With more than 100 different Belgian beers on draught throughout the weekend, beer geeks in the Twin Cities didn’t need to look far to find some fantastic offerings at this year’s Belgian Beer Festival at The Muddy Pig in St. Paul.  

After helping a friend with some home improvement projects at his house just a stones throw from the bar, my wife and I walked over Sunday afternoon to catch the mid-day NFL games and try some great Belgian ales. Compared to last year, the selection seemed much larger and more interesting, a sign that hopefully we’ll be seeing more of these delicious beers on tap around town.

Verhaeghe Echte Kriekenbier
A beautiful Flanders red. Great amber red appearance, bretty and sour, with a nice biting cherry finish. My wife tried a sip, and thought it smelled like a foot. Mission accomplished.

Rating: A-

Saison Dupont
One of the benchmarks of the style. Spicy aroma, coriander and yeast. Nice bitterness in the flavor, earthy but not barnyard. Enjoyable.

Rating: A- 

Poperings Hommelbier
Tried this for the first time at last year’s event, and still pretty impressed. The Belgians have a different approach to IPAs, but it works. Very distinct aroma, smells like a rose bush. Mellow hop bite, with a subtle bitterness in the finish.

Rating: B+

La Rulles Estivale
A Belgian pale, characterized by a yeasty, toasty aroma and smooth flavor. Almost akin to a German pilsner in some ways. A nice beer.

Rating:  B+ 

La Divine
From Brasserie de Silly, you’d never guess this was a tripel from its dark appearance. But this one surprises you with a sweet maltiness, plenty of toffee notes and candi sugar in the flavor. Creamy mouthfeel. Really liked this beer.

Rating: A