Flanders Red Ales – Rodenbach

Among the “red beers” Rodenbach is considered the quintessential example of the style. Visitors to the brewery in Roeselaere can see the 300 oak casks (the brewery has four coopers to maintain tuns), all more than 20 feet high, where the beer is aged. Rodenbach is brewed from four malts, one pale from summer barley, two- and six-row varieties of winter malted barley, and crystal (Vienna) roasted malt. The hops are mainly Brewers Gold, with some Kent Goldings. Five different strains of yeast are used in the fermentation process.

Lambic – Lindeman’s Kriek

Lindeman’s Kriek is a top fermented cherry flavored Lambic (70% malted barley and 30% unmalted wheat), with a rose color. It has an aroma of cherries and is very sparkling, refreshing with a dry finish. The acidic flavor of the Lambic blends well with the cherry flavor. This beer is best served in a champagne flute at 45F. It is sold in 750 ml bottles.

Belgian Strong – Duvel

Duvel is brewed by the Moorgat brewery in Breendonk, in Belgium. It is regarded as the quintessential pale Strong Ale, with a flavor that is complex and deep. It is made with Danish summer barley malt, whole flower Styrian and Saaz hops. Duvel undergoes three fermentations. The first is warm, the second cold, and the final one takes place in the bottle, lasting five weeks.

Trappist – Chimay

Chimay (pronounced “she-may”) produces three types of trappist beers, identified by the color of the metal cap that tops their distinctive cork-finished bottles: Premier Chimay (red), Cinq Cents (white), and Grand Reserve (blue).

The red, as well as the blue, has a very particular “house character” that is fruity and sweetish, with a soft, full, deep body. The beer is dark brown with a ruby hue. The white Chimay is much hoppier and drier, with a quenching hint of acidity. It also has a paler color, more amber than ruby red.