In French-speaking parts of the world, notably Belgium, there are two fabled figures associated with the Christmas season. Saint Nicholas is well renowned, but it is the esteemed Père Noël that checks to see if children have been well-behaved and rewards the good ones with toys and candy while leaving twigs in the shoes of the naughty. Boulder’s own Twisted Pine Brewing Company seeks to pay tribute to the legend with the year’s last release from its Artisan Ale Project.
Noel Tripel is a bold and golden Belgian beauty and marks Twisted Pine’s first foray into the Tripel style popularized by Trappist monasteries in Belgium. Spice-scented hop character floats fragrantly from the glass, mingling with sourdough aromatics from Pilsner malt and fruity esters provided by the yeast. Weighing in at 35 IBU, the beer’s flavor starts off with spicy bitterness from the addition of Magnum and Tettnang hops rounded off by bready malt notes, and finishes with a delicate smoothness that cloaks a strength of 9% ABV. While full of flavor, the body is light and creamy and invites one to sip repeatedly.
Longest Night, a painting by local artist Richard Dotson, bedecks the label for Noel Tripel and Dotson will display his artwork on the walls of Twisted Pine’s ale house for the December 1st release party, which goes from noon to 9pm. There is no list for admittance and all are welcome. However, brewers will consult Père Noël’s list and may place twigs in the shoes of the misbehaved. The merry ale will be available on draft and in 750 ml, wax-dipped bottles at the brewery, along with a few other select locations in and around Boulder.