks at Westmalle Monastery in Belgium. It has an alcohol content of 9.5% and a distinct orange-yellow color with a creamy white head that gives off subtle aromas of fruity yeast, citrus, apples, spices, and hops.

The flavor profile is complex yet balanced, exhibiting flavors of fruits such as apricots and peaches and notes of honeyed malt sweetness, pepper spice hints, and herbal hop bitterness.

This brew’s prominent carbonation leads to a refreshingly dry finish that lingers slightly on the palate.

This award-winning beer should be served in its branded chalice or tulip-shaped glassware for optimal experience. It stands out among other Belgian beers due to its bottle-conditioning process resulting in markedly increased complexity compared to non-bottle-conditioned styles like Blonde Ale or Saison.

Food pairings with this unique beer include wide cheese varieties like Gouda, rich cream sauces accompanying fish dishes, crispy fried foods coated in spicy seasoning, and chocolatey desserts.

Rochefort 10

Rochefort 10 is an iconic Belgian beer revered for its complex flavor profile and robust aroma. This Trappist beer is brewed by monks at the Rochefort Abbey in Belgium using hand-selected ingredients and traditional methods.

The rich flavor of this malty, fruity beer comes from dark malts and a unique fermentation process that creates notes of dark fruit, figs, bread, caramel, honey, and other spices.

At 11.2% ABV, it packs quite a punch and should be enjoyed slowly to appreciate its complexity fully. Rochefort 10 is best served in a chalice or tulip glass at the correct temperature to enhance its flavor profile further.

This world-renowned craft beer has earned numerous awards over the years due to its incredible balance between herbal bitterness and intense sweetness – something that can only be achieved with frequent taste testing by knowledgeable Trappist monks dedicated to brewing quality beers with time-honored ingredients according to centuries-old tradition.

Its high alcohol content makes it ideal for aging as well; aging will improve not only the flavors but also liven up​and smooth out ​the carbonation giving you a delightful drinking experience.

Rochefort 8

Rochefort 8 is an exceptional Belgian Dubbel beer brewed by Trappist monks at Brasserie Rochefort. It is a classic dark brown ale with a creamy off-white head with a pleasant aroma that hints at dried fruit such as figs, prunes, and pumpernickel bread.

It has a complex flavor profile of different malt varieties that make for an intense sweet malty taste with notes of caramelized sugar and clove spice.

Brewed according to traditional techniques using high-quality natural ingredients, including Pilsner malt, wheat malt, and roasted barley malts, this award-winning beer has been recognized several times for its excellence both in Belgium and abroad due to its unique taste characteristics.

The skillful brewing technique follows the rules implemented by order of Cistercians formed centuries ago by St Robert from Molesme, amongst other founders; their influence still can be found today within certain monasteries throughout Europe where brewing occurs following these original regulations set forth to ensure top quality results.

Rochefort 6

Rochefort 6 is one of the best and most beloved Belgian beers, brewed by Brasserie Rochefort since 1595. This legendary brewery follows a strict water recipe from local wells, dark malts, and North American hops to create this unique Belgian Dubbel.

The appearance hints at deep ruby color with aromas hinting at a mix between dark fruits and sweet caramel. It offers the perfect balance between bitterness and sweetness on the tongue; it has soft notes of red apples in flavor, chocolate flavors, and a subtle spice finish, making it an unforgettable beer experience.

This classic staple in Belgium’s beer landscape is also highly recognized for its awards worldwide, winning gold medals at Brussels Beer Challenge 2019 & Classic European-Style Dark Ale Great American Beer Festival 2017.


Duvel is a Belgian Strong Golden Ale known for its brilliance, complexity, and strength. It was first brewed in 1922 by Duvel Moortgat Brewery based on an original recipe of two malts and Styrian Golding, Saaz, and Hallertau hops.

Fermentation takes 90 days with dry-hopping and carbonation, creating a unique flavor profile with solid ester flavors balanced out by the hops. This beer has come to define the golden ale style and is one of Belgium’s authentic classic ales, renowned worldwide for its light body and full flavor.

