Vader lives in our wood cellar

The wood cellar is filled with an unusual energy—a foeder force of sorts. That foeder force creates our sour beer, makes it grow. It surrounds us, it binds us. When you walk through the foeder forest you feel that force around you; between the foeders, the stainless tanks, the rock-climbing wall. But—as our wood cellar crew has warned—beware the dark side of the foeder force. Anger, fear, aggression; the dark side of the foeder force are they. Easily they flow, quick to join in a fight. If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will. Well, it’s not all that dire. Meet Vader, pictured above, one of the foeders inside our wood cellar here a...
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This is how we make our sour beer Oscar Worthy Coffee

Oscar Worthy Coffee. Three words, that when uttered, cause an almost Pavlovian drool response among New Belgium co-workers. Like our dry-hopped sour Le Terroir, Oscar Worthy Coffee is a beer unlike any other: It’s our sour Oscar “dry-beaned” with coffee in collaboration with Fort Collins friends The Bean Cycle. The result is an ultra-smooth sour beer that bursts with sour-and-espresso aromas, and it tastes like magic. So let’s take a quick look at how we make the incredible stuff. A LITTLE BACKSTORY The beer was born a while back when New Belgium planned to enter a coffee firkin festival in Seattle. An idea to add coffee to a sour was suggested by the manager of the fest, and blender Laure...
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The story of pH1, craft beer’s most prolific sour beer barrel

Image courtesy of The Rare Barrel All of the barrels and foeders in our wood cellar have an interesting story, or at least a funny name. But the tale of pH1, a former wine barrel, stands alone in its epicness. And, as of this past week, the barrel’s embarking on another adventure as it settles into its new home at The Rare Barrel in Berkeley, Calif. The story of pH1—at least the part of its journey that involves craft beer—began in the late 1990s, when we first started experimenting with sour beer. As one of the original seven barrels we used to play with wild cultures, pH1 was something of a blueprint for the future of our now extensive sour beer program. It also proved time and again ...
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