Bison Brewing makes a Belgian Tripel as a special seasonal and I managed to catch this one on tap at Beer Revolution this last week. Instead of using Belgian candy sugar, Bison keeps to local flavor by making their Tripel with Frog Hollow orange marmalade–which is a combination I could only anticipate as winning.
A small, white head tops off this deep golden beer with little lacing. It’s medium bodied but drinks a little lighter than a typical Tripel. Citrus, of course, pops out shifting between tart and sweet bearing a similarity to candied orange peels. The hops lend a tangy bitterness that complements the tartness of the orange, keeping it from seeming too sugary. Bison tends to keep their beers low in alcohol and this is apparent here also, making the flavor stand out with its complexity from clove spice and vanilla to pine. Bring these flavors out by pairing it with pork chops, duck, a zesty salad or crème brulee for something sweeter.
Bison rarely skimps on flavor, although sometimes their brews turn out too sweet or malty for my liking. In this situation, they keep it fresh and smooth. Definitely give this one a shot if you come across it!
Photo credit: bisonbrew.com