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Best Belgian Ales Ranked by the 2010 U.S. Open Beer Championship

This Top Ten Belgian and French Ales list is from America's Best and from the results of the 2010 U.S. Open Beer Championship.  
1. Devil May Care – South Street Brewery
2. Orval Trappist Ale- Brasserie d'Orval
3. Troubadour Blond Ale- Brouwerij De Musketiers
4. Raftman - Unibroue - Canada
5. Southampton Biere De Mars - Southhampton Publik House - New York 
6. Allagash Speciale Reserve - Allagash Brewing - Maine  
7. Schlafly Bière De Garde - Saint Louis Brewery - Missouri
8. Ovni Ale - Flat Earth Brewing - Minnesota
9. Oro De Calabaza - Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales - Michigan 
10. Devotion Ale - The Lost Abbey - California 

Belgian and French Ale
Subcategory: Belgian Pale Ale
Belgian pale ales are characterized by low, but noticeable, hop bitterness, flavor, and aroma Light to medium body and low malt aroma are typical. They are light gold to deep amber in color. Noble-type hops are commonly used. Low to medium fruity esters are evident in aroma and flavor. Low levels of phenolic spiciness from yeast byproducts may be perceived. Low caramel or toasted malt flavor is okay. Diacetyl should not be perceived. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures.
OG: 1.044-1.054 
FG: 1.008-1.014 
Alcohol by Weight: 3.2-5.0% 
IBU: 20-30
Color SRM: 4-12 

Subcategory: French Bière de Garde
Beers in this category are golden to deep copper or light brown in color. They are light to medium in body. This style of beer is characterized by a toasted malt aroma, slight malt sweetness in flavor, and medium hop bitterness. Noble-type hop aromas and flavors should be low to medium. Fruity esters can be light to medium in intensity. Flavor of alcohol is evident. Earthy, cellar like, musty aromas are okay. Diacetyl should not be perceived but chill haze is okay. Often bottle conditioned with some yeast character. Brewer may indicate on the bottle whether the yeast should be intentionally roused or if they prefer that the entry be poured as quietly as possible.
OG: 1.060-1.080 
FG: 1.012-1.024 
Alcohol by Weight: 3.5-6.3% 
IBU: 25-30
Color SRM: 8-12 
Subcategory: Belgian Table Beer
These ales and lagers are very low in alcohol and traditionally enjoyed with meals by both adults and children. Pale to very dark brown in color. Additions of caramel coloring are sometimes employed to adjust color. They are light bodied with relatively low carbonation with limited aftertaste. The mouth feel is light to moderate, though higher than one might anticipate, usually because of unfermented sugars/malt sugars. Malted barley, wheat and rye may be used as well as unmalted wheat, rye, oats and corn. A mild malt character could be evident. Aroma/flavor hops are most commonly used to employ a flavor balance that is only low in bitterness. Traditional versions do not use artificial sweeteners nor are they excessively sweet. More modern versions of this beer incorporate sweeteners such as sugar and saccharine added post fermentation to sweeten the palate and add to a perception of smoothness. Spices (such as orange and lemon peel, as well as coriander) may be added in barely perceptible amounts, but this is not common. Diacetyl should not be perceived.
OG: 1.008-1.038 
FG: 1.008-1.038 
Alcohol by Weight: 0.4-2.8% 
IBU: 5-15
Color SRM: 5-50

SRM: 5-50

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