Exceptional beer and food pairings right to your home

July 25, 2012 - Shannon

The West Coast.  The heart of the renaissance for craft beer in America.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s growing and permeating throughout our glorious country, but there’s something about looking at the label on a microbrew and seeing it’s from the west coast that just ups the ante in my mind.


Then again, being from The Bruery also ups the stakes when you look at their ratings track record.  Walking through the aisles of any beer store I’m met by signs boasting several varieties with scores above 90!  Bruery Trade Winds Tripel is one of their summer seasonals, and the bottle description “unfiltered, bottle conditioned…brewed with rice and Thai basil” makes me snatch it off the shelf.  This is adventure in a glass, a trait usually lost on summer beers.  I bring it home and chill it immediately (after taking an artsy photograph of course).


Pouring the Tripel, it’s lighter than I was expecting.  It’s definitely on par with my Tripel Karmeliet in color, but somehow the fact that it’s unfiltered and the promise of Thai flavors made me expect something darker and richer.  There is some sediment down in the bottle, which will likely add extra substance to later pours, but for now it looks more like a stereotypical tripel.  The scent though is distinct: it’s light, citrus, a little bitter and overripe banana.  I don’t get any sweetness or much spice.  The head is light, lacy and dissipates almost immediately.


The 8%ABV makes it higher than the average summer seasonal that I come across, but lower than the typical beer in my arsenal.  One sip and I’m fascinated.  On the tip of my tongue it is slightly sweet but surprisingly light.  There is a definite bitterness, but it’s pleasant and refreshing. Perfect for a summer’s day.


The texture is nice, it’s creamy and smooth, not abrasive at all.  Trust me!  I know you just read that it was bitter but now I’m telling you that it isn’t abrasive.  The back of my tongue picks up the ripe, sweet banana.  A hint of clove rounds out the necessary tripel flavors, and an unexpected sweet Thai basil catches me only on the after taste.


It would not be cliché to serve this beer with your favorite Thai meal: spicy, sweet, vegetables, noodles- it would all work.  It would also be delicious with a rich, creamy brie or thick, beef gravy.  Overall the Bruery Tripel is very versatile.  There are many things that would pair wonderfully with this beer, and almost anything appropriate for a summer picnic would shine.  I’ll be honest, The Bruery Tripel is not my favorite tripel ever.  It is, however a unique, creative, and refreshing twist on a Belgian classic.  I hope you enjoy!


The Bruery- Trade Winds Tripel

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