Brouwerij Biermaekers Driemasten - Bux Tripel (RBC Exclusive)
Serving Temperature:42–48° F
Suggested Glassware:Chalice, Goblet, or Tulip Glass
Hops:Cascade, Northern Brewer, Centennial, 7784
This month we’re pleased to feature Brouwerij Biermaekers Driemasten’s Bux Tripel, our highlight of the brewery’s current lineup, and one of the most satisfying Belgian tripels we have tried in quite a while. This fruity, spicy, herbaceous strong golden ale was brewed with locally sourced ingredients and various classic hops—including Cascade, Northern Brewer, Centennial, and 7784 (a unique variety that was initially discovered growing wild in Belgium). Bux Tripel is top fermented and unfiltered, receiving a secondary fermentation in the bottle.
This beer’s picked up a number of recent accolades, including gold awards at the European Beer Challenge 2019 and America Awards 2020. To date this beer has only been available on draft in the U.S., and only in limited amounts to a handful of markets in Florida. The bottled Bux Tripel (which gets that crucial refermentation in its bottle) has never been available here before, and we’re getting it imported as an exclusive offering for the Rare Beer Club.
Bux Tripel pours a vibrant, honey-golden color capped by an exceptional layering of white, mousse-like foam that fills the remainder of the glass. Great retention and lacing. The look pulls you in: bright gold, big foam, tiny bubbles, that bottle conditioning showing nicely.
Fruit and spice lead the aromatics, emphasizing notes of honey, toastiness, and white pepper. Great mixture of fruity and phenolic elements, and so much of it coming from well-handled fermentation: ripe pear and apple, the slightest hint of banana, plus vibrant pepper and clove adding some welcome bitterness to the package. The alcohol stays well hidden here, and this release delivers again and again on core tripel parameters: generous toasty maltiness, vibrant yeast characteristcs, and just a highly engaging combination of ripe fruits, honey, and spice.
First sip presents a medium-full body with restrained sweetness, with the alcohol staying well hidden as in the aroma. Lots of honeyed maltiness, alongside fresh fruit like apple, pear, and subtle berry notes. The Belgian yeast impact is especially generous and well realized, bringing a ton of that fruit presence forth, plus pepper and subtle cloves. This tripel is incredibly easy to get into, with its fruit/spice duality playing out atop a toasty, bready core of rounded malt, everything opening up as this is allowed to warm up in the glass. This beer’s hops (Cascade, Northern Brewer, Centennial, and 7784) gain emphasis near the finish, providing welcome bitterness, grass, and herbaceous notes, giving this a fresher feel overall than you’d expect. A brilliantly executed tripel overall, closing with almond, toast, and a crisp mineral bitterness.
We expect Bux Tripel to age smoothly in one’s cellar for years to come, but those herbal hop additions will be most prominent early on. The core rounded sweetness, herbal qualities, and overall high alcohol and carbonation are what you’ll want to keep in mind for pairings. We’d try this with prosciutto, basil-topped pizza, grilled asparagus, or roasted turkey.
The Bux lineup of beers hails from West Flanders—the only coastal province of Belgium— which budges up against the North Sea. The flat, lowlands region is known for, among other things, its especially fine production of grains and hops. Brouwerij Biermaekers Driemasten is just a short distance from the city of Ypres, a historic center of cloth and wool production, and the brewery’s core line, in fact, finds its roots in this adjacent industry. Back in 1998, for the 20th anniversary of a local sheep breeders association, a one-off craft beer was created to celebrate. It was called “Bukske”, in reference to the local dialect for a ram/male sheep.
Many years later, in July 2014, micro-brewer Dieter Van Biervliet discovered a few bottles of this original Bukske anniversary beer left aging in a cellar. They still tasted quite good despite the fact that they were about 16 years old at that point. Dieter was able to recreate that first Bukske release from its original recipe, and an initial run of 3,000 bottles of this relaunched beer quickly sold out. Since then, the brewery has been releasing limited-edition batches of Bukske from time to time, as well as using the lessons learned from that beer as inspiration for their own exceptional line of “Bux” beers (which proved a bit easier to pronounce).
In 2015, the Brouwerij Biermaekers Driemasten beers were awarded use of the Belgian Hops label for using only Belgian hops in the production of their beers. They also were granted the right of being an authentic West Flemish regional product—based upon their ties to regional beer history and the use of brewing ingredients specific to the province. 2016 brought more demand for the brewery’s beers, and the decision was made to expand into a separate line of Bux beers made solely with local hops. The Bux beer lineup has since expanded to include a Blond, Brown, Gold, Amber, Session, and Tripel formulation, and this month we’re excited to offer the bottled Bux Tripel to our Rare Beer Club members, which is our favorite from the Bux lineup. This exceptionally generous, golden Belgian tripel is brewed with Cascade, Northern Brewer, Centennial, and 7784 hop varieties, and this will be the first time that the bottled-conditioned version of their Bux Tripel will be making it stateside—exclusively for the Rare Beer Club.
The Bux line of releases are brewed with the best Belgian hops that Dieter is able to source, and he stays in close communication with the brewery’s hop growers throughout the year—keeping track of hop quality evolution and exchanging ideas about how to best attain various hop flavors and aromatics from each annual harvest. The brewery has also created a number of other intriguing offerings in recent years, including a Belgian pale ale called Steene Molen (aka “the Brick Mill”, commemorating details of Belgium’s street horse racing) and a project with Pol Meersman from Brouwerij Dikke Jan to create Apero.beer, an 8.5% ABV beer that is based around the herbs used for making gin. For the latest info on Brouwerij Biermaekers Driemasten, upcoming beer projects, and more, visit the brewery’s website at buxbeer.com.
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