Belgian And French Ale Beer Recipes

Belgian and French ale is a category of styles with a wide range of characteristics. Most of the styles originated in small breweries in France and Belgium and contain some level of yeast-derived character.

Saison

Mad About Saison

Homebrewers Association
Homebrewers Association

This recipe appears in the article "World of a Thousand Saisons" by Mark Pasquinelli in the July/August 2018 Zymurgy magazine.

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Mark Pasquinelli shares the following about his beer recipe Mad About Saison:

My first stop [on my saison journey] was the world of Funky Town. I killed two birds with one stone on this recipe, getting out of the same-old-yeast rut and brewing something more sessionable than my usual 7.5% ABV saisons. I used a yeast blend made by Michael Tonsmeire, aka the Mad Fermentationist, that's distributed through Bootleg Biology.

Tonsmeire mentioned that his yeast packs might swell during storage and not to be alarmed. His blend consists of saison yeast, wild Saccharomyces, Brettanomyces, and an opportunistic Lactobacillus culture. At low temperatures, his blend is clean, while traditional saison temperatures bring out flavors of citrus, pepper, and clove.

The blend's two pair well with fruity and tropical hops, so I did a hop stand and dry-hopped with Galaxy. As advertised, Galaxy's repertoire of citrus, passion fruit, and grass nicely complement Tonsmeire's yeast blend, mixing with its tart, crisp, citrus notes. The subsequent creation, Mad About Saison, was a big hit at two homebrew club meetings and became a personal after-dinner staple.

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Beer

Belgian and French Ale

Saison Tropicale

Homebrewers Association
Homebrewers Association

This recipe is featured in the March/April 2012 issue of Zymurgy magazine. AHA members enjoy access to the Zymurgy magazine online starting at $3.99.

This saison recipe is perfect for summertime, bringing together refreshing flavors of tropical fruit with hints of Belgian yeast character. Saison yeast is also typically more tolerant of higher fermentation temperatures, making this a great beer recipe for folks fermenting at room temperature.

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Beer

Specialty Beer

Wit Bier ca. 1840

Homebrewers Association
Homebrewers Association

This beer recipe is featured in the March/April 2020 issue of Zymurgy magazine. Join the American Homebrewers Association or start your 30-day free trial to access the Zymurgy online archive and other exclusive member benefits!

This historical recipe was provided courtesy of Roel Mulder.

A wonderful find was a little black book full of handwritten brewing notes in the archives of the Franciscans in Holland. The booklet dates from ca. 1840 and may have been used by someone connected to Franciscan monks in the region of Rotterdam. Dialect words, however, suggest the anonymous author was probably from Flanders, the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium. In any case, it contains one of the weirdest recipes Roel has seen so far. It provides a glimpse into the hidden world of brewing of the past.

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Beer

Belgian Pale Ale

Stale Doughnut Belgian Pale Ale

Homebrewers Association
Homebrewers Association

This beer recipe is featured in the March/April 2020 issue of Zymurgy magazine. Join the American Homebrewers Association or start your 30-day free trial to access the Zymurgy online archive and other exclusive member benefits!

This unique recipe comes courtesy of Dan Heil. Sometimes finishing all the doughnuts can be difficult. Just as you shouldn't finish all your homebrew in one sitting, kicking a whole box of donuts is not generally recommended! If you find yourself in a predicament like Dan, this recipe can reduce food waste and yield a delicious doughnut Belgian-style pale ale in the process.

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Beer

Other Mead: Braggot

Little Red Bird Braggot

Homebrewers Association
Homebrewers Association

This beer recipe is featured in the January/February 2020 issue of Zymurgy magazine. Join the American Homebrewers Association or start your 30-day free trial to access the Zymurgy digital archive and other exclusive member benefits!

Bière de miele with blood orange zest and juice. Recipe courtesy J. K. Bywaters.

Over the years, I’ve made several snowmelt beers. Saisons have been the go-to (including a dark saison d’hiver), but I’ve also made a snowmelt bitter and the braggot detailed below.

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Beer

Belgian Specialty Ale

Chess with Checkers

Homebrewers Association
Homebrewers Association

This beer recipe is featured in the January/February 2020 issue of Zymurgy magazine. Join the American Homebrewers Association or start your 30-day free trial to access the Zymurgy digital archive and other exclusive member benefits!

Erich Purcell, 2019 GABF Pro-Am Competition, with Ross Koenigs of New Belgium Brewing Co.

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Beer

Saison

David Allen’s Saison

Homebrewers Association
Homebrewers Association

David Allen of Mill Creek, WA, member of the Greater Everett Brewers League, won a bronze medal in Category #20: Saison during the 2019 National Homebrew Competition Final Round in Providence, RI. Allen’s standard Saison was chosen as a top three entry among 253 entries in the category.Read More

Beer

Saison

Zon Saison

Homebrewers Association
Homebrewers Association

Mike Vandervoort of Toronto, CAN, member of the GTA Brews, won a silver medal in Category #20: Saison during the 2019 National Homebrew Competition Final Round in Providence, RI. Vandervoort’s Saison was chosen as the runner-up entry among 253 entries in the category.Read More

Beer

Belgian Pale Ale

Ben’s Belgian Pale Ale

Homebrewers Association
Homebrewers Association

Andrew Johnson of Salem, OR, member of the Capitol Brewers, won a silver medal in Category #21: Belgian Ale with a Belgian Pale Ale during the 2019 National Homebrew Competition Final Round in Providence, RI. Johnson’s Belgian Pale Ale was chosen as the runner-up entry among 231 entries in the category.Read More

Beer

Saison

Saison de Liège 1851

Homebrewers Association
Homebrewers Association

This beer recipe is featured in the September/October 2019 issue of Zymurgy magazine. Join the American Homebrewers Association or start your 30-day free trial to access the Zymurgy digital archive and other exclusive member benefits!

Recipe by Roel Mulder

An interpretation of the recipe given by Georges Lacambre in his reference work Traité complet de la fabrication des bières et de la distillation. I have replaced the 6 to 8 hours of boiling with an addition of some dark malt.

Little is known of the original yeast profile: the historical 60 to 63 percent attenuation seems poor to our eyes, but for its day, this beer was relatively well attenuated. A saison- or Brett-like profile seems appropriate, but to get that historical flavor, try to keep attenuation low by creating more unfermentable sugars in the mash. This helps simulate the fairly uncontrolled conditions that would have been found in a traditional Belgian brewery.

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Beer

Belgian Specialty Ale

Summer Cloud Belgian IPA

Homebrewers Association
Homebrewers Association

Tom Beach of Rocky River, OH, member of the Society of Northeast Ohio Brewers, won a gold medal in Category #17: Specialty IPA with a Belgian IPA during the 2019 National Homebrew Competition Final Round in Providence, RI. Beach’s Specialty IPA was chosen as the best among 475 entries in the category.Read More

Beer

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