What’s the deal with Trappist beers?

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What’s the deal with Trappist beers?

Trappist-style beers, right? Single, dubbel, tripel, quadrupel—why don’t you just go ahead and supersize me? But seriously, Trappist-style beers seem to be one of the most organized genres of beers, but still prove to be a bit mystifying. Nope, a tripel isn’t “one larger” than a dubbel—it isn’t even the same color. So, what’s the deal with Trappist-style beers?

Technically, Trappist beers are produced by 11 recognized abbeys mostly throughout Europe, with the six oldest residing in Belgium (Rochefort dates back to the 1500s). Yep, we’re talking about monks making beer, and the beer comes in all shapes and sizes. Actually, make that strength and colors. It just so happens that here at New Belgium, we make (or have made) all of them. So, let’s dig in and see exactly what these beers are all about.


SINGLE (or ENKEL)

What’s the deal: These lower-ABV beers (call ’em “session Trappist beers”…just kidding) are often brewed just for the consumption of monks, so it’s kind of rare to see a certified Trappist single in the market. Apparently the monks favor this style so much they don’t want us to try it.

We make one: Well, we made one called Porch Swing, which was the revival beer in our Spring Folly Pack. Pepper, bubblegum, citrus and light caramel malts colored the highly quaffable beer.


DUBBEL

What’s the deal: These heady beers are usually the second-lightest offering in a Trappist portfolio, while still clocking in somewhere around 7% ABV (boozy!). The signature marks of a dubbel are spicy/fruity yeast notes and dark malts, with accompanying flavors of chocolate and dried fruits like figs, raisins or prunes. It’s a ruby-hued brew and it kind of tastes that way, too.

We make one: You know it as Abbey.


TRIPEL

What’s the deal: Slightly boozier than dubbels, usually reaching north of 8% ABV, but with brighter (some might say zestier) character. This golden-hued style marries peppery notes with citrusy lemon and orange, while a soft, rounded malt backbone fills out the sip. Effervescent with a balanced bitter finish, tripels are both elegant and intoxicating.

We make one: Have you tried Trippel?


QUADRUPEL

What the deal: It’s kind of like a bigger, boozier dubbel. These brawny beers (upwards to 13% ABV) are packed with rich, complex dark malt flavors like chocolate, figs and tobacco, as well as spicy yeast notes. Basically, quads are nothing short of full-bodied on the tongue. If there were ever a beer built for a snifter, this would be the one.

We make one: We made one. Remember Cascara Quad? That was our take on the booziest Trappist style, but we put a fun spin on the beer by adding cascara and dates.

So that’s the deal with Trappist beers — Chris

Trappist-style beers, right? Single, dubbel, tripel, quadrupel—why don’t you just go ahead and supersize me? But seriously, Trappist-style beers seem to be one of the most organized genres of beers, but still prove to be a bit mystifying. Nope, a tripel isn’t “one larger” than a dubbel—it isn’t even the same color. So, what’s the deal with Trappist-style beers?

Technically, Trappist beers are produced by 11 recognized abbeys mostly throughout Europe, with the six oldest residing in Belgium (Rochefort dates back to the 1500s). Yep, we’re talking about monks making beer, and the beer comes in all shapes and sizes. Actually, make that strength and colors. It just so happens that here at New Belgium, we make (or have made) all of them. So, let’s dig in and see exactly what these beers are all about.


SINGLE (or ENKEL)

What’s the deal: These lower-ABV beers (call ’em “session Trappist beers”…just kidding) are often brewed just for the consumption of monks, so it’s kind of rare to see a certified Trappist single in the market. Apparently the monks favor this style so much they don’t want us to try it.

We make one: Well, we made one called Porch Swing, which was the revival beer in our Spring Folly Pack. Pepper, bubblegum, citrus and light caramel malts colored the highly quaffable beer.


DUBBEL

What’s the deal: These heady beers are usually the second-lightest offering in a Trappist portfolio, while still clocking in somewhere around 7% ABV (boozy!). The signature marks of a dubbel are spicy/fruity yeast notes and dark malts, with accompanying flavors of chocolate and dried fruits like figs, raisins or prunes. It’s a ruby-hued brew and it kind of tastes that way, too.

We make one: You know it as Abbey.


TRIPEL

What’s the deal: Slightly boozier than dubbels, usually reaching north of 8% ABV, but with brighter (some might say zestier) character. This golden-hued style marries peppery notes with citrusy lemon and orange, while a soft, rounded malt backbone fills out the sip. Effervescent with a balanced bitter finish, tripels are both elegant and intoxicating.

We make one: Have you tried Trippel?


QUADRUPEL

What the deal: It’s kind of like a bigger, boozier dubbel. These brawny beers (upwards to 13% ABV) are packed with rich, complex dark malt flavors like chocolate, figs and tobacco, as well as spicy yeast notes. Basically, quads are nothing short of full-bodied on the tongue. If there were ever a beer built for a snifter, this would be the one.

We make one: We made one. Remember Cascara Quad? That was our take on the booziest Trappist style, but we put a fun spin on the beer by adding cascara and dates.

So that’s the deal with Trappist beers — Chris

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