tip: Never, ever pass judgment on a beer style based solely on your home-brewed experience/interpretation of it, ever!!!!!
If your batch didn’t turn out like you hoped, try comparing it to several commercial examples first, then aim to duplicate for which you like the best.
Unless the beer is made from a limited ingredient/batch source or expensive to acquire ingredients/limited authorized and/or controlled batches, Belgian beer is mostly pricy because of the name to pour reputation developed over time. This is not an attack at all on Belgian beers, if anything, you have to give them Belgian a Thumb up Bro and thanks for sharing your creations with the rest of the world!
Belgian beers are not just made by Monks, clearly we are the non-monks here and love to brew them! There isn’t much to it when you really think about it, there is a beer recipe, and you follow it and brew it and bamm, you have Belgian beer, that’s it!
Out of the dozen or so different Belgians we have brewed here so far, I would have to say that the only factor that stands out in making them a little bit more expensive to brew than other beers is the slightly more expensive grain bill due to many being a Double, Triple and even some Quads, and of average a longer time is required to age them, bare minimum of 3 months, averaging 6 to 12 months (varies by style), the recipes are not any harder to follow or brew than non-Belgian beers.
What makes a Belgian beer taste Belgian-y ?
It’s mostly the flavors put off by the Belgian yeast, fermented at higher temperatures. Belgian yeasts tend to produce distinct spicy to fruity flavors, in addition the use of adjuncts to lighten the body of the beer and increase the gravity are employed, like the use of Belgian Candy sugar.
So yes, when you pay $15 a glass at some fancy Bar, you are paying for the export recognition name, the History and bar markup prices, especially if the beer was brewed locally and is not imported from Belgium.