Beer Style: Belgian Strong and Abbey Ales

Pike Brewing Co.’s Tandem Ale clone

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“I’d recommend about 6 or 7 coriander seeds be crushed and added for the last minute of boil. Although this may seem like a miniscule amount, a touch of coriander is all that is desired.”
—Drew Cluley, head brewer

St. Bernardus Abt 12 60th Anniversary Edition clone


This recipe is for their 60th anniversary edition, which is closer to their original recipe. Although probably not authentic, the debittered black malt will give you a much smoother product. It’s reported that St. Bernardus uses a different bottling strain than the fermentation strain, so we recommend using Westmalle’s yeast.

Allagash Brewing Company: Curieux clone

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“Curieux is a fairly simple recipe starting with our Tripel, which is then aged in bourbon barrels and blended with another batch of fresh Tripel.” – Michael O’Connor, Allagash Brewing Company

Allagash Brewing Co.’s Tripel clone

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Allagash Tripel is a complex and delicious version of the Belgian classic. According to the brewery, the beer features herbal notes and passion fruit, with hints of banana and honey.

BJ’s Grand Cru clone

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According to BJ’s Restaurant and Brewery their Grand Cru was designed to be a work of art. “Setting out to brew a best-in-class golden ale, we used a special Belgian yeast strain in the brewing process. Belgian yeast strains produce a lot of flavors during fermentation – fruity flavor compounds called esters or spicy flavor compounds called phenols. The Belgian yeast we brew with produces a good amount of both esters and phenols. In addition to this special Belgian yeast strain, we also spice the beer with bitter orange peel and coriander to contribute even more fruit and spice notes.”

Brewery Ommegang: Abbey Ale clone

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“The crystal and roasted malts merge well together to yield soft caramel and raisin notes. These flavors will evolve gracefully as the beer ages.” — Randy Thiel, Brewer.

Brouwerij Bosteels: DueS clone

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Are you ready to try brewing a Bière de Champagne, also known as a Bière Brut? If so, here is a recipe for one of the shining starts in this rare and unique category of beers.

Belgian Tripel

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With the popularity and availability of Westmalle Tripel in the United States over the years, it seems hard to believe that my first real taste of Westmalle Tripel was while wandering around Belgium not so long ago. Sitting outdoors at a small café, the warmth of the sun perfectly balanced by a delicate breeze, the

Belgian Strong Golden

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by the numbers OG: 1.070–1.095 (17.1–22.7) FG: 1.005–1.016 (1.3–4.1 °P) SRM: 3–6 IBU: 22–35 ABV: 7.5–10.5% Duvel is considered the ultimate example of Belgian strong golden ale and I think they also have the best description of the style on their bottle label. It reads, “Refreshing and golden like a Pilsner but with the flavor,

Belgian Dubbel

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by the numbers OG: 1.062–1.075 (15.2–18.2 °P) FG: 1.008–1.018 (2.0–4.6 °P) SRM: 10–17 IBU: 15–25 ABV: 6–7.6% I fondly remember my very first trip to Belgium. I was already passionate about homebrewing and great beer, and I wandered from city to city, brewery to brewery, bar to bar, and bottle shop to bottle shop seeking

Belgian Single

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by the numbers OG: 1.044-1.054 FG:1.004-1.010 SRM:3-5 IBU:25-45 ABV:4.8-6.0% Trappist monasteries are rightfully known for their excellent beers. Brewed with devotion and service in mind, these beers are used to generate money to sustain religious operations. Most people know about the stronger, frequently exported products such as Westmalle Tripel, Chimay Grande Réserve (blue), and Orval.

Brewing Better Belgians

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  Belgian ales are complex and elegant. They’re my favorites to homebrew and drink. One issue I’ve had, however, is finding a Belgian beer that’s less than six months old in the United States. My Belgian-style homebrewing is therefore based on the aged examples I could get. What’s a workaround for this dilemma? A Belgian

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