Big Thanks To Insurance Companies

New Belgium Trippel

November 1st, 2010 beckel

Today I have another brew from Lake Wine & Spirits’ Citizen Six Pack. This time around it is a Belgian Inspired Tripel from the fine folks at New Belgium. I recall sampling this brew once at South Lyndale Liquors and remember not being blown away, but perhaps served properly it will be a better experience.

Pours a pale, golden straw hue that is completely translucent. About a finger and a half of bright white tight bubbles are created and fade within a minute or two. Smells of Pale Malt, citrus hops, largely lemon, bready esters and gentle coriander. Coriander comes through brighter in the flavor and sweet Munich & Pale Malt play a central role followed by gentle alcohol. Some additional earthy and herbal esters come from the yeast but are very simple. Body is light and the mouthfeel is carbonated and relatively clean. Over all a very simple approach to the style that will be very drinkable for most. While I find the lack of diverse yeast esters a bit boring it also makes this ale an easy stepping stone to the world of fantastic Belgian Ales. Not a brew for those against sweet malts but an easy sipper at 7.8% ABV. If you’re a fan of pale Belgian Style Ales and are looking for something readily available and very drinkable this might just be the beer for you. Give it a shot and ride your bike.

New Belgium Trippel

The Session #24 Westmalle Tripel

February 6th, 2009 beckel

The Session Today The Session has a lovely simple topic brought to us by David of Musings Over A Pint “A Tripel for two”. This topic fits perfectly with the goal of The Session and is an easy one for me because I am a lover of strong ales. Though I am known to drink a Tripel or three by myself  I have decided to share my ale today with a good friend in homage to the topic. On the way home from work I stopped at the store to pick up a bottle of Westmalle’s Tripel because I have intended to review this brew for some time and had a bottle sitting in my fridge for many months waiting for the right day until one Sunday about a month ago when I wanted a nice ale but had forgotten to stock up on Saturday and instead had a lovely Trappist binge of  the bottles of Westmalle Tripel and Chimay Grande Reserve that had been patiently waiting in my fridge. Westmalle is a Trappist Ale brewed by Trappist monks in Malle, Belgium. There are only seven Trappist monasteries in the world that brew beer and are allowed to use the prestigious name of the order, six of which are in Belgium, one in The Netherlands . The recipes used for most of these ales have been around for centuries and incorporate some of the most amazing flavors due to their unique ingredients and strains of yeast used. This ale pours a hazy golden apricot color that allows some light through but only on the edges. Head is insane or as my friend says “This beer gives more head than a Minneapolis airport bathroom”. Aroma is very Belgian, crisp sweet malt tones are accompanied by wonderful citrus hints and a unique bread like aroma from the yeast. Flavor starts with simple citrus and slides into sweet light malt flavors that then transition into more complex heavier malt flavors that are actually decently bitter and finishes with even more tart citrus. This beer incorporates a number of fruit flavors from apricot to pear but none are too dominate.  Body is medium, mouthfeel is a bit tangy and carbonated but smooth. Though this ale rocks a solid 9.5% ABV you will be hard pressed to notice if you are used to Belgian beers. Definately a solid Tripel and something any fan of Belgain ales will appreciate. Give it a shot and ride your bike.

Westmalle Tripel

Dark Horse Sapient Trip Ale & Two Brothers Heavy Handed IPA

November 26th, 2008 beckel

So I’m terrible at posting in a timely fashion sometimes, particularly on occasions where I drink a lot of beer, and two Thursdays ago was no exception. This was the week of Dark Horse Brewing Company’s release parties and I felt obligated to sample some of the brew they were bringing into our fine city from the land of Michigan, so my friend Mike and myself took a nice, slightly brisk bike ride down to Stub & Herbs to meet fellow bike and beer enthusiast Dirtyspeed of Friday Night Beer. Dirtyspeed and myself initially ordered glasses of Dark Horse’s Trip Ale and mike grabbed a glass of their Crooked Tree IPA. When they were brought to us I was initially surprised by the similarity in color of the two brews, the IPA has a slightly more red hue, but they were darn close. The Sapient Trip pours a hazy orange color that has no obvious sediment but it is completely opaque, there was little head present when I received my lovely 22oz glass but I am curious to see how it pours from a bottle. Aroma is like that of many Belgian Tripel Ales, the yeast is noticeable but not too strong in the nose. Smooth slightly sweet malt flavors blend nicely with a hint of bitterness. The mouthfeel is carbonated but rather dry, body is quite light for a Tripel. Definitely a good beer, simple but solid, particularly with its 8.5% ABV. While snapping photos and taking notes like the geek I am mike managed to finish his beer and wound up with a Two Brothers Heavy Handed IPA at the suggestion of Dirtyspeed. Never having sampled this brew I gave it a taste and immediately knew what I needed to order next. Two Brothers Brewing Company from Warrenville, Illinois has been on my radar for some time but this was the first opportunity I had to sample some of their brew on tap, and I am happy to say I was very pleased. Their Heavy Handed IPA pours a nice deep red color. Aroma is hoppy but only slightly bitter. Flavor is a nice blend of initial sweetness that is very subtle, finished off by wonderful hop flavors that lean towards the bitter side but are not particularly intense, no tongue burning here. With its full flavor this beer is still very drinkable, having a rather light body and smooth mouthfeel. A unquestionably delicious ale. Coming in at 5.7% ABV this is a great beer to drink all night long, and that’s exactly what we did. Cheers to stubs for having $4.50 22oz taps after 9pm on Thursdays. Happy to have sampled two tasty new brews, particularly the IPA we had a fun, much less chilly ride home; freedom is the only way. Give em a shot and ride your bike.

