Three Belgian beers (on the wall …)


Available on draught at Yard House Red Rock ($6.25 pint, $13.50 half-yard) and $6 by the bottle at Freakin’ Frog.

Freakin’ Frog owner Adam Carmer’s favorite of the three, he calls Hoegaarden wheat beer (4.9 percent ABV) “the benchmark Belgian wit. Often imitated, never duplicated.” The original Hoegaarden from De Kluis Brewery is smooth, light-bodied, naturally cloudy in appearance and a bit sweet and sour on the palate with a subtly spiced-citrus flavor. Aromas of orange peel, coriander and spice are best experienced from Hoegaarden’s traditional, chilled hexagonal glass. From here, pack your bags and travel to the Benelux countries for the raspberry-infused Roseé and the citrus zest-infused Citron.

Leffe Blond

Available on draught at Yard House Red Rock, $7.25, and by the bottle at the Freakin’ Frog, $5.

At 6.6 percent ABV, Leffe is higher in alcohol than its cousin Stella. Of the six Leffe varieties available—Blond, Brown, Radieuse, Ruby, Triple, 9°—the Blond is the sunny-colored flagship of the venerable Leffe Abbey brewery, which has been making beer where the Leffe and Meuse rivers meet since before the 1200s. Despite flood, fire, countless wartime occupations and even a complete abandonment in 1809, the Leffe Abbey began brewing again in 1952. Leffe Blond is characterized by its smooth, fruity elegance with a spicy, bitter orange peel finish. Pair Leffe with steak, smoked or roasted meats, and sweet and sour dishes.

Stella Artois

Available on draught at Todd English P.U.B. for $9/$19/$30 (pint/yard/pitcher) and $4 in the bottle at Freakin’ Frog, $5 at Downtown Cocktail Room.

Latin for “star,” Stella dates back to 1366 at the Den Hoorn Brewery in Leuven, Belgium. Displaying a light, pleasant bitterness and just a bit of yeasty grain with a crisp, refreshing finish and exceptional clarity, Stella Artois pilsner lager (5 to 5.2 percent ABV) is best enjoyed from its signature chalice following the nine-step pouring ritual, which insures a clean environment in the glass and properly crowns the rich, golden beer with the exact amount of foamy head. While shrouded in mystique on this side of the pond, be assured that Stella Artois is a staple, “the Bud of Belgium,” Carmer says.