Paardebloem is a funny word. It's not even English, it's Flemish (I think). It means dandelion. Yep, the little yellow flower that turns into the weird windmill thing that you blow the petals off and make wishes. Little know fact, it's a totally and completely edible flower, the heads, the leaves, the greens, all of it. And when eaten it tastes vegetal and bitter. Bitter. Yep, like hops.
Paardebloem (the beer) has been brewed before. It is the brain child of Chris McCombs (AKA Puffy). Puffy is a plant engineer here at New Belgium and a former brewer at Red Rock Brewing in Salt Lake City. Over the years he has gone back into Utah to join up with these folks (at RRB) to create a beer bittered with dandelion greens instead of hops, they call(ed) it Paardebloem. They have made it a bunch of times (it even won some awards (NBD)). And here it is again, in all its awesome glory (it's even in bottles this time). The difference between Paardebloem present and past is that this version was brewed here, at New Belgium, in a larger capacity for further distribution. The Red Rock folks came to Colorado and brewed with Chris, not vice versa. This is great news for everyone who wants to try it, because, for the most part, you can get it.
What does this version taste like? Well, it's like a strong Belgian golden with some green bitterness (dandelions). And a hint of funk, as it utilized a mixed fermentation with some ale yeast, along with some brettanomyces. Then we topped it off with some wood aged sour beer to emphasize the funk, and add a hint of tartness.
This beer is devine. Seriously, I have had a few of the versions in the past and this one is my favorite. Go here to find a bottle near you and I hope you like it!