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Beer Street Journal Video: Inside SweetWater 18 Belgian-style Tripel

SweetWater Brewing Company turns 18 this month. To celebrate the milestone, the brewery will release SweetWater 18 Belgian-style Tripel. It marks the 4th, anniversary offering.

SweetWater’s Zak Ray runs down 18, the brewery’s first corked and caged offering. SweetWater purchased the bottle filler from Brooklyn Brewery. 18 will kick off a line of special corked and caged offerings, including a sour ale later this year.

SweetWater 18 uses Ardennes yeast, Centennial, Amarillo, Sterling and Saaz hops. Then bottled conditioned prior to shipping.

Style: Belgian-Style Tripel
Availability: 750ml Bottles, Draft. Limited.
Arrival: Mid February, 2015
10% ABV

Past Anniversary beers:

SweetWater 15 – ESB, 10%
SweetWater 16 – Red Wheatwine, 11%
SweetWater 17 – Farmhouse Ale/Saison, 9%

5 thoughts on “Beer Street Journal Video: Inside SweetWater 18 Belgian-style Tripel

    • I’m not sure if that comment is sarcasm or not. I hope it is, as I believe you read BSJ a good bit, and for that I am grateful.

      Here’s how it is. SweetWater has been working on this sour for quite a while now. Even bought a 750ml cork & cage machine to do things right. The brewery has been paying really close attention to the resulting beer, and as bacteria, and nature would have it, it’s not ready yet.

      That leaves the brewery with two options. Ship it as is, or wait. That’s a real precarious position for a craft brewery. Because there are people that are excited for this beer. That’s awesome. If you don’t make the deadline, they will bitch, and hate you for it. Then again, if you release it and it sucks, they will hate you for it too. (You might be that type of person, I don’t know.) Precarious right?

      Until literally yesterday, SweetWater didn’t know how it was going to go. Nature [the magic of the bugs in the barrel] says, this sour isn’t ready for the big time. So, the time line for release will be moved. Probably to mid-year. Basically until the beer is sour. Until the beer is ready. Just like some of the best sour makers in the world, from Cantillon to Russian River, the beer is ready when it’s ready. (This is Jester King’s mantra.)

      I haven’t reported on this yet, because I’m giving the brewery the courtesy to address this as they see fit. Then, I will change the details.

      SweetWater’s first sour will release this year. When it’s ready.

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