The Brewhouse: Saint Barb’s Tripel

Posted: September 11, 2011 in Bottle, California, Growler, U.S.A.

The first day of our road trip up the coast of California was quite rushed. In all honesty if I were to plan it again I would have included another one night stop. The plan was to drive up from LA and hit up The Brewhouse in Santa Barbara for lunch, wander around that town for a few hours, then continue our way up north for an evening in Santa Cruz. Now, we didn’t actually arrive in Santa Barbara until well after 2 in the afternoon. We’d stopped about an hour back to grab a quick bite, because we were all starving, so no one was really hungry. I ended up just grabbing a growler from the brew pub and we hit the road again for another 8 hours of driving to Santa Cruz. If I were to plan it again I’d have spent the night either in Santa Barbara or in Santa Maria which might have been an hour and a half north. Anyways, we arrive in Santa Cruz around 10:30 and sign into our hotel. After quickly settling in we head for a quick run through the board walk and then back to the hotel to gulp down some Belgian style tripel.

I can’t tell you that much regarding the brew pub history wise. They don’t have much info up on their website and digging through the Internet all I’ve found are review site talking about the food. I can tell you they do all their brewing on site in 7 barrel batches using two large copper vessels. To be honest I’m not sure if this is how all brew pubs work but at the Brewhouse once the beer is done fermenting it goes into serving tanks. Which go directly to the taps in the brew pub. They have quite the extensive variety of beers, which in all honesty I wish I’d been able to try, but I chose to have myself the Belgian Tripel.

Shamefully poured into plastic hotel glasses, yes I know I should be burned on a stake, the Tripel pours surprisingly clear and golden in color. The first beer poured was botched from my lack of experience pouring from a growler. The second though, had a thick, solid finger of pure white frothy head. With an amazing retention the head very slowly subsided. The aroma is heavy with Belgian yeast and honey, with light tones of spices and citrusy fruits. Thankfully, from being slightly warmed in the eight-hour car ride, the hotels fridge was able to put just the right amount of chill without making this Belgian to cold to hide its flavors. The taste was very sweet, it reminded me of French toast slathered in syrup, without the cinnamon though. There is also a slight hint of pineapple and ginger. It was syrupy sweet with an obviously thick bready feel to it. With this brew being 9.3% it did have a mild “burn” to it, but not as much as you’d expect.

9.3% Tripel


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