This easter Sunday we are brewing a Belgian tripel. We figured this would be a tasty beer to have once we can finally go sit outside on the porch again. And we sure are fans of Belgian tripels! We were surprised that we needed so much sugar and have to go out to the store for it, but we needed a poblano for tonight’s taco dinner anyway.
6 lbs extra light dry malt extract, 16 oz cracked pale malt grain, 8 oz cracked German carafoam malt grain, 2 lbs white cane sugar, 2 oz Saaz/Tettang hop pellets, WYeast Belgian ale yeast (WLP570), etc.
What are the references for this beer? There are two sets: religious and musical. First, it’s Easter which is celebrated by many people but not us, although we can appreciate the sense of occasion. Also, the name of the recipe from Yankee Brewer is “3 Kings.” It’s a Belgian abbey style beer, and some religious men live in abbeys. The song for this beer was produced by a company called Christian Burial Music.
My Dad’s favorite joke (he told me this on the phone this morning): Knock, knock. Who’s there? Ether. Ether who? Ether bunny! Hahahahaha!
Second, the musical reference is from 10,000 Maniacs song from their album Blind Man’s Zoo. Natalie Merchant has been on our minds this last week because we received tickets through my work to see her at UConn and even got backstage passes, although we didn’t meet her (but my coworker did!). However, I met her and her daughter the next day when she toured the camp – happy happy! She has been a true supporter of camp.
When deciding on the beer name and theme, we knew we had to involve Natalie Merchant so I looked for her most religious song which is ‘Jubilee.’ One of the lyrics references “Matthew 17:15.” A long time ago (before google), I dated someone from a hellfire and brimstone sort of evangelical family so I asked her what the biblical reference was and she cheerfully pulled out one of many bibles to tell me: “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is a lunatic and is very ill; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water.” Today I read the lyrics again and realized how they are about christian terrorism, which is profoundly stirring given recent years’ incidents.
Erin reminds me that Natalie Merchant and 10,000 Maniacs had other songs about the brighter side of life such as “Kind and Generous” and “Wonder” and “Circle Dream.” One of the things I love is her ability to bring forth emotions from the entire range of human feeling and experience. I hope this beer reflects the brighter side.