Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Beer #1: Duvel

I will use this category to describe the various beers I encounter in Belgium.

Today's offering is Duvel.

Duvel is one of those entities that achieves both elite credibility along with the love of the masses. Like the Beatles of beer, perhaps. It is easy to see why it's so popular: it tastes great, and, at least in Belgium, is about as cheap as water. It is also omnipresent: it's featured as the sign on more places than Coca-cola in the US, and can be purchased at nearly any restaurant, convenience mart, bar, or even school cafeteria.

Duvel is a very lightly colored, clear beer, with a mild-to-medium hopping, and finishes drier than just about anything. The dryness allows for a very cool finish: the alcohol actually manifests as sweetness. So, we get the (contradictory, by some definitions) heavenly mix of dryness and sweetness. The Belgian yeast is also apparent with the cloves on the finish.

Unfortunately this beer is a bit strong while being highly drinkable, meaning you should switch beer if you want more than one. In this case, I would suggest the Leffe Blonde, the subject of a future post.

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