Quality Control

A few days ago Ali and I received word that our friends and fellow food bloggers the Hot Knives will be making their way from Los Angeles to Portland this weekend. Educated cooks and all around great guys, the Knives are directly responsible for introducing Ali and I to Leo’s Tacos (a debt I will never be able to repay). The two are coming to the Rose City to cater a record release party for some of their friends.
While we anticipate their arrival I can’t help but reflect on the many amazing meals they have posted on their blog site over the past couple years. In honor of this sharp duo I have decided to review a couple of brews similar to the way they do it on their blog in an ongoing series they call ‘Hip Hops.’ For my own critique I have chosen two beers:
The first is a brew that the Knives themselves have already commented on, Westmalle Brewery’s Tripel. The second beer, Green Flash Trippel from Green Flash Brewing Co. in San Diego California is a popular domestic product crafted in a similar style to the Westmalle Tripel.
Tripel, Westmalle Brewery
There are only seven Trappist breweries that exist in the world, and the men from Westmalle have been perfecting their craft for some time now. Westmalle’s Martinus Dom, the town’s first abbot began making beer back in 1836, and it was until the early 20th century that the brewery’s product became available to a wide audience. In 1934 the brewery created their first Tripel beer, and today it stands as the exemplar of the style. This Tripel, and Trappist beers in general, have a very wide appeal because they age well in the bottle, and pair easily with a number of different foods. When poured, the Westmalle Tripel produced a fantastic head. The brew has an intense deep gold color. This particular Tripel boasts a combination of sweet flavors as well as peppery undertones that have over time become the standard for the style. No doubt it is the yeast that makes this beer so special. The beer will continue to develop complexity over time. Fr. Thomas, the brewmaster, recommends the three year-old with asparagus and the six year-old in zabaglione. Did I mention it was brewed by monks?
Trippel, Green Flash Brewing Co.
Made in San Diego, California, Green Flash Brewing Co.’s Trippel is a domestic homage to the aforementioned brew. When poured, this Trippel produced an impressive head that began to recede after a minute or so. The color of the beer is copper-like, and the flavor and aroma display the characteristic Trippel blend of sweet and spice. It seems likely that the folks at Green Flash utilize more fruit to sweeten their brew, as opposed to the pale candy sugar used by the men from Westmalle. When compared to its Belgium counterpart the Green Flash Trippel is much clearer and has less overall complexity, though it does do justice to the style, and is a polite, drinkable contemporary take on a time honored tradition.


Tim D. Roth said...

Hello again.

I think I may have visited the site run by the Hot Knives, definitely some interesting comparisons of food with detailed descriptions of why each item impressed or underwhelmed them.

I have been trying to like beer for a little while now, but maybe I don't know where to start. I just can't drink it slow. Right now I'm kind of stuck in the cider ditch. Maybe it is not a ditch, but it is one of the few alcoholic beverages remotely similar to beer that I can stand to drink slowly. I had one variety that Pause (on Interstate) serves that I really loved, it was a pear cider.

At any rate, you'll have to recommend a starting point to get me into beer. Also, once we get moved in to our house, you are both definitely invited for some sort of food event, hors d'oeuvres and dinner or just dinner or just socializing over some drinks. We would really like to hang out with you guys and have been wanting to for quite some time. I also am really looking forward to working with you, and again, wish you the best with your current proposal. You guys are awesome, keep up the foodness.

Metolius Mark * Student of...Everything said...

Experienced neophyte admits to knowing nothing

9 years as a beer wholesaler, with even a stint as Import Beer sales manager, and I know next to nothing. For me it was always like art...I know when I like it, but I can't interpret for others, or ven recommend. I DID like that San Digo offering you reviewed, though. Clean tasting, with character, but not alt all heavy handed. How's that for a semi-snobby two cents!