Tripel

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For the Winkel Tripel map projection, see Winkel Tripel.
Westmalle Tripel

Tripel is a term used in the Low Countries to describe a strong ale.[1] The term was notably used in 1956 by the Trappist brewery at Westmalle to rename the strongest beer in their range.[2] Westmalle Tripel was widely copied by the breweries of Belgium,[3] and in 1987 another Trappist brewery, Koningshoeven in the Netherlands, also expanded their range with La Trappe Tripel.[4] The term is applied by a range of secular brewers to a strong ale in the style of Westmalle Tripel.[5]

History[edit]

The term Tripel comes from the Low Countries - that is, the modern Netherlands and Belgium, though the origin of the term is unknown. The three main theories are that it indicates strength, either by a series of marks, such as crosses, on a cask - X for the weakest strength, XX for medium strength, and XXX for the strongest beer, or by reference to the original gravity of a beer which roughly corresponds to 3% abv, 6% abv and 9% abv.[2] Another theory is that the name stems from part of the brewing process, in which brewers use up to three times the amount of malt than a standard Trappist "Simple"[6].

The modern origin of tripels lies in Belgium, in the 1930s. Westmalle released a beer under the name Superbier. It was a strong blonde[citation needed] ale and was very likely based on a blonde beer[citation needed] the monks had been brewing sporadically since 1931. In 1956 they renamed it Tripel, and the popularity of that brand ensured the name is still strongly associated with the Westmalle brewery.[7][8] In 1956, the recipe was modified by Brother Thomas, the head brewer of Westmalle,[9] by the addition of more hops, and it then took on the name Tripel, and it has remained essentially unchanged since.

Tim Webb in his Good Beer Guide to Belgium says that some of the pre-1956 beers called Tripel were dark.[10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Michael Jackson's Beer Hunter - Beer Styles: Tripel". www.beerhunter.com. Retrieved 2009-07-11. 
  2. ^ a b "Michael Jackson's Beer Hunter - Down on your knees to bless monks' top ale". www.beerhunter.com. Retrieved 2009-07-11. 
  3. ^ The Great Beers of Belgium, Michael Jackson, MMC, 1997, page 226
  4. ^ The Taste of Beer, Roger Protz, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1998, page 140.
  5. ^ Belgian Ale, Pierre Rajotte, Brewers publications, 1992, pages 31-34
  6. ^ http://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/style/58/
  7. ^ Heavenly Beer, Roger Protz, Carroll &Brown, 2002, page 125
  8. ^ "Michael Jackson's Beer Hunter - Down on your knees to bless monks' top ale". www.beerhunter.com. Retrieved 2009-07-11. 
  9. ^ "Michael Jackson's Beer Hunter - Visiting the brand-new Trappist brewery". www.beerhunter.com. Retrieved 2009-07-11. 
  10. ^ Tim Webb: Good Beer Guide to Belgium, 6th edition, p82

External links[edit]