Tripel is a classic beer style that is well-defined by a number of great examples that are commercially available: Chimay Cinq Cents, Westmalle Tripel and Affligem Tripel, to name a few. While other Belgian Styles like Saison can have fairly wide latitude for interpretation, as a brewer it’s hard to find a reason to vary greatly in flavor from the examples that are already out there: they’re all so damn good.
The style is surprisingly drinkable given the alcoholic strength; a feature that comes from the remarkable balancing act that the style, when properly executed, pulls off. Fermented dry (meaning not a lot of residual sugar in the beer), the beer nonetheless retains a slight malty sweetness due to the large amount of grain used to make the beer. This sweetness is enhanced by the yeast, which imparts fruity aromas and flavors (most typically citrusy, sometimes banana). Balancing the sweetness is a firm but not imposing bitterness from the hops, and a phenolic character (again, thanks to the yeast) which is typically peppery, clove-like and occasionally has notes of bubblegum.
This is our first new beer for 2022, and we’re excited for the line-up we have planned for this year, including a wood-aged version of this beer (Late Summer, 2022) and a number of wood-fermented sours that have been more than a year in the making. Stay tuned!