Belgian beer with a U.S. twist


Americans have long been inspired by the beers of Belgium. But the admiration is mutual.

This 2012 edition of Duvel's Tripel Hop is a stunning example of the kind of bounce-back influence Americans are having on Belgians, too. This annual limited edition of the classic strong ale (9.5 percent alcohol) adds one variety of U.S. hops to its standard Euro hop duo of Saaz-Saaz and Styrian Golding.

Last year it was Amarillo. Aromatically dry-hopped Citra is the choice this year, and the result is simply gorgeous. The champagne-like golden elixir in this large-format bottle rings bright with the aromas of lemon, pine, and spice without ever getting too bitter.

So refreshing and complex. But don't wait long - this special holiday gift for your beer geek will disappear soon.

Duvel 2012 Tripel Hop (Citra) 750 ml, $14 at Capone's (224 W. Germantown Ave, East Norriton, 610-279-4748), $18.50 at Pinocchio's (754 131 E. Baltimore Ave., Media, 610-566-7767); the Belgian Cafe (601 N. 21st St.) hosts a Duvel event on Dec. 14.

- Craig LaBan