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.