How could I say no to a sweet and fruity Belgian tripel brewed with, as the description states, "a Southeast Asian twist"? The twist in this case was a dose of rice in the brew's grain bill to lighten the body and some thai basil for spicy fresh flavor. Nope, there was no saying no to this one.
Beer Details: Trade Winds Tripel Summer Seasonal from The Bruery, Placentia, CA (Belgian-style Golden Ale, ABV: 8%, IBU: 25)
Appearance: Sunset orange against the light with a fluffy head of crisp white foam.
Aroma: This smells like walking into a candy shop—lots of soft cooked sugar and sweet fruit aromas.
Taste: This is a beer to make you smile and sigh with contentment. It's sweet and fruity, but with a really nice crisp edge and a semi-dry finish.
Fresh orange, fuzzy peach, sweet apricot, dried apple, and ripe banana all swirl together into a juicy fruit punch of flavors. Tutti-frutti! Spicy notes of coriander, white pepper, cardamom, and a touch of warm cinnamon make it intriguing. Sadly, however, I don't get a strong sense of the thai basil.
I like the lightness in the body from the rice. Combined with a lively carbonation, this gives us a super refreshing beer to enjoy on a hot summer afternoon.
Food Pairings: I'd call this a first-course beer: try it with a tossed salad of ripe summer veggies, bits of rich cheese, and crunchy croutons with a tangy herb vinaigrette.
Related: Beer for Dessert! 5 Great Beers to End a Meal
(Image: Emma Christensen)