Thai Thai came into existence during our homebrewing days. Back then we were mainly into dry, hoppy beers – the kind that eventually rocketed us into creating Gaia. Enter Paul’s girlfriend, who is not the typical ‘hophead’ and wanted something more to her liking. Instead she appreciates sweet, stronger ales and asked us if we were willing to brew her a beer with ginger.
Since ginger beers are generally dry, we thought to move away from our comfort zone and preferred style by deferring to her preference for a sweet and strong beer. After all, we knew sweet with spicy herbs to be a winning combination in Thai cuisine. Yet, our brews aren’t about people, they are inspired by the range, color and depth of people’s tastes… So we also wanted to give this new beer the Oedibrew twist.
One visit to the local market in Amsterdam’s Chinatown provided us with just the sensory inspiration we needed. Initially there to buy ginger, soon our basket was brimming with striking red chili peppers, coriander, pungent lemon grass, oranges and galangal root (from the ginger family). We discovered the entire spectrum of Thai spices, and then added them to our beer!
Thai Thai is more than a Belgian Tripel, it’s sort of a spicy Thai dish that’s trapped in a beer. The pepper, like the crackle of a wintertime fire, builds nicely. This is a fresh and spicy Tripel that is not overly sweet, but keeps you warm all year round.
The birth of Thai Thai is truly a homebrewing story – one of experimenting with new ingredients.
With this beer we aimed to make an exciting Belgian Tripel – a strong beer with ample body. We’d grown up drinking Belgian Tripels and were fed up with the mainstream offerings because most tended to be too sweet and sticky. We wanted to make ours exciting by adding hops and Thai spices, in essence, merging a Belgian Tripel with the flavors of Thai cuisine.
Of course our starting point was a basic Belgian Tripel recipe, where yeast contributes a fruity flavor. We added Pilsner malts and some American hop varieties at the end of the boil to enhance the citrus flavors. Of course you can’t forget the addition of galangal root, lemongrass, coriander, chili pepper and orange peel that gives it that Thai spicing.
Malts | Pilsner Malt
Hops | Varying each batch
Yeasts | A Belgian Abbey yeast strain
Spicing | Galangal root, Lemongrass, Chili pepper, Orange peel, Coriander