We shift gears and venture into the threads series. The original recipe was a blend of brown, stout and pale ale and the theme continues to evolve. Nectar Threads is two golden beers, aged for over two years with the addition of guava and passion fruit.
As the beer marinates inside the barrels it begins to take on acetic acid from the wood. “It’s like taking a shot of whiskey,” says Yester. “You can feel it in your chest. The acidic qualities play nicely with the fruit; lifting them. When you feel the slickness on this beer, that’s from the oak.”
TRiNiTY serves the nectar in sample, half or full pours, much like wine. But due to the acidity it’s not available in bottles. Threads beers are only up for grabs in the tap room, select venues or at special events. Yester did recently send a few kegs to the brand new sour bar in Denver, Goed Zuur.
TRiNiTY, like breweries, Russian River Brewing Co. in Santa Rosa, California or Paradox Beer Company in Divide, Colorado seem to blur the lines between wine making and brewing. Using outside variables, like specific barrels, they can optimize flavor profiles and extract different characteristics that dramatically alter a beers composition.
“I like French chardonnay barrels because they have a little bit of malic acid,” says Yester. “I think that’s the most delicate acid but it has a lot of flavor to it. It’s citrusy and not only do I like it in our sour beers but it tastes good in our saisons. The toastiness is right in line and matches really well. We just got some zinfandel barrels in and we’re doing an Iggy Pop beer called Some Weird Zin aged on zin grapes in fresh zin barrels. Another reason I like French oak specifically is the porosity size. Beer is obviously living and breathing just as wine is and the French oak allows oxygen to ingress into the beer at the perfect rate. If I got an American oak barrel, a beer that would normally take six months on French oak could take 15 months on American oak and then it has more bitter tannins. It’s more in your face, more dominant. It whacks a lot of beer out of balance.”
Sour Cherry Threads is on it’s second go ’round in 2017 and is one of TRiNiTY’s highest rated beers online. A blend of Old Growth–Flemish brown, Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta–dark sour, and Soul Horkey ale. This triplet goes forward to spend almost six months kissing Montmorency pie cherries.
We find a wonderful port element with chocolate notes that could become an extremely expensive reduction, you should pour all over a scoop of ice cream.
“I think what a lot of American barrel aged and sour beer lacks that wine has is body,” says Yester. “That’s because of the microbes that work on the beer and break it down and we’re trying to bring that element back in.”
Using an unaged, young, malty beer is how TRiNiTY revitalizes the blend.
“This beer performs very complex but is also very humble by design,” says Yester.
We solidify the drinking relationship as we pop open the President’s Club 2017. TRiNiTY starts with their Red Swingline, a barrel aged Brett/sour IPA primitif for the base which is brewed up to six times a year. The most fruit forward is set aside and gets a large amount of Palisade peaches and apricots dumped on top, then aged for an additional nine months before bottling. This year’s sat for a total of 18 months and took home a silver medal at the Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beer in Chicago, Illinois.
“This beer literally dances on my palate and makes me happy,” says Yester. “In my opinion, it’s the best beer we make. Red Swingline was one of the very first juicy IPA’s made in America but with a different approach than the turbid IPA. I got to combine both techniques and make a whole new idea that nobody has really felt before. Whichever one tastes the most fruity we choose to age on fresh Colorado fruit. It’s very American, but it’s also very Belgian, and very Colorado at the same time. Three things that I’m really very proud of.”
The name is self-explanatory, prestige. “Because you have to be in the presidents club to get it is pretty much how it goes,” laughs Yester. “We only send 15 cases of this out of state, two cases instate (Backcountry Pizza in Boulder, Co. and Falling Rock in Denver, Co.) and then the rest is sold here. So you pretty much have to make a pilgrimage to TRiNiTY to get it.”
President Club transcends farm to table and allows for a round, sweet expedition that reaches the bar top.
“What we’re aiming for is if you taste this and you feel like you’re sitting on a park bench eating a peach right in your hand,” says Yester. “You can feel that it’s whole fruit and you can almost feel the fuzziness. It’s that real. Finding fruit that matches Swingline as nicely as this did is pretty special. There are no edges.”
The curtain is pulled back for the Next Big Thing which was unveiled at the Craft Brewer’s Conference in Washington D.C. in April 2017. This final May release at TRiNiTY is a collaboration with Vanish Farmwoods Brewery in Leesburg, Virginia. At 16.6 percent ABV, Yester touts this beer as the strongest sour there is.
Intentional low carbonation is in place just to protect the beer and allows for a vinous texture with the imprint of the cabernet sauvignon barrels it was aged on for over a year. Stonefruit and kiwi are courtesy of a locked in at a particular pH level that captures the minerality and makes you thirsty for more.
Behind every great brewpub is a kitchen that cranks out some good food and TRiNiTY acknowledges that piece of the puzzle. Seasonal changes bring forward lighter options like the curried tempeh, caprese salad and vegan chickpea salad sandwich. Heartier fare include the Bourbon and maple glazed Brussels sprouts, Colorado lamb burger and the Philly cheese steak Mac. Our favorite summer option is the crispy pork belly and watermelon salad.
All of the beers Yester introduced are available and ready for Colorado Springs beer drinkers to draw their own conclusions. So if you’re worried about whether or not East Coast IPA’s are really Oregon IPA’s, why you can’t see through your beer or if late hop additions are where it’s at. Know that if TRiNiTY is involved it will never be boring.