Tripel Off Round 1, Match 4: Lost & Grounded vs. Solvay Society

Lost & Grounded vs. Solvay Society.

This is the last of the group matches and sees two UK breweries up against each other: Lost & Grounded from here in Bristol and Solvay Society from London.

The for­mer is a brew­ery with a par­tic­u­lar focus on Con­ti­nen­tal beer styles and is per­haps best known for its Keller Pils – very much a buzz beer of the sum­mer of 2018, despite its refresh­ing straight­for­ward­ness. The lat­ter is an intrigu­ing oper­a­tion run by a Bel­gian and ded­i­cat­ed to brew­ing “mod­ern beers abstract­ed from clas­sic Bel­gian styles”.

We bought both beers from Beer Mer­chants via mail order:

  • Lost & Ground­ed Apophe­nia, 330ml, £3.45 per bot­tle, 8.8% ABV
  • Solvay Soci­ety Tri­tium, 330ml, £4.05, 7.5% ABV

There was no hope of any­thing approach­ing true blind tast­ing at this stage but, as in pre­vi­ous rounds, Ray poured and pre­sent­ed the beers to Jess with­out say­ing which was which. She’d nev­er had either before, as far as she could recall, and cer­tain­ly doesn’t know either well enough to iden­ti­fy them from taste.

Two glasses of golden beer.

On pour­ing, both had sim­i­lar lev­els of car­bon­a­tion but Solvay Society’s beer looked slight­ly dark­er in colour.

Jess: Right, well, these both smell and taste like prop­er tripels. I’d be sur­prised if both weren’t using the same yeast, and if that yeast isn’t the West­malle strain. To be hon­est, they’re incred­i­bly sim­i­lar. If I have a com­plaint it’s that they’re both a bit on the sweet side. They’re lack­ing the crisp fin­ish I love in West­malle. They don’t have that bal­ance of rich­ness and bit­ter­ness that I get from the tripels I real­ly like, although maybe that’s just how my palate is read­ing things today…

Ray: For­tu­nate­ly, all you’ve got to do is decide which of the two you pre­fer.

Jess: True. Well, I have a mild pref­er­ence for this one. [Lost & Ground­ed.] Only because it’s not quite as sweet tast­ing. It’s a very close thing.

Ray: I agree, they’re pret­ty well indis­tin­guish­able, if you ignore the dif­fer­ence in colour. And a bit… Well, sick­ly is too strong, but heavy, some­how. This one [Solvay Soci­ety] is a bit spici­er, maybe, but per­haps I’m get­ting that impres­sion because I know it’s adver­tised as a pink pep­per­corn and rye tripel. It’s also maybe a touch heav­ier, despite hav­ing a low­er ABV. They’re both good beers, though – clean, bang on style.

Jess: I wouldn’t be dis­ap­point­ed if I’d ordered either of these in a Bel­gian bar.

Ray: So, my vote is for… Just, very nar­row­ly… Lost and Ground­ed! Which means it’s the win­ner.


Next round:
  • West­malle vs. De Dolle
  • Lost & Ground­ed vs. Karmeli­et

3 thoughts on “Tripel Off Round 1, Match 4: Lost & Grounded vs. Solvay Society”

  1. Bang on style? Clean? Not at all my impres­sion of Apophe­nia, when I had it on keg a bit back:

    there was an ini­tial sweet heav­i­ness, that didn’t dis­si­pate but com­bined with the herbal notes that come in lat­er, to pro­duce a kind of beer equiv­a­lent of win­ter mix­ture. I had a third, and it took a while to get through.

    More like a bar­ley wine with Bel­gian yeast than a tripel – that’s how it tast­ed to me, any­way.

    1. Can only speak as we find, etc, but worth say­ing that we’re enjoy­ing L&G beers a lot more this year than we did last year, and it’s not because we’re get­ting less fussy.

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