Check out the rest of my recipes in the index.
I’ll be the first to admit: I’m not typically an enthusiast of non-sour Belgian beers. Don’t get me wrong, I love the spirit of experimentation and the “anything goes” attitude that Belgian styles showcase, but I find most Belgians I try are have too much ABV/spice/pretension/etc for me to fall in love with them. I’d wager I’d really love to dig into a nice Belgian Pale Ale, but folks aren’t really clamoring for sessionable Belgians around here and imported examples usually arrive ravaged by light and heat.
To continue my trend of “being the beer I wish to see” (apologies to Gandhi) I set out to make my own sessionable Belgian ale. My goals for this recipe were twofold: 1) create an easy-drinking Belgian and 2) create something that would help me place well in my homebrew club’s first competition, the grand prize of which is getting the beer brewed by Rip Current Brewing. The styles of the competition were picked specifically because they’re outside the wheelhouse of Rip Current’s current offerings (they want a diverse set of offerings to sell, after all), but I’m no dummy: Rip Current is renowned for their hop-bombs and by brewing something that’s both diverse and halfway in their wheelhouse I’m hoping will increase my chances of being selected as the winner.
With an eye on what a brewery would need to sell of I won, I harnessed the beer trends of the past few years and came up with “De Kleine,” Dutch for “small,” a sessionable Belgian IPA. Drawing inspiration from Stone’s Cali-Belgique (Stone IPA brewed with a Belgian yeast), I decided to experiment with how much Belgian character I could extract from a session strength recipe while doubling down on citrusy American hops. Otherwise, the rest of the recipe is Belgian to the core: the malt bill is pure Belgian malts and the yeast is a classic strain from Rochefort.