Of the Belgian ales, Leffe Blond is definitely one of the most accessible for American drinkers. Not only is it widely available (you can even find it in Wal-Mart), but its flavor and complexity are relatively simple in comparison to other traditional Belgian ales. The brewer, “Abbaye de Leffe”, (pronounced leff-eh, or leff-uh) generally makes about ten styles of beer, however the Blond is most easily found in the US. This is because Anheuser Busch is now part of the Belgian beer giant Inbev, who distributes Leffe. Not only is Leffe popular in the US, but it is quite popular in Europe. When I was in Belgium, I even found the Blond in tall cans! It pours a clear golden color with a quickly dissolving white foamy head and just a hint of carbonation. It smells of coriander, banana and orange peel. The flavor is sweet but spicy and yeasty. After half a pint it may leave a malty taste in the back of your throat. Generally the banana and coriander control the flavor but it is easily drinkable. At 6.6% ABV it has a good kick to it. As with most quality Belgian brews (Hoegaarden/Stella Artois need not apply) this is generally not a beer you drink after a hard day’s work, rather it is a beer to be enjoyed and savored. If you are new to Belgian beers, the Leffe Blond is a great starting point; however, there are so many other amazing beers from Belgium that I hope that you don’t just stop with Leffe, but rather continue your journey into exploring the complex and wonderful world of Belgian beer!