Brewer: Duvel Moortgat
Style: Belgian Golden Strong Ale
The Duvel Moortgat brewery can trace it's roots back to 1871. It's still controlled by the Moortgat family, but its signature beer didn't make a bow until 1918 when it was designed by legendary brewer Jean De Clerck. According to the legend the brew was marketed as under the name Victory until 1923 when a local shoemaker proclaimed it to be "a real devil of an ale" in the local Dutch dialect. The beer became progressively lighter over the years, but the name stuck.
Duvel earns it's demonic title by hiding a vicious 8.5-percent alcohol punch inside a deceptively easy drinking golden ale heaped high with a frothy white head. A touch of pear flavor marks the yeast character and mingles with a soft maltiness as the beer finishes with a dangerous dryness. The signature flavor inspired enough imitators to beget the entire Belgian golden strong style, but so far no one has concocted a more demonic example than the original.