Holiday Hops

Want to impress the beer lover on your holiday list? Give them a selection from the originators of “craft beer.” The brews of Belgium were the original inspiration for many of America’s pioneer brewers. On that note, here are five of the best available in Colorado.

Since 1595, the monks brewing Trappist Rochefort 6 have been creating a full-flavored malt forward beer perfect to ward off the winter chill. The Orval Abbey only brews one type of beer, yet it might be the best of the six certified Trappist breweries in Belgium. Their beer is dry hopped, uses Brettanomyces yeast, and combines three different hops. It’s crisp and clean, with a slight hop kick. First brewed as a Christmas beer in 1948, Chimay Blue is known as the Grande Réserve. Its nine-percent alcohol, deep flavors, and overall taste make it a classic.

The Duvel Moortgat Brewery has quietly moved into the American craft beer scene—they own three (Boulevard, Firestone Walker, and Ommegang) and are expanding. Makes sense, this beer is fantastic. The flagship Duvel is a Belgian Strong Ale packed with layers of flavors. Lastly, try St. Bernardus Tripel, with that smiling monk on the label. It is consistently rated world-class due to its sublime sweetness perfectly offsetting the background hops.

—Hudson Lindenberger

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