Archive for the ‘Belgian Pale Ale’ Category

Against The Grain now distributes to New Jersey, so I don’t have to wait until I go out of state to try their beers. I haven’t seen any reviews on this one, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.


ABV: 4.9%

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “The Beer For Bad Mo-Fo’s. This Belgian table bier is a traditional entry into the Session category. It is meant to be consumed with food but also stands well on its own. When you need to drink the whole meal and want something with plenty of flavor but don’t want to get shit-twisted from the alcohol, this is a great choice. Look for a smooth malty body with hints of biscuit and rye. The hops are subdued and mostly present as a bittering agent. The yeast plays a prominent role in creating bready and lightly fruity notes.”

Random: My new favorite blogging spot is the corner of our sectional. Sometimes the cats try to kick me out of the spot.

The brew poured with a two finger, thick, slightly off-white head. It went away quickly, but still left some lacing on the glass. The body was a dusky, light orange with lots of carbonation visible. The nose had toasted grains along with old grass and earthy hops. The taste was also quite light with the same toasted grain and a touch of sweetness. The hops were mellow and was also earthy, but the brew was highlighting the malt. The body was medium thickness with moderate carbonation. It had a quick finish with biscuit and toasted malt. A pounder can of the beer was $3 ($.19 per ounce). I had no problem killing this can, but it’s definitely on the simplistic side. It would be a good choice for a barbecue beer.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0


Val is stuck on the couch since she has a really bad cold. It’s been awhile since she’s been this sick. We’ve decided that we’re not leaving the house today so she can relax and rest up and get better. The cats are asleep on the couch and we’re binging on Netflix. It sounds like a successful day to me. Let’s get to the beer. This was one of the highlights of our Maryland trip a few years ago.


ABV: 5%

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “The boys of summer are back home in Baltimore, and we thought we’d get you ready with this nice pale ale. 5% abv.”

Random: They make a mean cheeseplate at The Brewer’s Art and the quince paste was exceptional.

The beer poured with a finger of thick, white head that dissipated slowly. It left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a hazy, amber color with moderate carbonation. The nose had a decent amount of sweetness and Belgian yeast. It had peach and some grassy hops as well. The taste started with grass and Pilsner malt. There wasn’t a lot of sweetness and there was only a slight lemon presence and yeast as well. The body was medium thickness with just enough carbonation. The finish took awhile and was earthy. A can of this was $1.67, which came to $.14 per ounce. This wasn’t bad and I enjoyed drinking it. If you find a can, give it a shot.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Tonight’s selection is another one from Allagash that I’ve never tried. I love that they used lots of ingredients from Maine for this beer. Let’s crack it open.


ABV: 7.3%

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “We named this beer to honor the rich tradition of farming in the sixteen counties of Maine. We brew the beer with malted Maine-grown barley, unmalted Maine-grown red wheat, and Maine-grown organic oats. Sixteen Counties has a bright copper hue with aromas of lemon rind, flowers, and candied grapefruit. The first sip opens with herbal hop notes, wheat cracker, and citrus and ends with a balanced, dry finish.”

Random: This uses Jarrylo, Chinook and Centennial hops.

The beer poured with a huge and thick, four finger head. It was cream-colored and took forever to dissipate. Once it went away, it left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a warm orange color with moderate carbonation. The nose started with citrus, specifically lemon zest. It then went into a slightly green herbal note and lilacs. Bread came through next. The taste had even more going on than the nose. It had the same lemon zest and floral notes, but also had a light clove spice that I really enjoyed. Dates were next and then it went into the herbal note I picked up in the nose with white pepper. I also found a yeasty note which was a nice way to end the sip. The body was on the thick side, but didn’t go to the point of being syrupy. The carbonation was moderate. It had a lengthy finish with yeast and white pepper. I picked this bottle up for $10.99 ($.50 per ounce), which isn’t a terrible price for a quality Allagash beer. I would definitely have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Beer gifts are the best. Whenever Val travels without me, she always brings stuff home and this was one of the singles she brought me back.


ABV: 5%

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Marking the return of the World’s Fair after World War II, Expo 58 in Brussels brought inspiration, innovation and pleasure to the people of Belgium. With all the flavor, finesse, smoothness, and subtle clove esters of Belgian-style ales, this beer is our way of emerging from winter’s cold occupation. Enjoy! Expo 58 was born out of our brewers’ interest in Belgian-style ales. Similar to a Belgian Tripel, but with a much lower alcohol percentage, this beer has a spicy, floral aroma from the Belgian yeast and use of Saaz hops. With a biscuity backbone, the notable characteristics of the Belgian yeast shine through, bringing forth subtle notes of clove and banana in a sessionable Belgian ale.”

Random: My paternal grandmother used to tell me about going to the World’s Fair when I was a kid.

This beer poured with less than a finger of white head that dissipated instantly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a light, lemon yellow with slight cloudiness and high carbonation. The nose had some skunk to it, almost like it was seriously light struck. It had grain and bread, but I didn’t get any Belgian notes. The taste was filled grain and the same skunk that was in the nose, but it was dialed down slightly. It also had white bread and some floral notes, but the Belgian spice aspect of the beer was missing. It tasted more like a Pilsner than a Belgian-style beer. It had a really thin body with high carbonation. The finish was lengthy with skunk. Since I received this beer as a gift, I don’t know how much it was. I also think it was a bit old since this was a Winter seasonal and I got this in March and drank it within a month (as mentioned before, I post awhile in advance). I would give this one another shot fresh.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0

Val and I went to The Green Parrot in Newtown to watch a game and have an early dinner. Well, let me be honest, I wanted to watch the game and Val indulged me. There weren’t a lot of beers at the time that I hadn’t reviewed, so I went with this beer that I knew nothing about.


