One of the many varieties of Belgian beer is the Dubbel, which was coined from a Trappist beer naming convention after first being brewed in Westmlle in 1856. The Dubbel is a Belgian brown brew that is stronger than the Belgian Witbier beer which, is lighter in alcohol and sweeter in taste. In fact, it was the first beer to have a recorded sale on Belgian soil on June 1st, 1861.
Dubbel beer is known for it’s characteristic brown color and is one of the most prestigious and classic beers of the Belgian tradition. Having originated from the 19th century, it has over the years continued to improve in terms of quality.
A typical Dubbel beer consists of between 6% and 8% ABV and characterized by a unique taste of an understated bitterness, a fairly heavy body, pronounced fruitiness and cereal character. Many breweries who want to sound original and unique will use the Dubbel name at the end of their trading name. For instance, since Westemalle Dubbel first made the beer and also their first sale, almost every other up and coming brewery use the name ‘Dubbel’ to be associated with the success that comes with having made the first beer sale.
Dubbel beer is bottle-conditioned meaning that the beer is unfiltered and the final conditioning of the beer takes place in the bottle. The beer can also be reseeded with yeast to allow additional fermentation to take place, which makes the beer maintain it’s unique trademark bitter taste. Examples of this beer range from La Trappe Dubbel, Koningshoeven and Achel 8 Bruin breweries.
It’s unique flavor has also spread to other countries of the world. In the USA, for example, Ommegang and New Belgium Abbey’s ale are amongst the beers made using this borrowed method from Belgium. The Belgian Dubbel beer has and will continue to be in the forefront when it comes to bringing changes and inventions on the brewing scene in Belgium. It has maintained very strict quality standards while at the same time retaining it’s unique original flavor. No wonder it made the first sale in Belgium as a beer!