Feature

Belgian beer: Ever balanced

Belgian brewing is “a many-splendored art.”

Belgian brewing is “a many-splendored art,” said Betsy Andrews in Saveur. Hundreds of different beers are made in the country, but in every variety, true Belgian beer is “beautifully balanced”—sometimes surprising but “never too sweet or too bitter, too thick or too crisp.” The standouts below offer a small taste of the tradition’s vast range.

Armand’4 Oude Geuze Lente This “creamy springtime lambic” delivers citrus and barnyard aromas, plus a “kumquat acidity” that “primes the palate for dining.”

Alvinne Balthazar Coriander, cardamom, and ginger “add a bittersweet depth” to this strong ale, which also tastes of smoke, tang, and licorice.

Rodenbach Grand Cru The “granddaddy of Flemish sour ales” is great with seafood. A hint of “sweet, mellow wood” offsets the tang of red currant and apple.

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