A tripel is a strong pale ale – this light-gold version packs a punch at 8.4%. It’s a three-grain ale, made from wheats, oats and barley, which gives a complex flavour profile of vanilla, clove, pepper and citrus, and a creamy mouthfeel from the oats.
The most recent creation from the Trappist monks of Chimay, this golden beer (8%) is bitter but not acidic, with a distinctive flavour. Look out for hints of banana, cinnamon, bread, honey and even bubblegum. It has a dry edge with a lingering aftertaste.
An unfiltered blond (8%), refermented in barrel and bottle, this beer has a citrusy, fruity aroma – from lemon to peach and banana – with hints of coriander too. It’s lightly hopped, with a sweetish aftertaste. Recognise it by the red-hatted gnome on the label.
Refreshing and highly drinkable, Rodenbach (5.2%) is a traditional Flanders red-brown beer, and a good introduction to sweet-sour styles. It pours a deep ruby colour and has a dark sugary balsamic taste, with notes of tart cherry, malt and sour caramel.
Try it at Moeder Lambic, Place Fontainas 8, 1000, & Rue de Savoie 68, 1060
Sour, spiky gueuze is an acquired taste, but it’s a real Brussels classic. This one (5.5%), made from a blend of one-, two- and three-year-old lambics, is brewed by one of the city’s few remaining breweries. Woody, straw-like and dry, its flavour is perhaps most frequently described as ‘funky’.