Brewery: Oak Highlands Brewery, Dallas
Style: Belgian tripel-style ale; a golden-colored malty ale, with very high alcohol content and good carbonation. The style originated in 1933, when monks at Westmalle in Belgium brewed a strong pale ale and later baptized it "tripel" (triple). Some believe that the name refers to the ale's high alcohol content: The first tripel weighed in at 9.5% a.b.v., far exceeding that of the monks' previous strong beer style, called a dubbel (double). But more likely, the name refers to the high malt content -- up to three times the amount used in a standard Trappist "simple" ale.
The pitch: Brewed with American hops, this ale is more heavily hopped than a traditional Belgian tripel, yet the beer doesn't veer into bitterness. It shows a honeyed malt sweetness as well as yeast and wheat notes, in the aroma and on the palate. A nice funky quality and hints of clove lend complexity. This medium-bodied beer is surprisingly easy drinking, despite its alcohol content of 10%. It's a delicious, well-balanced tripel.
Fun facts: This is a year-round offering from 1-year-old Oak Highland Brewery in Dallas' Lake Highlands neighborhood. The beer was awarded best Belgian-style tripel for the Rockies/Southwest region at the 2016 United States Beer Tasting Championship Competition.
Serve it/pair it: Easy to drink on its own, but also a good partner for cheeses and cheesy dishes, like a Margherita pizza with lots of fresh basil. Try it with: blue cheese, triple crème cheeses, or sharp cheddars; cured meats like prosciutto; or even pasta with basil pesto.
Get some: Sold in 4-packs of 12-ounce cans for about $9.99 at Central Market, Whole Foods Market, Spec's, Total Wine; and many smaller stores with craft beer departments.