New Belgium is well known for several things, first and foremost, Fat Tire, the beer that put them on the map. They have also been noted for their Vodoo IPAs, Belgian-style brews, and, more recently, their delve into sour beers.
Home to the largest collection of foeders in the United States wonderfully named the “Foeder Forrest”, they’re armed with 64 foeders in total. This is some serious business that they have gotten themselves into, and we’re all the better for it! Now, you’re probably wondering what a foeder is, if not, feel free to skip down to the beers. Foeders (pronounced FOOD-er) are large wooden vats that, traditionally, have been used to age wine, and for some traditional Belgian breweries, beer. More recently, breweries, in the states such as New Belgium, but also Crooked Stave, Epic, Schell’s, Right Proper, and many others, have either taken old used ones from wineries or have had they’re own made to age their beers. These beers are, more often than not, sour beers. These babies are a sight to see, the “Foeder Forrest” is the 7th Wonder of the World.
If you ever find yourself in Fort Collins, CO., stop by New Belgium’s facility, take the tour, and taste the beers being produced there. You can thank me later.
And Now, the Brews
|New Belgium | Honey Orange Tripel | Belgian-Style Ale|
|Now, this is a beer that you can feel good about drinking. This ale was brewed with wild African honey and freshly ground Seville orange peels. The wild African honey was sourced from a company that is a member of the Fair Trade Federation and a certified B-Corp, and the orange peels were locally sourced and ground by a local spice shop a mere 24 hours before being pitched into the beer. They paid attention to the finer details resulting in a consciously sourced beer. That attention to detail is prevalent throughout the beer! On the nose, there is a fair amount of orange, vanilla, yeast, white pepper, candied sugars, and spices. Not quite to style, this Belgian-style beer is a tad sweeter thanks to the honey and orange peel, but it’s saved with a dry finish thanks to the honey. The 10% ABV is incredibly well-hidden thanks to the candied sugars, thick mouthfeel, and overall flavors of the beer. Definitely, an easy drinking beer that will make your night go a little better, fast|
|6 pk Bottle | 10% ABV | 25 IBUs|
|New Belgium | Sour Saison | Blended Barrel-Aged Farmhouse Ale|
|If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you’ll know that I have a soft spot for Saisons. Give me a blended Saison that’s a little sour and you’ve won my heart (it’s not all that difficult). New Belgium’s Sour Saison is a blend of a traditional French-style Saison and a barrel-aged sour which resulted in this delicious marriage. With an intriguing blend of aromas representative of both beers, lemon, citrus, cloves, yeast, wheat, hay, and a touch of candied sugars, this beer was love at first sniff, for me. As the liquid caresses your tongue, you’re hit with that initial puckering sour which quickly gives way to sweet malts, strong yeast, a slight bacterial funk, a bit of clove, more wheat, citrus, and notes of wood. There is also a nice bitterness at the end to help balance out all of the sweetness throughout this tasty beer. The alcohol, coming in at 7%, isn’t as well hidden, but, indicative of the style, it helps round out the mouthfeel to a nice medium body. If you’re like me, a fan of Saison and/or sours, you should definitely get some of this in your belly. Lucky for you, but mostly me, this is New Belgium’s first-ever year-round traditional style sour ale! Praise be to the beer gods for this gift. We are not worthy!|
|6 pk Bottle | 7% ABV | 18 IBUs|