Billed as the “loftiest sour” they’ve ever crafted, New Belgium Geisha debuts.
There are a lot of elements at play in this La Folie Grand Reserve release. First, the name “Geisha”. It comes from the highly sought after Geisha coffee bean that hails from Ethiopia. It found international fame after the bean was imported to Panama and produced by Hacienda La Esmerelda. The family-run coffee grower submitted the bean to the Best of Panama Auction in 2004, winning first place. The Geisha bean continued to win five more times from 2005 to 2010. Basically, it’s a badass.
New Belgium Wood Cellar Director Lauren Woods Limbach’s vision was to blend the Geisha bean’s delicate aromatics with the brewery’s sour beer Oscar. Incidentally, Oscar is the base beer that is blended into famed La Folie Sour Brown Ale. In order to do so, the brewery needed another “threaded” beer to make Geisha work.
Local Fort Collins-based Troubadour Maltings provided a few special malt varieties for a special beer to thread into Geisha. New Belgium calls is a “smuggler” beer, bringing in the oils needed for beer head retention, bridging the gap between Oscar, and the Geisha bean.
“There’s this apprehension to do right by Geisha. I’ve thought more about this beer than any beer I’ve made in my life. Not just because of the expense of the coffee, but because we’re attempting to put something that doesn’t have the classic coffee aroma—floral, tea, notes of citrus and stone fruit—into a coffee beer. – Lauren Woods Limbach
One of the world’s most exclusive coffee beans, an award-winning wild ale program, and an expert blender come together for what New Belgium hops is a truly unique and bold American wild ale.
New Belgium Geisha is available in 750-milliliter bottles in select markets, and both of the brewery’s taprooms starting November 3rd. There’s a price tag for this kind of sensory experience. A bottle’s retail price is around $48 dollars.
New Belgium Brewing Company has entered into an agreement to purchase the assets of San Francisco’s Magnolia Brewing Company, as a part of a bankruptcy proceeding. The majority stake will be owned by New Belgium, with minority stakes owned by Elysian Brewing founder Dick Cantwell and Belgian lambic producer Oud Beersel.
Magnolia Brewing will continue to operate at both locations, with all beer brands and staff intact. Cantwell will assume the role of head of brewing operations, working alongside Magnolia founder Dave McLean.
Cantwell left Elysian Brewing in April of 2015, shortly after the brewery sold to Anheuser-Busch InBev. The role at Magnolia Brewing is his first in the beer industry since leaving Elysian.
“I’m tremendously excited to be back in the beer business and looking forward to working with the team at Magnolia to develop new beers and new ideas. This project is the natural evolution of a longstanding strategy of collaboration between myself, New Belgium and Oud Beersel.” – Dick Cantwell
“Brewing with friends” is how New Belgium characterizes this new partnership. The goal is to bring fresh brewing experience into the fold at Magnolia and advance the brand, not turn these locations into New Belgium pubs. In time, new beers will grace Magnolia’s lineup.
“We’ve been looking for ways to diversify our assets and expand our community. These two tap rooms are right in the heart of historic San Francisco neighborhoods, a place Dick (Cantwell) and I call home. Magnolia makes excellent beer and plays an important role in the community. We’re excited about the possibilities and look forward to continuing our journey while honoring Magnolia’s history and presence.” – New Belgium co-founder and Executive Chair, Kim Jordan
Oud Beersel’s role will be interesting. Eventually, the famed lambic producer will ship containers of their spontaneously fermented beer to San Francisco to blend with Magnolia’s beers. Oud Beersel has already worked with New Belgium and Brouwerij Boon on Transatlantique Kriek, available from New Belgium. Expect New Belgium to involved in blending collaborations in San Francisco as well.
A coolship, along with new wood vessels (foudres, puncheons, etc) are already in planning for Magnolia in the near future.
To be called lambic the beer must be produced in Belgium, and by shipping lambic to San Francisco, the world’s first dedicated lambic blendery outside of Belgium will be established.
Magnolia Brewing was established by McLean in 1997. The brewery’s financial difficulties surfaced in 2015 after construction delays in the construction of Smokestack, a barbecue restaurant they opened attached to the 30-barrel brewery. Magnolia filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November 2015.
