Belgian brewer Duvel is set to compete with the wine market with a £12.99 beer, which can be aged like a fine wine for up to 20 years. Duvel Triple Hop is a 9.5% abv drink, brewed using the same hops as the original Duvel beer but in greater quantities. The brewer has also employed a technique known as dry hopping, which increases the aroma and hop characteristics in the finished ale. "Beer has too often been sold as a poor relation of wine but creating a beer like this is a real art form," said Duvel UK's general manager Nick Short. "This is a very special beer and its price reflects the complexity of flavour and rarity." The brewer said Duvel Triple Hop can be aged to let its flavours develop for up to twenty years or it can be drunk immediately. Duvel Triple Hop is available now and comes in a gold pyramid-shaped gift box. The ale is limited-edition only and available in the UK through Sainsbury's while stocks last. The brewer said it may be the first in a series of limited-edition brews and added it was also considering introducing other super-premium beers. Following years of consecutive growth in the wine sector and the crackdown on binge drinking, brewers and cider producers have been looking to create a more sophisticated image. Larger bottle formats for sharing have become more common and beer and food matching is growing in popularity in the on and off-trade.

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