This tripel-style pale-blond ale from Belgium’s Huyghe Brewery, whose roots date back some 350 years, serves as a reminder that artisan-brew producers do not have to be designated “Trappist” to maintain rigid standards of quality and flavor. Led by proud and quirky CEO Alain De Laet, the Huyghe Brewery delicately crafts its flagship ale, Delirium Tremens, which it labels with its trademark pink elephant (and a cast of other animal characters) to remind those imbibing the beer that it is to be consumed in good spirits and with good friends.
Delirium Tremens is golden in color and exhibits a firm head in the glass. Its 8.5 percent alcohol by volume is a result of the brewers’ use of three different strains of Belgian yeast for fermentation. Its mild malt character gives way to a vaporous and potent body that leaves a spicy and wonderfully (albeit slight) bitter note lingering on the palate. (www.delirium.be; prices range from about $4 to $6 per 330 ml bottle; check your local beer merchant for availability)