Beer Maverick

Belgian-Style Pale Strong Ale

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Location: Belgian and French
Category: Ale
BJCP Comparable Category: 25C - Belgian Golden Strong Ale

Style Description

This is the description of how the Belgian-Style Pale Strong Ale style of beer should taste, feel and look. However, there may be perfectly fine beers in this style that fall outside of these ranges and descriptions. This information is just to show the most commonly accepted ranges for the Belgian-Style Pale Strong Ale beer style.

These beers are often brewed with light-colored Belgian candy sugar. Herbs and spices are sometimes used to delicately flavor these strong ales. These beers can be malty in overall impression or dry and highly attenuated. They can have a deceptively high alcohol character and a relatively light body for beers of high alcoholic strength. Some versions may be equally high in alcohol with a more medium in body.

  • Color: Pale to copper
  • Body: Very low to medium
  • Malt Flavors & Aromas: Malt character is low to medium. A complex fruitiness is often present.
  • Hop Flavors & Aromas: Medium-low to medium-high
  • IBUs/Bitterness: Medium-low to medium-high
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Low to medium fruity esters are present. Yeast-derived phenolic spicy flavors and aromas should be present at low to medium-low levels. Diacetyl is usually absent in these beers but may be present at very low levels.
  • Common Ingredients: Pilsner malt with substantial sugary adjuncts. Saazer-type hops or Styrian Goldings are commonly used. Belgian yeast strains are used – those that produce fruity esters, spicy phenolics and higher alcohols – often aided by slightly warmer fermentation temperatures. Fairly soft water. Spicing is not traditional; if present, should be a background character only.
  • Commercial Examples: Brigand, Delirium Tremens, Dulle Teve, Duvel, Judas, Lucifer, Piraat, Russian River Damnation

Brewing Properties of Belgian-Style Pale Strong Ale

These are the functional brewing properties of Belgian-Style Pale Strong Ale beers, as descided by the Brewers Association. These guidelines reflect, as accurately as possible, the historical significance, authenticity or a common profile in the current commercial beer market.

The alcohol by volume is shows the amount of alcohol this style of beer should have.
7.1 - 11.2%
The International Bittering Units (IBU) scale is used to approximately quantify the actual (not perceived) bitterness of beer.
20 - 50 IBUs
SRM is a scale for measuring the color intensity of a beer. Low SRM grains impart a pale straw color while higher values mean it will add a darker color to the wort. Learn more »
3.5 - 10 SRM
(7 - 20 EBC)
Original Gravity
Original Gravity (OG) is a measure of the sugar content in the wort before alcoholic fermentation has started to produce the beer.
1.064 - 1.096
Final Gravity
The Final Gravity (FG) is how much sugar is left over in the beer when fermentation is complete.
1.008 - 1.024

If you see an error in our data, please let us know!

Based on Brewers Association 2020 Beer Style Guidelines with changes. Used with permission of Brewers Association.