The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The deal is expected to close in September 2017.
When the weather eventually turns cold, you might be sipping this new release. New Belgium Imperial Frambozen with Cocoa.
“Frambozen” (Flemish for raspberry) is the beautifully red fruit forward beer brewed with a touch of chocolate malt; a seasonal that hit the market around Thanksgiving. For us at Beer Street Journal, there literally was no better beer to pair with turkey. Whether or not we see the base seasonal release again in 2017 remains to be seen. In the meantime, a new edition has popped up on the release radar.
New Belgium Imperial Frambozen with Cocoa increases the dessert-flavored aspects of Frambozen with both roasted and ground cocoa husks, and fresh northwestern raspberry puree.
Frambozen, Flemish for “raspberry” is our big, luscious celebration of the ruby red fruit found in Belgium’s Framboise ales. Our version is fermented with northwestern raspberries and a special addition of single-origin Ghana cocoa husks freshly roasted and ground by Nuance Chocolate in Fort Collins, CO. A Colorado holiday tradition from our brewery to your glass. Cheers!
New Belgium Imperial Frambozen with Cocoa is touted a limited release in 22 ounce bottles. The brewery has not yet announced this release.
New Belgium Voodoo Ranger Juicy Mandarina IPA is now hitting shelves nationally this month.
In late 2016, New Belgium signaled a few lineup changes with the addition of the Voodoo Ranger Series. Initial releases include Voodoo Ranger Imperial IPA, and 8 Hop Pale Ale.
This month, New Belgium Voodoo Ranger Juicy Mandarina will be available for a limited time, perfect for warm weather drinking. The base beer is an unfiltered wheat based IPA that is big on trop hops including German Mandarina Bavaria and Australian Galaxy. Translation: juicy.
TASTE. Juicy is a great description. This new glass of haze plays jump rope with citrus flavors (like orange, lemon and grapefruit) and a touch of pine. This new Ranger finishes slightly sweet and smooth thanks to a blend of wheat. It’s like New Belgium bottled a sunny day.
Drink up now, because this summer a Passionfruit Imperial IPA is headed to the series.
New Belgium Voodoo Ranger Juicy Mandarina IPA is available in 22 ounce bottles and draft for a limited time.
Hops: Mandarina Bavaria, Galaxy, Cascade, Calypso
Malts: Pale, White Wheat, Red Wheat, Dark Wheat.
Availability: 22oz Bottles, Draft.
Debut: Mid-April, 2017
PIC: Beer Street Journal
New Belgium Fat Tire White Ale, a new addition to the brewery’s “Fat Tire” family, debuts in August.
Later this summer, ordering a Fat Tire won’t be limiting your choices to just the iconic amber ale. For the first time in 25 years, New Belgium is putting a true Belgian-style white ale into full scale production.
The authentic white ale will feature Seville orange peel and coriander from Fort Collins, Colorado based Old Town Spice Shop, less than a mile from the brewery. New Belgium selected Seville oranges over Valencia oranges because thanks to their ‘brighter” aroma, and less cloying sweetness.
“Fat Tire Belgian White captures the spirit and flavor of a truly authentic Belgian White beer” – Peter Bouckaert, New Belgium’s Belgian Brewmaster
New Belgium Fat Tire White Ale will be available in 12 ounce bottles, 12 ounce cans, and draft starting August 1st.
New Belgium Sour Saison
New Belgium‘s watermelon lime ale is back in the brewery’s seasonal lineup for a second time. This year, you’ll see it called New Belgium Juicy Watermelon.
The base recipe is basically the same as before. New Belgium tells Beer Street Journal that “Heavy Melon” didn’t really capture the essence of the beer. When deciding on whether or order or purchase, “heavy” anything might be a turn off. Juicy on the other hand, is much more palatable.
Watermelon and lime are the stars of this beer, that finishes at 5% alcohol by volume. New Belgium loves their seasonals, and this one might be the most crazy (non Lips of Faith) offering to date. If beer was fruit at a hot summer picnic, this beer would be it.
Cool off with this refreshingly fruity summer beer brewed with watermelons and limes.
New Belgium Juicy Watermelon is a 12 ounce bottle and draft seasonal release.