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Adelbert’s releases a Belgian IPA

Arianna Auber
aauber@statesman.com

It’s fitting that as Adelbert’s begins distributing its year-round beers to California – the first big out-of-state market for the nearly two-year-old brewery – it’s releasing the Traveler, a Belgian-style IPA.

The Traveler is also going to be a mainstay beer, joining the likes of the Scratchin’ Hippo, Tripel B and the Naked Nun. And like the others, it’s a bottle-conditioned Belgian beer named in homage after brewmaster and co-owner Scott Hovey’s late older brother, Del, and his adventures around the world.

Hovey said he had been playing around with the idea of creating a Belgian IPA for about six to nine months and gained an idea of how he wanted it to taste after collaborating on the Gypsy IPA with Christine Celis last year. The Traveler “is a sister beer similar in style, but we changed it up,” he said. “This is our spin on the pale ales and the IPAs that every Austin brewery makes.”

Adelbert’s version is a four-hop beer that the brewers didn’t want to be overwhelmingly bitter, but still had a nice hop bite to it.

“In the process of creating this recipe, we taste-tested a variety of Belgian IPAs,” Hovey said. “The flavors ranged from a lightly hopped tripel to the nastiest hop bomb you can imagine. We aimed to meet in the middle to create an easy drinking, one-of-a-kind IPA.”

That’s pretty close to what it is. Earlier this week, I split a bottle of the Traveler with a friend and noticed how balanced it was, hop-forward without leaving my tongue tingling as more aggressive IPAs can do. It’s the sort of IPA a person wary of overly hoppy beers might still enjoy.

In the future, Hovey said he wants to brew the Traveler using about half European, half American hops so that it’s more Old World-focused, the sort of Belgian beer he loves.

You’ll have the first chance to try the Traveler at a special release party at the brewery tonight during the 5 to 8 p.m. tasting room hours. Then, on Monday, bottles and kegs of the Traveler will start popping up around Austin, timed with Adelbert’s first shipment of beers to California in partnership with distributor Wine Warehouse. The brewery already has its 7 other year-round ales in the rest of Texas, New Mexico, south Florida and downstate New York.