Glassware: As with many Belgian inspired beers, glassware is of vital importance for experiencing the full effects of the beer. Stemmed glassware is best for the beer to allow it to warm slowly, specifically snifter or tulip styled stemware are the best choices.
Description: Belgian Independence Day 2015 Tripel pours a golden hue with a light copper highlight and a clean white frothy head with thick lacing on the glass. The aroma is exceptionally fruity from the hops with hints of apricot, tangerine, orange peel and melon with the Ommegang yeast providing hints of spicing throughout. The taste follows the nose with bright fruit characteristic up front tipping very heavily toward the citrus fruit spectrum. The hop flavors are quickly followed by honey and bread malts, a gentle spicy flavor from the yeast shadows while all having a sweet underlying citrus character. The medium body and effervescent carbonation aid in giving this beer a smooth quality that is highly drinkable and possesses no signs of the 9.2 percent ABV locked inside. The finish is long and dry with lingering citrus and fruit still apparent. This is yet another world class beer from a world class brewery.
Food pairing: The strong fruit characteristics with the bright carbonation and medium body make this a beer great to pair with a variety of courses. Try pairing this with wild game meats for a wonderful dinner selection. The best meat choices to pair with BID 2015 are: rabbit, venison, ostrich and wild boar. The subtly sweet flavors of the meat come to the forefront as the semi-sweet malts and delicate hop flavors seemingly pull the flavors out from the meat. While the beer is certainly deserving of its place next to the main course, it is a fitting beer to enjoy with charcuterie as it is delicate enough to not overwhelm even the lightest of meats. Meats are most definitely a picture-perfect pairing with BID 2015, however this is also a wonderful beer to have with dessert and one pairing in particular is the perfect way to cap off any evening. Pair this beer with a creamy crème brûlée and the beer will unlock its secrets of rich chewy malts and the hop profile will coat the dessert with a variety of fruit flavors and transport your palate to the equivalency or “mouth heaven.”
The Final Word: Brewery Ommegang has been brewing world class Belgian inspired beers since 1997 at their brew house in beautiful Cooperstown, New York. The brewery has grown tremendously since then and so has their beer portfolio. No matter what direction the recipes take, the brewery has always stuck to their Belgian inspired roots. This year’s release of their Belgian Independence Day uses a beautifully crafted Belgian Tripel as a base beer with a hefty dosing of dry hopping with the bright Mandarina Bavaria hop, a hop noted for its citrusy tangerine flavor and aroma. The result is a beer that will be loved by all Belgian beer fans, and one that will win over many die-hard American craft beer lovers. While the beer was brewed as a celebration of Belgian independence it can be enjoyed during any celebration, so just make an excuse to celebrate and enjoy this beer.
Remember, enjoy responsibly!
Derek Warren is a beer fanatic, avid homebrewer and beer historian. Derek can be heard weekly on the Beer Geeks Radio Hour at noon on Sundays on WILK 103.1 FM with past episodes available on iTunes.
Brewer- Brewery Ommegang
Beer: Belgian Independence Day Dry-Hopped Tripel (2015)
Weekender Rating: WWWWV