Purchased for a neighborhood get together as something ‘a little different,’ Belgica found its way into my glass just a bit before the crowd showed up. Like, three days. But it was a new beer to me, and new beers don’t sit untouched for too long in my back room mini fridge.

I love Belgian style ales. I like IPAs. For me, this combo seemed to be risky, but overflowing with possibility. It poured more IPA than Belgian. It lacked that beautiful opaque, unfiltered look of a tripel, despite being about the same shade of orange. It did, however, show its Belgian background on the nose. It was sweet, yeasty and citrusy, but less in a hop-bomb sort of way and more in a mellow manner. The taste was, well, odd. The Belgian roots led the parade of flavors, definitely. It reminisced of some of my favorite brews of this style, but didn’t settle long on that taste. Instead, it rushed quickly into a bittering center, not overly so, but definitely enough to blend with the initial sweetness and create an ironic combination that I would have never thought would work. But it does. The ending comes back around Belgian-style, a sweetness that coats rather than a bitter that lingers, it is pleasant, leaving you wanting more.

Not much lacing and not much in the way of beauty, the real action in this brew is in the bookends of Belgian and the center of hops. A great combination and a creatively crafted brew from Great Divide.