A Good Beer Blog


Have you read The Unbearable Nonsense of Craft Beer - A Rant in Nine Acts by Alan and Max yet? It's out on Kindle as well as Lulu.

Maureen Ogle said this about the book: "... immensely readable, sometimes slightly surreal rumination on beer in general and craft beer in particular. Funny, witty, but most important: Smart. The beer geeks will likely get all cranky about it, but Alan and Max are the masters of cranky..."

Ron Pattinson said: "I'm in a rather odd situation. Because I appear in the book. A fictional version of me. It's a weird feeling."


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Craig Hartinger -

At least in the case of Rochefort, "6" "8" and "10" come from a old scale of measuring wort OG - "Belgian degrees." Apparently, this measuring standard is not used often any more, even in Belgium, but it lives on in the beer names.

(I work for Rochefort's US importer, Merchant du Vin.)

Alan -

Hey Craig! That is great. I kinda knew that and I think I understand that the "8" would roughtly correspond with the dubbel. But I am still unclear on when or if a "brown" is always the equivalent of an "8" or a dubbel.

Stan Hieronymus -

To add to Craig explanation:

Until the early 1990s, Belgian brewers measured gravity in Belgian degrees. This can be calculated by subtracting 1 from a beer's specific gravity and multiplying by 100. Thus a 1.060 beer would be 6 degrees.

Because Belgians are style adverse it is hard to decide what to call a beer that isn't labeled a "dubbel" when it is at least similar in color and alcoholic strength. So although Maredsous 8 is a bit strong for the style it is brewed (by Duvel) for an operating abbey.

On the other hand, Westvleteren 8 and Rochefort 8 or both well attenuated enough that their strength makes them to "big" to be called a dubbel.

These are the beers listed as examples of the style by the BJCP:

Westmalle Dubbel, La Trappe Dubbel, Corsendonk Abbey Brown Ale, Grimbergen Double, Affligem Dubbel, Chimay Premiere (Red), Duinen Dubbel, St. Feuillien Brune, New Belgium Abbey Belgian Style Ale, Stoudts Abbey Double Ale

I would but Rochefort 6 in there (7.8% abv), maybe at the top of the list.