ABV: 7%

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Starting with a single, iconic beer that immortalized the spirit of those who persevered when America’s taps ran dry – a bold, hoppy amber ale known as Prohibition Ale – Speakeasy now brews a wide array of acclaimed beers from sessionable pale ales to bourbon barrel-aged imperial stouts. Big Daddy IPA, which would become Speakeasy’s kingpin and San Francisco’s best-selling IPA, fully realized the brewery’s passion for intense, in-your-face flavors that were still balanced and approachable. 2011 ushered in a new era in the brewery’s history–with the launch of many exciting new beers, the opening of The Speakeasy Tap Room, a stunning package redesign and a major facilities expansion, Speakeasy Ales & Lagers is poised to elevate the brand to national awareness. In 2015, a new 60 barrel brewhouse, malt handling system, fermentors, centrifuge, and canning line were installed. Production capacity increased to 90,000 barrels per year and Speakeasy launched The Session Series, which features their beer in a can for the first time. The new beers are easy drinking, flavorful, and lower in alcohol at 4.7% ABV. The first release was Baby Daddy IPA, followed by Suds Session Ale. From only four employees at the start to over 40 now, Speakeasy has grown by leaps and bounds. The brewery’s trademark eyes–ubiquitous and cryptic–beckon you to join the Speakeasy revolution: no password required.”

Random: There was nothing about this beer on the brewery website. It doesn’t look like it’s been updated lately.

The beer poured with less than half a finger of white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a slightly hazy, light yellow with light carbonation as well. The nose had significant yeast and a citrus smell, which manifested as mostly lemon. What disappointed me was that I didn’t pick up any spice. The taste had a more marked spice character with coriander. Yeast was present as well with watered-down lemon juice. I kept sipping the beer trying to pick up more flavors, but there weren’t any. It had a watery and thin body with light carbonation. The finish was quick with lemon and yeast. This beer was alright, but nothing outstanding. I wouldn’t have it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

My latest guilty pleasure is “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.” It’s totally mindless, but it passes the time. Let’s talk about today’s beer, which is one of the few offerings from St. Bernardus that I’ve never had.


ABV: 4.8%

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Trivia: According to, “Back to the roots: in the summer of 2014, Brewery St. Bernardus will bring one of their oldest beers back to the market. When the brewery was founded in 1946 to brew and commercialize the beers of the Trappist Monks of Westvleteren, the brewery received 4 recipes from them: Abt 12, Prior 8, Pater 6, and Extra 4. In the 70′s this ‘Enkel’ or ‘Singel’ style got out of fashion and the production of the Exra 4 was discontinued. In origin, the Extra 4 was brewed by Monks for their own consumption in Belgium, but this beer seldom sold in Belgium or abroad.”

Random: I cannot wait to leave California. The traffic is way too much.

The beer poured with a four finger, white head. It dissipated slowly and left lots of lacing on the glass. The body of the beer was slightly cloudy with a lot of carbonation visible. The color was a bright yellow. On the nose, I picked up a lot of yeast, banana and clove. It had some coriander as well. The taste started with a lot of lemon notes, but it wasn’t overly tart. It had a lot of yeast as well with lemon zest and light spice. The body was thick for the style with intense carbonation. The finish was lengthy with lemon zest. A single bottle of this was $6 ($.50 per ounce), which was not cheap, but well worth the price tag. I enjoyed this beer a lot. I didn’t expect anything less from this brewery.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

After Weyerbacher, we stopped for a bite to eat at a French restaurant. They had a good tap list, but didn’t list the breweries who made the beers, so I had to search for ones that I haven’t reviewed before. This beer is one that I have never heard of, so I figured that I should give it a shot.


ABV: 6.2%

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A heavily hopped beer brewed using home-baked malt. Triporteur From Heaven is the modern version of traditional hopped ale. It is a heavenly beer brewed with home-baked BOM malt. The wheat malt in the unfiltered beer can produce a light cloudiness. The taste of Heaven remains evolving in the bottle.”

Random: I had a butternut squash soup with bacon for an appetizer. It was pretty good.

This beer poured with a three finger, white head that dissipated slowly and left lots of lacing on the tulip glass. The body had a golden-yellow color with moderate carbonation visible. The nose was quite hoppy. I picked up grass and lemon hops and then yeast came through. The taste was intensely hoppy, even more than I thought based on the nose. The first thing that I picked up was earthy and grassy hops. After a few sips, lemon zest was present. At the end of the sip, I picked up the most surprising flavor, which was white grapes, which were reminiscent of a dry, white wine. There was spice to the beer as well (light coriander). The body was dry and on the thinner side with moderate carbonation. It had a quick finish with grassy hops. Although this beer wasn’t what I expected it to be, I enjoyed this unique take on a Belgian pale. But, I found the hoppiness to be intense and didn’t showcase the Belgian characteristics I look for. I’m glad I tried it, but I’m not going to rush back to have it.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0