Ramp 9 (collaboration with homebrewer Kurt Smelser)
Style: Belgian Tripel
Grain: Belgian Pilsner, German Pilsner
Hops: Fuggle, Liberty
Extras: invert sugar, turbinado, blueberry blossom honey
Fermented with Belgian Yeast
Tasting notes: banana, white pepper, pound cake
Pair with: Beer Mussels (with a side order of fries), Summer Salad, or Moho Tacos
I've known Kurt for a long time, always crossing paths by way of beer. He's a cool dude that makes some deceptively strong beers. The Belgians are known for doing the same thing, so it makes sense that Kurt's favorite beers to brew are Belgians. We currently have a Belgian shaped hole in our beer portfolio so I knew just who to call to help fill it.
A quick history on the style - Tripel is a part of the Trappist brewery lineup. There are monks that dedicate their lives to God and beer but they don't spend much time thinking up names for their beers or styles. So most Trappist breweries have a Tripel/Triple, a Dubbel/Double, and a single (which actually does have some variation on name) all in descending ABV. Some breweries even have a Quad, but the monks typically top out at Tripel. From a recipe perspective, Tripels are pretty simple - usually just a base malt and a healthy dose of sugar. The magic happens in the yeast and how its used.
Kurt's Tripel keeps that simple but beautiful base malt and then mixes in a variety of sugars - including some blueberry honey from southwest Wisconsin. We let the yeast go wild and that's it - no spice or secret ingredients. And no monks.