The Bruery Trade Winds Tripel
The Bruery, Placentia, Calif.
$8.99/750 ml bottle; also available on draft at select beer bars.
Profile: Like all beers from The Bruery, Trade Winds Tripel summer seasonal is unfiltered, unpasteurized and bottle-conditioned. The Belgian-style golden ale also is loaded with complex flavors and aromas. Instead of the typical Belgian candi sugar, rice is added to the mash to lighten the body and increase the gravity to 8 percent alcohol by volume. A final twist is the addition of Thai basil. The result is an intriguing beer that comes off something like the equivalent of a culinary cocktail — bright, effervescent with fruity aromatics, bready malt, peppery spice and clean bitterness.
Pair with: The lively carbonation and bright, spicy flavors of Trade Winds are a natural match for Indian, Thai or Vietnamese dishes. And it would be a fun beer to pair with basil and Parmesan pesto or a variety of artisan cheeses and cured meats.
Bob Townsend is editor