Though Belgium is better known for tradition than innovation, one of the country's most cherished breweries takes a stab at brewing India Pale Ale, a style that originates from the UK and has been revived in the USA.
Belgium is also known for producing some of the world's most epic ales. While these ales' power and complexity generally exceed their bitterness, hops usually take a back seat. Not so with Brasserie d'Achouffe's Houblon Chouffe, a wildly successful mash-up that combines the traditional Belgian style of ale brewing, a classic British IPA recipe and American hops like Amarillo and Tomahawk. Bottle-conditioned and unfiltered, this strong beer pours a cloudy gold. Fragrant floral and citrus hops join distinctively Belgian ale aromatics, like spice cake and baked apples. On the palate, herbal hops scour the palate clean, making this beer a remarkable food partner. "Houblon" is French for hops, and communicates clearly what sets this beer apart from its Belgian cousins. The hop aromas and bitterness, however, will still seem subtle to fans of brash American Imperial IPAs.