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A Hoppy Belgian Ale trend?

Hops don't only get to shine in IPAs, and their flavor profile can do a lot of fun things outside of the varieties used in that style. At their core, hops are still the key bittering ingredient in beer to balance the sweetness of alcohol and malt (in particular, the sweetness of unfermented sugars left after fermentation). They also can contribute flavors beyond the pine, resin, citrus, and tropical fruit we experience in IPAs. Hop flavors from varieties originating in England, New Zealand, and Germany also impart flavors of white wine, earthy onions, peppercorn, grass, sweet edible flowers, and more. This bouquet of aromas and their flavor counterparts get utilized in everything from pilsners to varieties of brown ale and porter. The Belgian brewing traditional includes some punchy well hopped beers such as the Trappist single, Belgian Pale Ale, and Strong Belgian Golden. Even some historical examples existed of well-hopped Trippels. The past two years, I've noticed a few of these beers pop up. Some take IPA-style hops and float them on a bright base of simple malts and a little wheat, and use yeast varieties that restrain the typical Belgian yeast flavors of spices and herbs, and let the hops do all that work. Others take traditional hops and the phenolic profile associated with Belgian brewing and just aim for one of the styles listed above, showcasing the versatility of American brewers. At Beermiscuous, we took some Citra hops you'd find in a lot of IPAs, a restrained Belgian yeast, and a simple malt bill dominated by Belgian pilsner malt, and aimed for 7% ABV. We made our Still Here beer with Light the Lamp brewing, and were in part inspired by their Still Single, a hoppy Trappist-influenced single that won my heart and made me start looking more for these styles in the first place. Besides Still Single and Still Here, below are also some other excellent examples of this multi-style category of beer that fits really well into summer (and the rest of the year). Sketchbook Brewing

Primary Colors Belgian Pale

Art History Verlaine Belgian Pale

Light the Lamp Still Here Hoppy Belgian Strong Golden

Marz Space Monks Single


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