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Feb 11, 2009 07:36 PM

Attending Belgian Beer Fest, what brews shouldn't I miss?

Local bar in Baltimore has a Belgian Beer fest every year, and I'm in town for it this year.

Here is their list of beers:

I'm not too up on Belgian Brews, are there any on this list that I shouldn't miss?


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  1. Cantillon Iris
    Chimay Cinq Cents
    Chouffe N' Ice 2007
    De Dolle Stille Nacht 2007
    De Dolle Stille Nacht 2008
    De Glazen Toren Canaster
    De Glazen Toren Jan De Lichte
    De Glazen Toren Ondineke
    De Glazen Toren Saison De Epre Mere
    De Glazen Toren Special Eindejaar
    Fantome De Noel
    De Regenboog T' Smisje Calva Reserve
    Huyghe Delirium Nocturnum
    Huyghe Delirium Noel
    Leifmans Oud Bruin
    Ommegang Special
    Witkap Pater Dubbel
    St Bernardus Christmas
    St Feuillien Cuvee De Noel
    Dupont Avec Les Bons Voeux
    Hanssens Young Lambic (Cask)
    Hanssens Old Kriek (Cask)

    These are in the Extras list, none are "can't miss", but the following are definitely worth trying:
    Ommegang Obamagang
    Ommegang Rouge
    Ommegang Witte
    Ommegang Rare Vos
    Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence
    Ommegang Abbey
    Ommegang Three Philosophers
    Scaldis Noel
    Gulden Draak
    Poperings Hommel
    Chouffe Houblon
    Mc Chouffe
    La Chouffe
    Oud Beersel Framboise
    Val Dieu Grand Cru
    St Bernardus Pater 6
    St Bernardus Prior 8
    St Bernardus Abt 12

    2 Replies
    1. re: Josh

      i'm gonna add the von stenberge but mostly the kasteel rouge, donker and tripel. dulle teve is another favorite
      noticeably missing from cantillon is the gueuze. or is that the 'iris'?
      but i agree with josh. no can't miss on that list

      1. re: cockscomb

        Cantillon Iris is a barley-malt lambic, and one of the best sour beers I've had.

    2. Yeah Im going as well. Ive been to every one theyve had except for last year's and usually they have some real cool specials that you rarely see on this side of the Atlantic (or that side). So ask the bar tenders whats rare or special and theyll stear you to it. Assuming they still have them. The best ones tend to run out fast and this thing starts on Friday remember. If at all possible, get there as close to opening as you can because it quickly fills up with people and gets really crowded. Not to mention the tend to run through their stock fairly fast as I said. Theres tons of holes by Sunday... And expect to blow a ton of $$$ of course. They come with full Belgian beer prices...

      1. Not knowing how "not too up on Belgian Brews" you are I wouldn't avoid much of anything. Depending on your actual level of ignorance any of them could qualify as a "shouldn't miss". If you've drank mostly non-Belgian beers it is like coming from classical physics into quantum mechanics.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Chinon00

          Hahaha, "like coming from classical physics into quantum mechanics." I just meant I wasn't all that familiar with the non-typical varieties, ones that aren't Duvel and Chimay. And if I have a variety other than that, I tend to forget what it was, as the names don't exactly roll off of the tongue. But I almost always really enjoy the Belgian brews I do get to sample.

          But yeah "the rare and special ones" is what I was looking for. Just wanted some additional knowledge so I didn't come across as a total newb, or had to rely strictly on the bartenders advice. Not that they don't know their stuff (I know they do), just I want to make sure im not missing out on the good stuff, since I've heard and as said above, they run out early.

          Thanks for the tips everyone though. A note, it seems they updated the list on the link I posted above. What im really looking for is, YOU MUST TRY THIS ONE, you may not get too many other opportunities to do so.

            1. re: Chinon00

              ah... based on that criterea i would say the gouden carolus-van de kaizer bluaw and rood (if they have them both)

            2. re: ingramcol

              Well the easy answer is the Hanssens cask Lambics. But also the De Regenboog 't Smisje Grande Reserve. And I wonder what this Ommegang "Fruit Funk" is all about?

          1. I could spend the day drinking the hell out of Poperings Hommel Bier and St. Bernardus Prior 8. With a few samples of Cantillon Iris and Haansens Oud Kreik for palate cleansers inbetween.

            1. Westvleteren
              Gouden Carolus: delicious!
              Cristal Alken (pilsener)

              More info:
              Also try Karmeliet and Chimay Blue! Strong, but very qualitative Belgian Beers.

              1 Reply
              1. re: BeersFromBelgium

                I'm going to go out on a limb and say that westvleteren wasn't available