Indulging in a Devilish Delight
A Review of Devils Tramping Ground by Aviator Brewing Co.
Posted on 4/29/2013 by Chops
                   
Great
Despite its amazing successes, the American craft beer movement still has plenty of naysayers. It's often looked at as awkward or nontraditional. But to anyone who still doubts the impact of American craft beer, I need only say something like this: I just ordered a tasty Belgian-style Tripel from a small local brewery out of Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina. Is it a world-class Belgian ale worthy of Abbey monks? Of course not, and that would be a silly expectation to have. But even the thought of getting your hands on a locally brewed Belgian beer even a few decades ago would have been a laughable notion. Today's beer market is wildly different and we should always be thankful for the emergence of American craft beer. After all, it gives us easy access to tasty delights like the Devils Tramping Ground Belgian Tripel from the Aviator Brewing Company.

In the glass, this beer has a semi-hazy golden coloration. It comes with a thick frothy, almost creamy white head that has really nice retention. On the nose, I was greeted with a grassy herbal aroma along with those signature sweet Belgian yeasts. There wasn't a whole lot of aromatic punch and the beer came across as somewhat muted for the style. But, all the necessary core notes were present and nothing seemed misplaced, so I had no hesitation diving in for that first sip.

The first flavor to hit my taste buds was that familiar and savory Belgian bread. This is the dominate flavor note and actually made the beer seem lopsided at times. It's not offensive, just heavy on the yeasty flavor. The beer also has a fruity vibe, namely banana. Couple it with a light, smooth, easy drinking mouthfeel and you get the impression of a witbier-like hybrid. Other flavor notes include a peppery spice, honey, clove, a touch of butterscotch, and a slight nip of alcohol. The beer finishes clean and exits with a spicy bready aftertaste.

Overall, Aviator's Devils Tramping Ground is a tasty brew with a warm personality. While not a stellar example of the Belgian Tripel style, it's still quite nice as an American version. It drinks easy, has a good array of flavors, and has a high level of accessibility. As a result, I can recommend this brew to most beer fans. Belgian purists may scoff at this interpretation, but most seasoned drinkers will enjoy this beer as a tasty session version. Novices can utilize this beer as a flavorful introduction into the style without being accosted by dense complexity.

Having only been around since 2008, the Aviator Brewing Company is still a relative newcomer to my local beer scene. But as a card carrying member of the American craft beer movement, I cannot help but offer my praise and support. 5 short years out of the gate and they are already crafting beers like Devils Tramping Ground. An impressive feat to say the least, which has me looking forward to what the next 5 years brings us. Cheers!

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Devils Tramping Ground by Aviator Brewing Co.
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