Dark Horse Sapient Trip Ale

Two Brothers Heavy Handed IPA

Dirtyspeed and Beckel

Two Brothers Oh Brother Tripel Ale

September 4th, 2008 beckel

Its been a busy week with all the fun caused by the RNC and all the cops on steroids amped to give an ass kicking to anyone who asks the wrong questions in good ole’ Minneapolis and St. Paul but this isn’t about me so lets forget about it all with a nice brew. Today we have a beer from Two Brothers Brewing Company out of Warrenville, Illinois. According to their website they do not distribute beer in Minnesota but I was lucky enough to find a bottle of their Oh Brother, a Belgian Tripel Ale at The Four Firkins. As part of their Artisan Beer Series of unique beers I am excited to try this beer as I have faith it will be a well crafted experience. This beer pours a nice bright apricot orange color that is not very transparent. Head is a bit over a half an inch of white foam and dissipates quite rapidly. You can certainly detect yeast in the nose of this beer with plenty of malt and a slight orange aroma. This beer is certainly not what I was expecting. It is a very smooth and drinkable beer with a rather light mouthfeel and a surprising amount of carbonation on the tongue considering its lack of head. The flavor of this beer is sweet and malty with a slightly harsher flavor in the end that is almost bitter. Also notable is some sort of fruit flavor that is not particularly dominate but resembles banana, apricot or orange. With the sweet flavor of this beer the 8.5% ABV is masked wonderfully. If you are looking for a simpler tripel this is not a bad choice. Though I prefer a more complex beer this is not a bad drink and I look forward to the the chance to try more of their brews if I can find them. Give it a shot and ride your bike.

Two Brothers Oh Brother

Flying Dog Kerberos Tripel

August 20th, 2008 beckel

KerberosToday is a very happy day as it will be my first opportunity to try the new beer from Flying Dog’s Canis Major Series: Kerberos Tripel.  I was ever so happy to see this beer on the shelves of The Four Firkins while I was there for the “Wheat Wars” tasting (Good times by the way and props to Michael of A Perfect Pint for choosing some tasty beers and Alvey for hosting this event) and simply could not pass up buy the first pack I saw. This big beer is brewed in the traditional Belgian Tripel style using yeast to bottle condition this beer and allow it to continue fermenting after being sealed. This beer pours with a surprisingly small amount of head for a Belgian style ale producing about 1/2 an inch but it does stay for a decent period of time. The golden color of this beer is beautifully rich and transparent but it is still somewhat difficult to see your fingers if you hold them behind the glass. The smell of this beer is wonderful sweet malt hits the nose immediately with just a hint of bitterness in the end and light alcohol. This is certainly a good American interpretation of a Belgian Tripel style ale. Flavors are incredibly smooth, sweet flavors with slight fruit hints come first followed by a lovely hoppy balance that flows through the palate. For a Belgian beer this one has a very light mouthfeel and is quite drinkable with a bit of carbonation to remind you your drinking alcohol. With a 8.5% ABV you should probably be careful with this ale if you are not used to drinking strong beers but the flavor won’t remind you because it is so well balanced and smooth. I am excited to finish my 4 pack of this beer, anyone who appreciates a good strong ale in particular a Belgian that is more hoppy than usual will certainly like this beer. Give it a shot and ride your bike.

Flying Dog Kerberos Tripel

Victory Golden Monkey

June 23rd, 2008 beckel

Golden Monkey is a Belgian inspired golden tripel ale from Victory Brewing out of Pennsylvania.  This beer pours a golden yellow color that is a quite hazy. Head is quite intense, but fades rather quickly, color is very white.  Mouthfeel is smooth and contains no real sediment as is often present in a heavy Belgian. Rocking a 9.5% AVB this beer is no joke but goes down very smooth. Smells rather strongly, perhaps of bananas and some citrus, as well as a smooth malt scent. Taste is quite nice, a bit sour here and there but over all sligtly malty and smooth with a bite of fruit flavor that masks the alcohol content perfectly. If you want a good American take on a Belgian Golden tripel ale, this is a very good contender and Victory makes many good brews that you will be sure to see me review in the future. For its strong ABV this beer is incredibly lite and makes for good drinking in warm weather as well as any time of the year. Give it a shot and ride your bike.

Victory Golden Monkey