Size: 330 ml
ABV: 8 %
Arend Tripel is a beer made by the de Ryck brewery, and is just one of a range of Arend beers that is made in homage to the previous incarnation of this brewery.
It all started back in 1886, when the eponymous Gustaaf de Ryck bought a small landholding in the village of Herzele for the princely sum of 5000 Belgian Francs (the equivalent now of just 124 Euros). He collected some ramshackle equipment and built a functioning brewery more for a hobby than anything. He wasn’t entirely sure what he was doing though, and locals were desperate for some decent beer, so he packed his bags for Bremen in Germany. There were no brewing schools in Belgium at the time, and thus he needed to travel to learn the art of brewing. He soon returned with imported tubs and kettles and launched his new venture – De Gouden Arend (The Golden Eagle), named in honour of his brewing mentor in Germany.
Things went very well until World War I, when ironically the German forces took over the village and seized the brewery’s horses and kettles, forcing it to close. There was another brewery in the village by now called Dooreman’s and de Ryck continued to soldier on brewing using their equipment. Once the war was over and the Germans had been vanquished, Gustaaf was determined to reinvent the brewery, and did so immediately ridding himself of the link to the German’s who had almost ruined his dream. He chose to rename the brewery after himself, and from this day on this small family brewery has been known as de Ryck.
The Arend beers are hence a recent incarnation, but still bear the logo of the Golden Eagle. I first got my hands on the Arend Tripel which was a fairly enjoyable standard clean and crisp blond tripel, and certainly not in my opinion worthy of the best Belgian tripel which it won in the European Beer Star competition in 2008. According to de Ryck, this was a prestigious international prize although I guess they would say that. I am never clear how these awards are considered, but I challenge anybody to compare this to the Westmalle Tripel (#149).