Belgian Single

Includes styles: Patersbier

Recipes:
617
BJCP 2021:
26A
Era:
Craft
Origin:
🇧🇪 Belgium
Fermentation:
Top
Color:
Pale
Strength:
Normal
Taste:
Bitter

Profile

Belgian Single, often referred to as a "Patersbier" (which means "father's beer"), is a style traditionally brewed by Trappist monks for their own consumption. It serves as the lighter counterpart to the more commonly known Belgian Dubbel and Belgian Tripel styles and is much less strong than these abbey beers typically sold commercially by monastic breweries. Historically, this beer was crafted to be refreshing and lower in alcohol so that it could be consumed daily without interfering with the monks' ascetic lifestyle and duties.

Belgian Singles appear usually pale yellow to deep gold in color, with a clear body that can sometimes have a slight haze. A frothy and persistent white head is characteristic of this style due to high carbonation levels. The effervescence not only contributes to the visual appeal but also enhances the drinking experience. Beers of this style exhibit a complexity of flavors and aromas that belies their modest strength. They are marked by a subtle malt profile with hints of grainy or bready notes that lead into a dry finish – an aspect deriving from the use of continental Pilsner malt along with potentially mild sugar adjuncts to lighten the body. The yeast imparts distinctively fruity esters reminiscent of citrus or apples, along with spicy phenolics – typically clove or pepper notes – that define its character. Hops play a supporting role; they impart enough bitterness to balance but generally don't contribute significant hop flavor or aroma. The overall impression tends to be light-bodied with a semi-dry finish underpinned by an effervescent carbonation which can create an almost champagne-like sensation on the palate.

This style can be confused with other Belgian offerings like Saisons due to some overlapping characteristics such as yeast-driven flavors and higher carbonation, but it is distinguished by its relatively low alcohol content and more restrained ester and phenolic profile compared to its Belgian brethren. It may also share some attributes with Blonde Ales though typically maintains uniqueness through its distinctive yeast character which anchors it firmly within the realm of traditional Belgian brews.

Specifications

Alcohol

Specification
4.8 – 6.0 %

In Database
4.5 < 5.3 < 6.2 %

Bitterness

Specification
25 – 45 IBU

In Database
16 < 30 < 46 IBU

Color

Specification
6 – 10 EBC
3 – 5 SRM

In Database
5 < 7 < 11 EBC
2 < 4 < 6 SRM

Original Extract

Specification
10.9 – 13.3 °P
1.044 – 1.054 OG

In Database
10.0 < 12.3 < 14.8 °P
1.040 < 1.050 < 1.061 OG

Final Gravity

Specification
1.0 – 2.6 °P
1.004 – 1.010 FG

In Database
1.0 < 2.6 < 3.8 °P
1.004 < 1.010 < 1.015 FG

Popularity Over Time

Most Used Yeasts

Most Used Hops

Dosage of Hops

Hop Pairings

Brewing Recipes