ALL ABOUT SOUR BEERS

Inside this year’s vintage of Le Terroir dry-hopped sour ale

Summer means one thing for New Belgium’s wood cellar team: Time to begin blending trials for Le Terroir, the dry-hopped, wood-aged sour that lands September 1. First created back in 2003, Le Terroir was an ahead-of-its-time idea, merging citrusy, tropical hops with sour beer; two burgeoning trends at the time brought together by blender Lauren Salazar. In anticipation of this year’s release, we sat down with Salazar to talk about the history of Le Terroir, the hoppy sour movement, and this year’s vintage. Walk us through the origin of Le Terroir. Back in 2003, [brewmaster] Peter Bouckaert made the second base beer in our sour program called Felix, but since we only had four foeders at th...
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The secret origin of New Belgium’s sour beer program

Unknowingly sending infected beer into the market is the stuff of nightmares for a brewer. Reputation, pride, customer loyalty, money—it’s all at stake. But what if a returned keg of infected beer permanently changed the course of a brewery for the better? It might just be a bit of folklore, but according to New Belgium legend, that’s exactly what happened at the brewery. Our wood cellar program, the largest in the country, owes a great deal of gratitude to a returned keg of infected Fat Tire, and to this day, the spirit of Fat Tire lives on in every wood-aged New Belgium sour you drink, if you choose to believe it. This little-known story begins way back in 1998. Brewmaster Peter Bouckaer...
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The art of blending sour beers

If brewing is a science, then blending is an art. With a few exceptions, all of the sour beer brands that leave New Belgium's door are a blend of beer from various French oak foeders in our wood cellar. That means for each release, wood cellar manager Eric Salazar and wood cellar blender Lauren Salazar sit down with samples from our 64 foeders to decide which should be included in the final blend. The result is a deeply complex, layered flavor and aroma profile that's come to define our entire lineup of sours. Watch as the two explain how that process works. Check out New Belgium's entire sour beer portfolio.
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