02 November 2009

All the threes

Collaboration, collaboration, collaboration -- that's where the action is at the geek-focused breweries around the world at the moment: get some extra wow factor into your beer by inviting someone else who brews highly-sought-after beer to work on one with you. Credibility for all!

Sometimes, though, two breweries just isn't enough. Which is why California legends Stone got together with their neighbours to the south Alesmith, then roped in the globetrotting king of the Danish beer geeks Mikkel Borg Bjergsø, to brew a beer. What style? Why a tripel, of course.

The result is Alesmith Mikkeller Stone Belgian Style Tripel Ale, seemingly just another in the growing list of hopped-up Belgian-style strong blonde ales. I was expecting something along the lines of Houblon Chouffe or Hop-It, but I was wrong.

The first clue was the lack of clumpy or hazy Belgian yeast residue. It's a very clear amber colour, with just a few bits hanging suspended, as in jelly. It follows from this that the body is a big'un, supporting a thunking 8.7% ABV: thick and greasy is how I'd describe it, very unBelgian. The dominant taste is mandarin fruitiness from some very generous American hopping, and absolutely delicious it is too. There's not a whole lot else -- a gentle sparkle, a pleasant warmth -- but mostly it's clean, hoppy and distinctly Californian. It's the simpler sort of three-brewer, transatlantic, hybrid style ale. I didn't miss the Belgian yeast complexity one little bit.

9 comments:

  1. Alesmith Mikkeller Stone. Sounds like a firm of lawyers, although clearly more interesting.

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  2. does it cost as much as the freakin lawyers tho?

    Heywood100

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  3. I think a "No Win, No Fee" price model for beer would be excellent. Although there'd probably be implications on your wealth if a beer was a winner...

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  4. Tried it a year ago in San Diego. One of my favorite beers of the trip.

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  5. where did you get this? sounds fascinating.
    derek

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  6. It came from De Bierkoning in Amsterdam. Most of the really interesting stuff on this blog over the next few months did.

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  7. ah, won't be popping down there in the motor so! any other sightings of it?

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  8. Not from me, but you keep looking. Hope springs, and all that.

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  9. This sounds delightful. I wonder where I can find a bottle in these parts?

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