As I mentioned in my article on Monday, I don’t have a ton to say about beer right now, and it feels a little weird writing about beer with everything going on in the country. That being said, I am going to try and keep knocking out some content, hopefully people can accept it as a little diversion while still focusing on the important things happening right now.
There is a dearth of high quality local Belgian style ales on the market right now, everyone is obsessed with IPAs , stouts and lagers, it feels like saisons, tripels and quads get ignored. Many breweries that started as Belgian-centric have moved onto other styles that sell better, and some have abandoned their Belgian beers completely. I have loved these beers for a long time, with their expressive yeast strains and complex mixtures of flavor and I am always looking for tasty Belgian style beers to try. I was excited to hear about the opening of Brewery Extrava, the Belgian brewery in Portland, I made a special stop last summer to check it out and try some of their beers. I am not sure when I will get another chance to make a trip to Portland, but fortunately Brewery Extrava recently sent me a few of their newer offerings to sample. Included in the package was their abbey-style Tripel and Tessera 1, the first in a rotating series of Belgian IPAs, this one brewed with Amarillo and Mosaic hops. Both beers are available on a rotating basis in cans (16 oz for the IPA, 12 for the tripel) and eventually on draft again.
Brewery Extrava Tripel pours clear light orange with a solid white head. The aroma features some fruity and spicy Belgian style yeast. The yeast also leads the flavor, notes of peppercorn, apricot and bubblegum. The malt adds touches of rock candy, biscuits and crackers. Some herbal and floral hops round out the flavor. Extrava Tripel is medium bodied and goes down very easy for a beer with 9.5% ABV. The finish is dry with some lingering malt and yeast flavors. This is a really well crafted version of an underappreciated style, and a beer I will definitely be drinking more of when I can get my hands on it. Hoppy Boston score: 4.5/5.
Brewery Extrava Tessera 1 pours hazy deep yellow with a solid white head. The aroma features a mixture of expressive Belgian style yeast and fruity/floral hops. The hops lead the flavor, notes of orange, papaya and resin along with a little bitter bite. The yeast adds hint of pear and peppercorn. The malts round out the flavor with touches of cereal and bread crust. Tessera 1 is light and easy drinking, moderate at 6.5% ABV. The finish is crisp and dry with some lingering hop and yeast flavors. This is a well crafted Belgian style IPA, a nice mix of flavors from the hops and the yeast. I am looking forward to trying new iterations of Tessera in the future! Hoppy Boston score: 4.25/5.
Previous Brewery Extrava Reviews: