Tag Archives: Tripel

Triple your beer-drinking pleasure with Belgian Tripels

brewing-beer-medieval-lifeIf it weren’t for monks, many of the classic beer styles we now enjoy may not have been developed. In particular, Belgian monks from the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance, a Roman Catholic contemplative order that believes monasteries should be self-sustaining. Because of this, monks took up many trades, brewing highly-coveted beer was among them.

A favorite style produced by monks – the tripel – was developed relatively recently at the Brouwerij der Trappisten van Westmalle or Westmalle Brewery in 1934. As a style, tripels are golden in color with aromas and flavors of apple, pear, citrus, or banana-like fruitiness, clove-like or peppery spice. Other characteristics of the style are its high alcohol (7-percent to 10-percent by volume) and its dry finish.

As early as the 6th century, monks were brewing beer. The story of the brewery at Westmalle Abbey begins in 1836 when monks began brewing beer at the Abbey. At that time, the beer was not intended to produce a profit, instead it was to be used only for the refreshment of the monks and their guests. Later, in 1856, the Abbey began selling a small portion of the beer to villagers at the gates to the monastery.

As demand grew the Abbey did, too. Expansions were undertaken in both 1865 and 1897. In those early years, the brewery produced mostly dark beers. Westmalle was best known for its dubbel, a strong dark ale that developed flavor by boiling the wort for eight to ten hours. The long boil was thought to develop the deep color and complex flavors.

Demand continues to rise and, in 1921, the Abbey decided to sell their beer to outside resellers. This necessitated another expansion that included that construction of a dedicated yeast room and a workshop. When completed in 1934, the new additions are celebrated by the introduction of a new style of beer; the tripel.

Because the palates of Belgians at that time were more attuned to darker, richer ales, the release of the golden-hued tripel was considered a radical move by a group that was known to be overwhelmingly traditional. But, as drinkers began tasting the fruity, high-alcohol brew, demand began to grow. For the next 20 years, the monks tinkered with the recipe until 1954 when Brother Thomas Sas dialed the formula in and created the tripel we know today.

So, important was it to the monks that the character of the tripel remain intact they instructed Jan Adriaensens, who has overseen brewing at Westmalle since 1982 he was to make no alterations. So, when the brewery decided to switch from square fermenters to the more modern conical style, he spent eight years experimenting on a smaller pilot system to ensure the beer would not be effected.

Though the tripel produced by Westmalle is the original and standard bearer for the style, other breweries have produced their own versions. Here are a few to look for at your local market.

New Belgium Trippel

Creamy and fruity with plenty of alcohol punch, this beer the Colorado and now North Carolina brewery reveals citrus, dark fruit and other spicy flavors.

Victory Golden Monkey

Easy drinking and refreshing despite its 9.5% ABV, this one will sneak up on you if you aren’t careful.

Wicked Barley Monks Menage

When this tasty Belgian-style tripel is on tap, it treats drinkers to a solid, boozy experience redolent with cracker, spice and pepper.










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Posted by on December 21, 2017 in Beer, Beer Styles


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Adult website breaks in to beer industry

xhamster_beer_manufacturing_italian_brewery_porn_industry_usaFew things in this world are more popular than craft beer and internet porn. So, with this in mind, one of the most popular internet adult entertainment sites has now gone in to the beer business by producing their own ale., the porn site that has commissioned the beer, has a history of innovating in the industry. Last year the company introduced the first porn star search reality program called “The X Factor.” With xHamster Beer, the company is looking to leverage its marketing prowess beyond adult entertainment and in to private and VIP marketing.

But, why would a porn purveyor want to go in to the brewing business? According to the company’s press release, it was the brainchild of a “beer-addict project manager at xHamster [who] decided that the company should create a new SFW (safe for work) product that will be loved and needed by everyone.”

The company began the search for a brewer to produce the beer and landed on Italian craft beer manufacturer K&L Beer. The brewer, based out of Veneto, Italy, specializes in producing brews with natural and organic ingredients. Their beers are preservative free, unpasteurized and unfiltered.

Dubbed “the world’s first porn beer,” xHamster Beer is a Belgian-style tripel brewed with five malt varieties, two varieties of hops, Italian organic honey and spices. The flavor is said to be very full-bodied, slightly sweet and spicy. And, at 8.5%, the beer packs a considerable wallop.

Blair Williams, winner of the “The X Factor,” brand ambassador for xHamster and adult film star has appeared in a promotional video for the beer (see below).

“From its sweet honey taste,” she said in a Tweet to me. “To the way the ice cold xHamster Beer goes down my throat, I just can’t get enough of it.”

Marketed with the slogan, “Double Your Pleasure,” (a bit odd because the beer is a tripel) xHamster Beer is geared towards adult entertainment venues and high end clubs. The whimsical packaging consists of a dark-colored bottle emblazoned with a gold label featuring a grinning hamster.

“It is now time to enjoy a quality beer with your best source for adult entertainment,” says Alex Hawkins, a spokesman for xHamster.  “Giving back to our dedicated fans is our number one priority. After so much demand for xHamster Beer, we decided it is only fair that we make it available for everyone.”

After the first, limited-quantity run of the beer became a hit with fans and friends of the company, the decision was made to put the beer in to wider distribution. The company partnered German online beverage shop Urban Drinks and released xHamster Beer to a wider audience.

Demand for the beer was stratospheric and the shop sold out within five days. xHamster Beer became the number one selling beer on Urban drinks within a week and shot to the number three position among all drinks sold on the site.

Posters on the popular beer check-in site Untappd, give the brew mixed reviews and an overall rating of three out of five stars. As of the writing of this article there are no reviews of the beer on the Beer Advocate or Rate Beer web sites.

Currently, xHamster Beer is only available in Europe. But, according to the press release, xHamster is actively seeking distributors across the globe including in the United States.


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Posted by on January 5, 2017 in Beer, Beer Releases


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