The Language of Belgian Beer

By Stephen Beaumont

Published on July 30, 2003

Dubbel/Tripel Literally, double and triple—designations associated with abbey-style beers (see Trappist). Dubbel is typically dark, malty, and moderately strong (6-7.5 percent alcohol by volume); tripel is usually golden in color and even stronger (7.5 percent alcohol or greater).

Faro Draft lambic sweetened with dark cane sugar and, occasionally, spices. Rare.

Gueuze A blend of wood-aged lambics refermented in the bottle. Sometimes sweetened with sugar or fruit juice to take the edge off its characteristic sourness.

Kriek/Framboise Lambic flavored with cherries (kriek) or raspberries (framboise). Other fruits are also used, like strawberries and, in Cantillon?s wonderful Vigneronne, grapes.

Lambic A typically tart wheat beer brewed only in Brussels and the Senne Valley region. It is the only beer with wide commercial availability that is still fermented by wild, airborne yeasts.

Lambic Doux A lambic that has been spiced, usually with coriander, and sweetened with sugar. Not commonly found.

Trappist Designation used by the six brewing Trappist abbeys in Belgium: Archel, Orval, Chimay, Westmalle, Rochefort, and Westvleteren.

Witbier/biere blanche Light, refreshing wheat beer brewed with curaçao, orange peel, coriander, and sometimes other, "secret", spices.

Continue to Next Story

Want more SAVEUR?

Get our favorite recipes, stories, and more delivered to your inbox.