Every once in a while, a special barrel-aged beer goes on tap in the Liquid Center from the series NBB Love. If you’re lucky, you’ve seen it out in the wild, if only for a brief moment. This much-whispered-about beer series is the culmination of aging our two base sour beers—Oscar (the base for La Folie) and Felix (the base for Le Terroir)—in a variety of Leopold Bros. fruit whiskey barrels. The result is NBB Love Cherry Felix, NBB Love Cherry Oscar, and a variety of other barrel-aged sours named after the base beer and fruit whiskey variety. They’re pretty darn tasty.
When those sours go into the barrels, it’s a good day to hang out in the wood cellar.
On filling day, the aroma of apple whiskey, peach whiskey or blackberry whiskey barrels hits you once you pass through these doors
Then you turn the corner and see this amazing sight.
That’s Brewer Ted, filling up a round of apple whiskey barrels with sour Felix, and he’s got his work cut out for him with a boatload of barrels ready to be filled.
The barrels are here due to a partnership with Denver-based Leopold Bros. Distillery. We get a shipment of used fruit whiskey barrels, and fill them up with our sour base beers.
The beer's piped into those bungholes.
The fine folks in the wood cellar take into consideration the specific flavor profiles of beer aging inside our collection of foeders, and use those notes to decide which beers would pair best with the fruit whiskey variety. That’s how they fill them up.
Hey look, it’s wood cellar manager Eric Salazar lending a hand with the barrels.
The barrels are filled with beer from the foeder of choice—here, Felix is going into peach whiskey barrels—and then topped off with a bit of sour beer held in reserve in stainless tanks.
Brewer Billy uses a flashlight to see into the barrel, while Brewer Ted continues the long process of filling barrels.
After a few months of soaking up those fruit whiskey notes, the NBB Love beers are released occasionally in the Liquid Center, or at special events like Road Brewer. The empty barrels are then shipped back to the distillery, a new batch arrives, and the process continues.
If you get a chance to sample these amazing beers, good on you. You’ve tasted a bit of New Belgium Love from the heart of our wood cellar.
Cheer to barrel-aged deliciousness — Chris