Minnesota beer talk is often overshadowed by the IPA and, in recent Beer of the Week honorees, by heavier, cold weather beers. Well, this week's spotlight falls on Brimstone from Boom Island, the veteran (by Minnesota standards) brewery founded in 2011 which recently moved to a larger facility on Washington Ave. Brimstone is a Belgian Tripel, and it brings a lighter complexion and sweeter flavor profile to the discussion.
The tripel is a clouded peachy gold in color and has a light and carbonated mouth feel that makes it easy to drink and great for pairing with more mild flavored foods, such as chicken or fish. There is a dehydrated fruit sweetness that's complemented by a touch of spice. The complexity doesn't outpace the enjoyment of the beer, which is something to keep in mind while drinking, as the 9.5% ABV will catch up with you in a hurry.
To further expand on the beer's origins, we caught up with Boom Island brewmaster Kevin Welch.
This beer is a tribute to the tradition of the strong beers brewed by monks within the walls of various abbeys around the Belgian countryside. My wife, Qiuxia, and I had the wonderful opportunity to spend a bit of time and experience the essence of this tradition during our trips to Belgium prior to opening Boom Island Brewing Company. Additionally, the very first beer that got me hooked on brewing in the Belgian tradition was a Trappist Tripel from the Abdij van Westmalle.
The Brimstone uses a special strain of yeast, he adds, "acquired while traveling in the Belgian countryside. This strain offers light notes of honey and clove-like flavor...[and] the beer finishes with a crisp effervescence and subtle sweetness that dissipates after a couple of seconds."