From Our Archive
This story was published before Summer 2021, when we launched our new digital experience.

The Best American Craft Beers, Belgian Style

Sohm looks at the color and how fine the mousse is — the fine streams of bubbles — a sign of great quality.

Wine and Spirits

How to Drink Grower Champagne

Legendary sommelier Aldo Sohm on rarer bubbles.

The Write Stuff


The Write Stuff

A dip into the world of luxurious fountain pens.

A Classic Martini

Wine and Spirits

A Classic Martini

A drink from New York City’s Bemelmans Bar at the Carlyle Hotel

Belgium’s brewing tradition, which dates back more than 1,000 years, is the inspiration for Patrick Rue and other like-minded American brewers. It’s a craft that allows for a good deal of innovation: Depending on an ever-shifting set of style interpretations, Belgian ales can be brewed with fruit, herbs and spices such as cherries, apricots, raspberries, coriander, mace and even dandelion. Some are aged in oak, others in steel. Out of the thousands of beers produced by the country’s roughly 125 breweries, a handful make up the vanguard of the Belgian style: The orange-hued, white-headed Saison Dupont ($8;, for example, is a farmhouse-style ale bursting with grassy herbal notes and a faintly melon-like sweetness before its remarkably dry finish. More challenging is Cantillon’s Lou Pepe Kriek ($35;, a tart lambic, or wild yeast–fermented ale, made with whole sour cherries and aged in wooden barrels for up to three years. Rochefort 10 ($8;, a mahogany-hued ale, comes from a Trappist monastery where beer has been brewed since (at least!) 1595. With its tawny, port-like flavors recalling fig, toffee, plum and cinnamon, it’s extremely complex and, at more than 11 percent alcohol, can improve with cellar time. The following are eight more superb ales inspired by these Belgian standard-bearers but made here in the United States.


Let’s Keep in Touch

Subscribe to our newsletter

You’re no longer on our newsletter list, but you can resubscribe anytime.

Come On In

U.S. issued American Express Platinum Card® and Centurion® Members, enter the first six digits of your card number to access your complimentary subscription.

Learn about membership.