Zythos Festival: Session Beers

It’s ironic that while a few highly-regarded American brewers were in Belgium last week touting their ‘extreme’ wares, the most interesting and enjoyable stuff I came across during my time there suggested a small but growing trend in Belgium toward hoppy, session-type beers.At last weekend’s Zythos beer festival, which featured dozens of Belgian brewers, the best beers — to me, anyway — were mostly in that latter category. I had some great stronger stuff, of course (including a few of those American beers), and the lambics of Cantillon, Drie Fonteinen, and De Cam never fail, but the highlights of the festival were beers like Beersel Lager from Drie Fonteinen, Kerkom Sodalitas, La Rulles Estivale, St. Pieters Taras Boulba, and Domus Pilsner. All of these are at or below 5% ABV, and are dry and beautifully hopped. Interestingly, not one of them is available in the USA at this point.A new trend in Belgian brewing, away from sweetish, spicy, alcohol bombs? We certainly hope so . . . Anyone else out there noticing this?

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