5 Beer Varieties You’ve Never Heard Of (And Where to Drink Them)

Dopplebock

Let’s talk religion for a bit. Dopplebock will definitely help you find some. The heavy lager was originally brewed in 1627 by the kind hearted Paulener Monks who were looking for a way to reprieve the citizens of Munich from the pangs of hunger felt during Lenten fasting. They figured a thick as molasses, 8% ABV beer would do the trick.

Dopplebock, or starkbier as it’s often called, is best drank during Starkbierzeit in Munich. Starkbierzeit is the beer festivals locals don’t want you to know about. And you probably shouldn’t go unless you can handle your beer. Otherwise, you’ll end up like me, bowing down to the porcelain gods.

Saison

Okay, so you may have heard of Saison before. It’s another beer that craft brewers are bastardizing. But do you really know the story behind Saison? Saison itself stands for farmhouse ale. The style traces its roots to the French-speaking, Wallonian countryside of Belgium. As potable water was unavailable, farmers brewed Saison to quench the thirst of their farmhands while they were working in the fields.

The original Saisons included spices, much like today’s Saisons. However, they were brewed to a low ABV of 3.5% as the farmers didn’t want their employees sleeping on the job…

Saison Dupont is still considered to be the hallmark of Saisons even though it’s brewed to 6.5% ABV. The brewery, Brasserie Dupont, can be visited in the village of Tourpes and should definitely be included on your Belgium beer itinerary.

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