Now it is time to round out the first half of the Beer Camp Across the World 12 pack. The sixth beer out of the chute is the Hoppy Belgian-Style Golden. This ale brewed with lemon peel is a collaborative effort between Sierra Nevada and Duvel out of Belgium. As you might expect for a golden ale, the bitterness is fairly low at 35 IBU and 8% ABV. The bottle mentions that Duvel brewers are masters of the golden ale, as it’s a style they helped create. Sierra Nevada added some hop forwardness to the golden ale style which, I guess, creates the “on the nose” name of Hoppy Belgian-Style Golden Ale. I like hops….I like Belgians….I wonder if I’ll like hoppy Belgians….or at least hoppy Belgian beers….
I’m not sure why but the color was a touch lighter than I was expecting. The beer pours a yellow or maybe light golden color and is very clear. There was about one finger of white head which was pretty thin. Not a tremendous amount of retention on the head and only a little thin lacing on the glass. At just a first glance the ale looks refreshing, if not a little, dare I say, light beer-ish.
I get fruit first for sure, although I’m probably not yet skilled enough to really differentiate the different fruits in this particular one. There’s the typical banana and lemon or lemon peel notes that one gets with this style but there’s a further fruitiness that I can’t quite place. There’s a spice in the aroma also, something along the lines of clove or allspice, which is very pleasant. Essentially the aroma is “fruity” and “spicy.” Very technical I know.
Hoppy Belgian-Style Golden tastes like a Duvel. I’m kidding, but only slightly. If you’ve ever had the standard Duvel golden ale, the influence is easy to pick out here. The flavor is fruity, yeasty, and a little sweet. Like the aroma, lemon and banana seem to stand out here. The hoppiness comes in about halfway through the sip along with some biscuit or cracker flavor. Mouthfeel is nice and medium bodied.
I feel like I’ve said this before of this set of beers but of the 6 I’ve had so far I’m sort of torn on this one. The Beer Camp Hoppy Belgian-Style Golden Ale is easy to drink and isn’t at all unpleasant, I just don’t know why I would reach for this over a Duvel strong golden ale, which is a superior beer to this in my opinion. I can’t believe I’m going to say this but, I could probably do without the hoppiness in this, muted as it might be. Sadly, my second least favorite of the first half.
2.5 out of 5