Review: Piraat Ale

by Beer reviews

Piraat Ale

Piraat Ale is made by the Van Steenberge brewery.  This brewery has been around since the 1784 under various owners.  The brewery has been run by the Van Steenberge since World War I.  The brewery had a short stint making lagers in what is normally considered “ale country”.  In 1978, the brewery acquired ale recipes and yeast from Augustiner monks in Gent.  The monks decided to sell out, and go back to being monks.  The brewery still makes the same Augustiner beers and other ales.

Piraat is bottle and keg conditioned, which means that the beers are shipped with live yeast.  The beer style is Belgian ale.  Belgian ales are close to triples, but tend to be lighter-bodied and drier.  The beers are usually much stronger than your typical ale, ranging anywhere from 7% to 10%.  A couple of these beers will send your head swimming in no time.

Descriptions of Piraat compare it to an IPA.  I’m not sure why.  Maybe they are trying to tie in the whole pirate thing (India Pirate Ale?).  We’re not sure where the pirate theme came from, since pirates are usually thought to hang out in the Caribbean.  The drawings on the bottle look more like the Caribbean variety, but if they say it’s a Flemish merchant we’ll take the leap of faith.

Piraat Ale

I know this is a popular beer, but it just didn't do anything for me


The beer has a good head, and it foams up just like you’d expect from good Belgian ale.  It was very carbonated.  The beer is slightly cloudy, most likely from the yeast in the bottle.  The beer looks like a great beer, and has good lacing on the glass.


The beer does not have a great aroma.  My first thought was “this smells like Coors”.  There were some alcohol notes to the smell, but there really wasn’t anything impressive about the aroma of the beer.


The beer was very alcoholic.  I was expecting more flavor than alcohol from the beer.  It actually burned a bit as it went down.  I was very disappointed, and found the beer to be very average for a Belgian beer.  It might be that I’ve come to expect high marks for ales from Belgium.


This beer was not the treasure I was hoping for.  The beer is very average, but if you are looking for something strong this beer will do.  I think that you can find better beers from Belgium.  This beer gets 5 booties out of 10.

Brewery: Brouwerij Van Steenberge
Country of Origin: Belgium
Style: Belgian Ale
ABV: 10.5% ABV

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DJ Spiess

DJ Spiess

Beer buddy

I live in Denver, Colorado. This blog is everything about beer, wine, cider, mead and other spirits.
I am a avid homebrewer and winemaker. I’ve been making my own beer and wine for many years. I started making beer when I was in college (mostly because the drinking age in the United States is 21). My first few beers were horrible. The beers are much better now, and I often supply my neighborhood with free beer! It is a great hobby!