The weekend is here and the weather is awful, which I am using as an excuse to watch Say Yes to the Dress and drink beer all day. First on the list: Tripple Belgian Style Ale by New Belgium Brewing. Located in Fort Collins, Colorado, the brewery was founded in 1991 and as of 2010 had grown to the 3rd largest craft brewery in America. Their most popular beer is the amber ale Fat Tire, but the company also brews 8 other beers year-round as well as a handful of seasonal and special varieties.
What is a Trippel?
A trippel (or tripel) stems from the Trappist beers of Europe. This type of beer uses up to 3 times (or triple) the amount of malt in a standard Trappist beer. This particular style uses coriander, a spice most commonly found in Asian food and Indian curries. Before you start worrying that this stuff tastes like the #9 special at Taste of Bombay, you should also know coriander is also used in several types of Belgian beer, including the very popular Blue Moon.
The beer is a clear golden color with a solid white head that dissipated quickly to a thin sheet. There is a definite coriander bump in the smell, along with some nice floral and yeast notes. The taste is sweet and spicy, with malts balanced out by the bite of the coriander and a little bitterness from the hops. It is crisp and pretty carbonated, with a touch of alcohol in the finish.
Should I Drink It?
This is the first Trippel I can remember tasting, so I can’t speak to whether it’s a good representation of the style. I will say that the coriander gives it a unique flavor that might be a little jarring to people only familiar with the standard American lagers, but if you’re not afraid to take a risk then go for it. The carbonation and spices make the beer refreshing without being forgettable.
Don’t forget, next week is American Craft Beer Week!