New Belgium Brewing is not a company that’s going to sit back and keep doing things the same way they’ve always been done just because. They are constantly trying to innovate and explore. Case in pint: the brewery has decided to tweak its longest running beers, Abbey Belgian Style Dubbel and Trippel Belgian Style Ale. New Belgium says these two beers are being reimagined and updated for a new era.
Both beers started life as homebrew recipes more than 25 years ago and new developments in hop and malt manufacturing have been incorporated. Subtle recipe tweaks will allow the malty and hoppy characteristics of each beer to shine through. A new yeast strain will help balance the esters and phenol while emphasizing the Belgian character of these beers. Although these are among the first Belgian-inspired craft beers produced in the U.S., New Belgium brewers could not resist tinkering with these classics. Internal sensory panelists affirmed the results a success.
“As an American craft brewer founded on Belgian tradition, we have a deep respect for our history and our roots,” said NBB Specialty Brand Manger, Lauren Salazar. “And of course, there’s a ‘New’ in our name for a reason. As brewers of craft beer, we need to embrace growth and change and continue to push ourselves to make the best beers possible. We think these changes exemplify the very best of old world Belgium and new craft technique.”
In addition to Munich malt, Trippel now incorporates Pilsener malt and one additional hop, Hallertau Mittelfrüh, for an herbal and spicy Nobel hop nose. Trippel is classically smooth and complex, with notes of fruit and spice before a pleasantly warm and crisp finish. Alcohol has increased slightly to 8.5 percent, 40 IBUs.
Abbey has eight different malts including caramel, Munich, chocolate and now oats for mouthfeel. The addition of Caramunich and Special W malt add rich tones of chocolate and dark caramel with hints of dried cherries, burnt sugar and figs. Sweet and roasty up front, followed by a slightly bitter finish, Abbey is a true-to-style representation of the monastic beers of Belgium. Alcohol rests at 7 percent, 20 IBU.
For a short time, both new and old versions may be found side-by-side on shelves. Beer drinkers can identify the new versions by their expiration dates; any Trippel with a Best Buy date of 4/17/16 or later is the new version; any Abbey with a Best Buy date of 6/19/16 or later is the new version as well.