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Cheers to CX! The 5 best beers from the best Cyclocross nations

Beer and CycloCross
Photo: lifeatthebluntend

It’s cyclocross season and that means cowbells, dollar grabs and beer gardens. And we all know that the races wouldn’t be as much fun without those enthusiastic (and sometimes inebriated) fans. So, to toast them and the start of cross season, here is a list of the five best beers from countries where cross is most popular: Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Italy and the United States. This list is by no means exhaustive or scientific, just delicious. Cross fans and cyclists were randomly polled about their favorite brews.



Belgian Beers


westvleren 12

Style: Abt/Quadrupel

Brewery: Westvleteren Abdij St. Sixtus, Westvletern

An opaque, dark brown ale with oaky aroma and rich fruity notes. Typically served in a trappist glass - a bowl-like glass with a short stem.



Style: Abt/Quadrupel

Brewery: Brasserie Rochefort, Rochefort

A deep reddish-brown ale with strong taste of plum, raisin, and currants. Produced at a Trappist monastery in the Ardennes.


Vicaris Tripel

Style: Abbey Tripel

Brewery: Dilewyns, Dendermonde

A golden ale with a lemony malty aroma, which is sweet and mildly bitter.


Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Brewery: Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV, Breendonk-Puurs

A golden amber beer with medium body and hints of lemon meringue pie.


Style: Tripel

Brewery: Westmalle, Malle

A creamy and aromatic beer. The monks of Westmalle, just north of Antwerp, claim their beers cure appetite loss and insomnia and reduce stress. So now you can rest up before the race.



Beers from the Netherlands


Style: Euro Pale Lager

Brewery: Grolsch Bierbrouwerij N.V., Enchede

Sunny gold color with a sweet aroma. First choice among several cross riders in Holland.


Wieckse Witte

wieckse witte

Style: Witbier

Brewery: De Ridder Brewery, Maastricht

Spiced with coriander and orange peel.



Style: Czech Pilsner

Brewery: Dommelsche Bierbrouwerij, Dommelen

Light straw color with floral flavor.



Amstel Beer

Style: Euro Pale Lager

Brewery: Amstel Brouwerij B. V., Amsterdam

A simple beer, familiar overseas and in the U.S.




Style: Euro Pale Lager

Brewery: Oranjeboom Bierbrouwerij B. V., Breda

A clear, yellow beer that is malty and not too sweet. The name means “orange tree.”



French Beers


cuvee des jonquilles

Style: Euro Pale Lager

Brewery: Brasseries Kronenbourg, Strasbourg

One of the best selling lagers in France with a bread-y, malty aroma and a lot of fizz.


Cuvée Des Jonquilles

Style: Bière de Garde

Brewery: Brasserie Bailleux, Gussignies

A golden yellow biere de garde characterized by its toasted malt aroma, sweet flavor and medium bitterness.


Style: Bière de Garde

Brewery: Brasserie La Choulette, Hordain

A full-flavored amber version of a bières de gardes. It has an aroma of caramel and malt with hints of plum. This spicy beer is full-flavored, but not sweet.


3 Monts Flanders Golden Ale

3 monts

Style: Bière de Garde

Brewery: Brasserie de Saint-Sylvestre, Saint Sylvestre Cappel

A light beer, popular in pubs in Flanders.


Craig Allan Cuvée d’Oscar

Style: Wheat Ale

Brewery: Craig Allan, Mery-la-Bataille

A dry-hopped, dark wheat ale with hints of chocolate and citrus.



Italian Beers


Style: Euro Pale Lager

Brewery: Birra Peroni Industriale S.p.A., Rome

The most recognized and widely consumed Italian beer, this has a light malty taste and comes in a green bottle.


Peroni Red

peroni red

Style: Premium Pale Lager

Brewery: Birra Peroni Industriale S.p.A., Rome

More distinct than its brother Peroni, this beer is easy-drinking and grassy, with a little sweetness to finish.




Style: Euro Pale Lager

Brewery: Heineken, Udine

A pale gold lager with spicy hops and sweet grains.


Style: Euro Pale Lager

Brewery: Brauerei Forst AG, Merano

A no-frills light lager, refreshing on those late summer hot days.


Style: Pale Lager

Brewery: Birra Menabrea SpA, Biella

An appetizing amber with notes of apple and pear.



U.S. Beers


new belgium hoptober

Style: Golden Ale

Brewery: New Belgium, Fort Collins, Colo.

Strong hops aroma with a sweet honey aftertaste from a bike-focused brewery.


Style: Amber Ale

Brewery: Deschutes, Bend, Ore.

Deschutes is a major supporter of cyclocross in the U.S., hosting races right in its backyard. Its organic ale is grassy and hoppy.


Style: IPA

Brewery: Firestone Walker, Paso Robles, Calif.

A fruity mix of apple and peach will tickle your taste buds.


Style: Extra IPA

Brewery: Sierra Nevada, Chico, Calif.

A robust IPA with heavy hints of apricot and JuicyFruit gum.


Style: Triple IPA

Brewery: Russian River, Santa Rosa, Calif.

The deep golden amber is dry hopped four different times. It’s a rare gem; if you can find it, drink it.



Vicky sama profile picAuthor: Vicky Sama
Vicky Sama is a freelance journalist, journalism professor and cycling coach in Humboldt County, California. She covers cycling and other outdoor sports for various publications. When she's not teaching or writing, she's racing cyclocross or training the Humboldt State University Cycling Team. You'll always find her lab Moose at her side.

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