While it has almost 8 percent ABV content, despite its strength, it goes down smoothly due to the unique brewing process that gives it mildly sweet nuances throughout. Duvel also shares consistent notes of melon, and citrus fruits like orange & lemon, along with slightly buttery apricot aromas. These all make up this brew’s complex aroma profile leaving every sip delicate but undoubtedly distinct yet recognizable.

La Chouffe Golden Ale

La Chouffe Golden Ale is one of the most renowned Belgian beers in the world. Brewed by Brasserie d’Achouffe, a brewery in the Ardennes region of Belgium, this beer has a distinct flavor profile with some fruity and spicy flavors, balanced out by its medium bitterness.

La Chouffe is unique amongst other Belgian beers for its color- it falls between blond and brown on the spectrum – combined with an impressive alcohol content of over 10%.

Delirium Tremens

Delirium Tremens is a solid and famous Belgian beer, and it is known for its unique taste and iconic pink elephant label. This brewing masterpiece has fruity and spicy notes, created from a combination of oats, wheat, seven different types of hops, and pale malts.

As with all Belgian beers, special attention was paid to mastering yeast during production to perfect the flavor profile by adding hints of banana, clove-like aromas, apricot, and other tropical flavors combined in a harmonious balance.

This exceptional beer has won numerous awards over the years as recognition for its quality and taste that embraces centuries of Belgium’s rich brewing tradition.

Tripel Karmeliet

Tripel Karmeliet is a world-class Belgian beer known for its complex flavor profile and high alcohol content of 8.4%. This beer has won numerous awards, including the World Beer Cup and the European Beer Star, making it one of the most famous Belgian beers today.

To fully appreciate this brew’s unique flavor, it must be served in a chalice-style glass to enhance aromas and flavors. Tripel Karmeliet combines barley malt with oats and wheat to create an intense blend that results in subtle tastes of banana, vanilla, and spices, giving this beer its complexity.

Brouwerij Bosteels brewed it at their family-owned brewery in Buggenhout, Belgium, since 1679.

Gouden Carolus Classic

Brewed in the heart of Belgium, Gouden Carolus Classic is one of the most beloved and sought-after Belgian beers. Originating from the 15th-century brewery Het Anker, this dark beer has earned numerous awards for its unique flavor and aroma.

Prized by craft beer enthusiasts around the globe, it features a roasted malt aroma with notes of coffee, chocolate, nuts, and licorice. The body delivers intense flavors of dried fruit, such as plums, while hints of hops balance the sweetness.

At an ABV ranging between 8% – 11%, this robust yet well-balanced beer makes for an incredible sipping experience when enjoyed at cellar temperature or paired with sweet desserts like chocolates or pastries.

Leffe Brune

Leffe Brune, produced by the Interbrew Company in Dinant, Belgium, is often considered one of the finest Belgian beers. This dark, rich, creamy beer with a deep caramel flavor has a 6.5% ABV content and is brewed using dark-roasted malts and a combination of unique aromatic hops from Europe.

As part of its brewing process, it undergoes a long cold maturation period during which complex flavors are developed. It gives it its unique flavor profile, including hints of chocolate cookies and ripe fruits.

Leffe Brune pairs well with hearty dishes like stews or roasted meats but can still be enjoyed independently due to its unique aromas and flavors when taken time to enjoy and paired adequately with good cheer among friends or maybe just some peaceful contemplation at home or elsewhere.

Leffe Blond

Leffe Blond is a classic Belgian pale ale produced by the Leffe Abbey, a Trappist monastery in southern Belgium. This beer will splash your table with its bright golden hue and 6.6% ABV.

It has strong malt characteristics and an inviting sweet touch that leads to subtle sugar and spice notes. On the pallet, it’s full-bodied and smooth with a slightly dry finish reminiscent of straw or hay.

