Style: Belgian Tripel
ABV: 9
9.5 Stars

Along a northwestern Michigan country road, you can find an innovative brewery nestled into the hillside as part of a ten-acre farm. This is not just any traditional farm.

This farm has earned the certification of the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program. It also responsibly produces many of the ingredients used to brew utilizing sustainable methods – honey, malt, and more. The visionary design of the brewhouse reclaims water from the brewing process to irrigate and fertilize the crops while they also employ excess heat from the refrigeration systems and fermenters to bring warmth to their building during the colder months. Brewery Terra Firma, a quiet countryside brewery, is just minutes away from the hustle and bustle of Traverse City.

As I checked their website for current hours, my eye caught their recent beer additions. They had me at Belgian Tripel – Theodore Belgian Trippel that is.

As shared in the beer’s description on their website:

“A very special brew for us here at Brewery Terra Firma [BTF]! Spring of 2019 we decided to try and plant a barley variety suitable for malting and grow it here at BTF in our East Field. Spring turned to summer, we watched the barley grow right from the brewery and beer garden, patiently waiting for the day to harvest. With help from Mug Club Members, we harvest the East Field and sent to GT Culinary Oils on Cass [Rd] where it was cleaned and dried. After the barley goes dormant, it’s time for malting. Our friends over at Great Lakes Malting Co. over on Cass [Rd] helped us out with this. After a couple of weeks a brew date is set and history was made!”

I fought the high sun because I wanted to catch the East farm field in the background where the malt was grown.

From planting and harvesting to cleaning and drying to the eventual malting process – this barley traveled less than three-and-a-half miles from planting to mash tun. How incredibly local is that? At 9%, Theodore is a golden smooth character that is inviting at first sight. With a fine head and lacing along the glass, aromas of light biscuity malts and coriander welcome you. This bready, malt-forward tripel is artfully brewed and a skillful debut of Brewery Terra Firma’s own malts. The medium body presents the malts and the finest of hop notes fade through the finish as you debate if your next one will be in a glass or packaged in a growler, howler, or yelper to enjoy later.

If you are suffering from cabin fever and looking for a reason to visit a brewery, Brewery Terra Firma’s newest Belgian Tripel has Theodore inviting you to pull slightly off the main path to enjoy a beer at the farm.

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