A few years ago, a tiny hiccup occurred in the brewing world. The trois strain of brettanomyces (a type of "wild" yeast) was revealed to actually be a strain of saccharomyces — standard brewer’s yeast.
The confusion came from trois’ unusual fermentation characteristics, which resemble brettanomyces fermentation, as well as intense fruit flavors that it imparted in beers that it was used in. Brett trois-fermented beers tended to be hazy, somewhat dry and filled with exotic, tropical fruitlike flavors.
Trinity’s Escape Brewing has just released its two inaugural canned beers: The Other West Coast IPA, which won gold at last year’s Best Florida Beer Championship; and Trois IPA, which brings the flavors of this unusual yeast strain to center stage.
Escape’s Trois IPA showcases the yeast nicely, pouring as an opaque, orange-colored IPA full of tropical goodness, with juicy flavors of pineapple, mango, tangerine and guava in the mix. The can’s label states that "no pineapples or tropical fruits were crushed, sliced, juiced, peeled or injured" in the making of the beer. Based on flavor alone, you’d think otherwise.
The rest of the beer’s flavor comes from El Dorado, Citra and Meridian hops, all of which are known for their fruity flavors, from lemon-lime and grapefruit, to blackberry and cherry candy. They’re the perfect support hops for a beer that derives much of its fruitiness from its yeast. The beer finishes dry, accentuating the fruit-forward hop bill long after first sip.
Trois IPA is available in 16-ounce four-packs at the brewery (9945 Trinity Blvd., Suite 108 in Trinity) for $16. While you’re there, try Trois alongside Abell 21 IPA, which uses the same base beer but with Medusa hops — a new variety purported to give off flavors of guava and melon — instead of the trio used in Trois. Both beers are outstanding IPAs on their own, but the quirky history of the trois strain of yeast makes them even more compelling.
— Justin Grant, tbt* correspondent
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