This refreshing beer pairs wonderfully with roasted meats and hard cheeses like cheddar or Gouda due to its excellent balance between sweetness and hops bitterness. At the same time, its light body makes it an ideal accompaniment for lighter fare, such as salads or shellfish platters.


Kwak is a strong Belgian ale that has won the admiration of beer enthusiasts worldwide. It is an amber-colored brew with malty flavors and hints of caramel, toffee, and bread.

The deep hue, entire body, and bold blend of bitter notes make Kwak an excellent choice for novice and experienced drinkers. But what sets this beer apart from many other Belgian beers is its unique serving requirements; it must be poured into a distinctive curved glass attached to its wooden stand!

The gift of this glass to customers dates back to 1873 when Pauwel Kwak, then innkeeper and brewer, served his first batch in the hollow stemware so coachmen could take sips while driving horse carriages.

Today, Kwak hangs like an icon on menus for pubs all across Belgium — not just for these particular circumstances but because it has become an essential part of traditional Belgian-style beer cultures.

Brugse Zot Dubbel

Brugse Zot Dubbel is an award-winning Belgian beer among my top picks. This unique dark ale is brewed in the medieval city of Bruges, Belgium, and it stands out with its complex flavor profile featuring notes of caramel, chocolate, and dried fruits.

The 7.5% ABV brew uses local malt and hops from nearby farms to create a smooth yet bold beer experience full of layers and complexity.

This tasteful beer also pays homage to the age-old tradition of foolery associated with Bruges – hence its name, which translates as “Fools Brew” or “Bruges Fools.” Its rich history continues today, where visitors can still view performances by these fools while enjoying a pint or two at some pubs throughout the city center.

Cantillon Gueuze Lambic

This award-winning beer is brewed using traditional techniques and made from spontaneous fermentation, resulting in a complex and unique flavor profile.

The lambic style beer is aged for up to three years in oak barrels that add rich aromas and subtle flavors of citrus, wood, hay, honeycomb, and earthy funk notes that cannot be found in other beer styles.

Its tartness adds depth to its taste while also providing a refreshing finish. Cantillon Gueuze Lambic has been produced by the same family-owned brewery since 1900, located just outside Brussels—making it an authentic representation of Belgium’s beer mastery heritage.

St. Bernardus Abt. 12

St. Bernardus Abt. 12 is a highly regarded Belgian beer, characterized by the mastery of yeast and the grit of Trappist monks that exemplifies Belgian brewing culture.

This rich and complex brew has notes of graham cracker, toast, caramel, dried plum, banana bread, raisins, and spice with a 10% ABV – making it one of the most vital styles of Belgium beers out there.

Ranked among some of the top-rated Belgian ales in history while being substantially more accessible than its coveted Westvleteren counterpart – St Bernardus Abt is an absolute must-try for anyone traveling to Belgium to explore new flavors from different countries around Europe.


What makes Belgian beer so unique?

Belgian beer is known for its unique flavors, resulting from the country’s long history of brewing beer. Many Belgian beers are fermented at higher temperatures than other beers, resulting in a distinct taste.

What are some popular Belgian breweries?

Some popular Belgian breweries include Trappist breweries like Chimay and Orval and other breweries like Duvel and St. Bernardus.

What is Trappist beer?

Trappist beer is a type of beer that Trappist monks brew. It is known for its complex flavors and high alcohol content.

What is Chimay beer?

Chimay beer is a type of Trappist beer brewed by the monks at the Chimay monastery in Belgium. It is known for its rich, complex flavor.

What are some popular Belgian fruit beers?

Some popular Belgian fruit beers include Lindemans Framboise (raspberry), Boon Kriek (cherry), and St. Louis Peche (peach).

Dan Smullen Beer is my life profile

Hi, I'm Dan, founder of BeerIsMyLife. I've been an avid homebrewer for over ten years, and beer is my true passion. I've traveled all over the world, visiting breweries, tasting beer, as well as making my own batches. I set up this blog to share that experience with you.