What is a Dubbel, Tripel or Quadrupel beer?

Among many beers, especially of Belgian origin, the terms Dubbel, Tripel or Quadrupel can be read. All of them refer to a style of beer, but there is a big question about what they mean by each beer being double, triple or quadruple. Many hypotheses have emerged about what their meaning may be, such as that they are double malt beers, triple malt, etc., or that it refers to the number of fermentations that that beer has undergone, or the number of hops used in the elaboration , etc.

Cerveza Dubbel


    In the case of Dubbel beers, it is known that very similar beers were already made in ancient monasteries of the Middle Ages, but at that time they were not called that way. The terms Dubbel and Tripel would arise in the Trappist monastery of Westmalle, in Belgium. The monastery founded its brewery in 1836 and since then they only produced a single, light and sweet beer, specially intended for the consumption of the monks. Twenty years later, in 1856, it was decided to make a second recipe, this time for a beer that was more intense in alcohol and with a dark brown appearance. Being their second beer, they called it Dubbel (double in Dutch). The new creation began to be marketed and quickly gained a good reputation and reputation, with new versions appearing in a short time by other breweries, which also called them Dubbel beers. In this way a new style of beer was born.

    Monasterio de Westmalle


    Decades later, in 1934, the monastery decides to develop a third recipe to expand its variety. This time they brew a beer stronger than the previous one, but pale and golden in color, and they followed the same pattern as before to call it Tripel (triple in Dutch). As it happened in the past, the new beer also gained a lot of fame in a short time and it would not take long for its imitators to arrive, which were also known as Tripel, again emerging another style of beer.

    Cervezas Dubbel y Tripel de Westmalle


    To speak of the latest style, the Quadrupels, one would have to go to another monastery in the Netherlands. In the abbey of Koningshoeven, located in the Dutch town of Berkel-Enschot, a brewery was also founded in 1884, the products of which were under the La Trappe brand. In this brewery, the Dubbel and Tripel styles, originating from Westmalle, are also made, but in 1991, in Koningshoeven they decided to make a new style, even stronger in alcohol than their Tripel beer and dark in color, similar to the color of Dubbel beer. Following the pattern of "double" and "triple", this new beer is called Quadrupel. Once again, their imitators appear in other breweries and abbeys with the term Quadrupel, which end up sealing a new style of beer.

    La Trappe Quadrupel

    The terms Dubbel, Tripel, and Quadrupel, therefore, refer to the order in which new beer recipes appeared in the Trappist monasteries of Westmalle and Koningshoeven. The fact that they are intense in alcohol, or toast, or sweets, etc., was the decision of the monks when designing their recipes.

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