It was big news to a lot of beer drinkers in Atlanta when New Belgium’s “Fat Tire” amber ale finally made it to the shelves. Shortly after, 1554 and Mothership Wit arrived starting in 22 oz bottles, then draft, then eventually 12 oz bottles. (Hoptoberfest too!)
Even now as I write this, I couldn’t tell you how familiar people are with the New Belgium’s line of brews. After speaking with beer drinkers around Atlanta that love Fat Tire, I’m finding that unfortunately most do not know any other of the New Belgium’s beers. Fat Tire is almost interpreted as a standalone by another company other than NB. As it turns out, even New Belgium figured this out and in 2006 changed its logo to reflect the company with homage paid to the infamous bicycle.
Obviously, New Belgium is more than the 3 (ok, 4) beers I mentioned above. They are just a smattering of the beers by New Belgium, out of Fort Collins, Colorado. 1991 saw the founding of New Belgium by the a husband and wife team Jeff Lebesch and Kim Jordan. NB keeps eco-friendly solutions as intrinsic values of the brewery, with a future goal of being entirely wind powered.
La Folie is the next Atlanta offering by New Belgium, a Flanders Red Ale. A Flanders red ale is a style of sour ale hailing from none other than Belgium. Sour ales, especially Flanders ales, are fermented with Lactobacillus which produces lactic acid, which in turn, gives the beer a sour taste. This souring is intentional, so don’t be turned off by it. This fermentation is also the same responsible for making yogurts and cheeses. Lactic acid is also responsible for souring milk.
Relating this back to La Folie and Flanders red ales, it takes a while to sour the ale. It sits in oak barrels for at least a year. In the case of La Folie, French oak for 1-3 years. Brewmaster, Peter Bouckaert came to New Belgium Brewery from Rodenbach brewery — a famous sour ale brewery from West Flanders, Belgium. La Folie is Peter’s contribution to the NB lineup.
Prior to the launch in GA, it was released in numbered and corked 750 ml bottles. This release is capped, and now pasteurized. According to the brewer, sugar and yeast were also added for bottle conditioning. It’s also labeled sour brown ale, instead of red. Still digging up info on why. You’ll see the bottle says “Lips of Faith.” It’s a series NB calls their “playground beers.” It’s similar to Sweetwater’s Dank Tank, or Terrapin’s Side Project Series. Beer brewing without boundaries.
I will update this entry with bottle sightings, and draft locations as they become available. The earliest they are set to arrive is Tuesday, October 27th. I had La Folie at Brickstore a while back and I loved it. I’m pretty excited about this release.
More to come…