The Bruery applies its unique interpretation to any style it brews, and with Tradewinds it added Thai basil (a flavor, I admit, I never quite detected). Tripel is not far from golden strong ale, the delicious, benign-looking, straw colored beer that hides a vicious kick to the uninitiated. And golden strong ale is an extension of the wide open saison style. In short, The Bruery and its Tradewinds, along its other beers, allowed me to venture into beer styles I did not know existed. I can trace my affinity for wild ales and sours to Tradewinds. I plan to find a few bottles of Tradewinds and savor them not just for nostalgia, but for the great beer that is Tradewinds.
Thursday, April 28, 2016
I read on Twitter last week that this year's release of The Bruery's Tradewinds Tripel is its last. It was a 140-character punch to the gut. When I started this blog nearly nine years ago I don't think I had ever tried a proper Belgian beer. The beer blogs I read back then raved about Belgian beers and I knew I needed to, at minimum, have a basic understanding of Belgian styles to have any credibility writing about beer. The Bruery, a start-up brewery in 2008 that brewed Belgian-style beers, helped my education. One of my favorite styles was Belgian Tripel, and I loved Tradewinds. Its prominent yeast, multi-layered complexity, and smooth taste helped define tripels for me. How could I have drank beer for so many years without knowing about the subtle genius of even basic Belgian beers?
I just read on the West Coaster's website that Downtown Johnny Brown's is closing tomorrow, April 29th. Downtown Johnny Brown's, which opened in 1987, was a craft beer pioneer. It was one of the first restaurants/bars in town to have an extensive, craft-focused tap list. More important than the number of taps was the thought that went into the beer selection. It was not like a Yard House or other mega-tap restaurant where with fifty taps there are only about five beers worth drinking. Downtown Johnny Brown's tap list required reading before ordering so you would not miss something good. I liked the throwback feel, too, if 1987 is a throwback. Downtown Johnny Brown's reminded me of a simpler time in my life, and I am going to miss it.