Triple Voodoo Brewing has been making noise around the Bay Area for just six months. Until recently, the only way to try their beer was on tap, but they now bottle and distribute their beer within the San Francisco area. Their first release is the Inception Belgian Style Ale. From the description, the base beer is a Belgian Tripel, but the style has been altered quite significantly to introduce some California flavor into the mix.

Starting off with the look of the label, I like the Triple Voodoo logo. It’s bold, eye catching and made the bottle really easy to spot on the shelves, but the rest of the label looks a bit plain and needs some work. For example, I don’t understand why “TAP INTO THE EXTRAORDINARY” is in all caps, while “mythical sensation in a glass” is not? I also think the plain two-tone Red and Black color scheme is a bit plain and uninspired.

As for the bottle’s contents, the color is a clear golden-orange, which is already a departure from the more traditional hazy and cloudy Trappist style. An inviting layer of frothy white head covers the top of the beer with lots of visible carbonation rising to the top of the glass. The head fades away fairly slowly to reveal some lacing. The nose again reveals a hybrid of west coast style and Trappist tradition. The banana yeast, lemon, and clove aromas, common to the Belgian style, are definitely the strongest elements here. However, there is more hop presence than normal, giving this a little bit of a West Coast kick.

The beer starts off with some mild banana and fruity esters alongside some light clove and sweet biscuit malts. The flavors grow in intensity as the beer sits on the tongue a bit, however, there is a nice balance that’s a constant throughout. Somewhere in the mix, the hop flavor comes through as soft and not very bitter. It feels medium bodied with a lively, yet gentle carbonation. The beer keeps its balance through the finish where the sweetness of the fruity esters and malt linger for some time afterwards.

So is the Inception Belgian Style Ale worth a try? Absolutely. At $8 for a bomber it’s not going to put too much of dent in your wallet and your reward is an interesting Belgian/West Coast hybrid.

Photo © Dave McAvoy