• We are sick of these political attack ads!

    They are EVERYWHERE this time of year, and the latest to come out is the absolute worst. Don't get me wrong; the attack ad aimed at Fat Tire was pretty bad. But this, "Ranger is too aromatic for its own good," schtick is taking it a bit far. It seems the claws have really come out this year. I just can't wait for election season to be over, you know? Anyway, watch it for yourself below, and while you're at it, watch the rest of this election's Ranger v. Fat Tire videos.

    Cheers — Nic

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  • Future of IPAs? Trending toward the tropics

    OK, first of all: I’ve never been to the future. I hit my head pretty badly once, but that sent me on a trip to Urgent Care, not tomorrow. Still, it doesn’t take a gifted futurist to see where IPA flavors are trending. Where? To the tropics.

    Until a few years ago, hop character in IPAs was predictably (deliciously) orange, grapefruit, grass and pine, courtesy of hops like Cascade, Centennial and Columbus. Classic. But new hop varieties—newly developed varieties through crossbreeding programs, and newly imported varieties from countries like Australia—are bringing an exotic twist to hoppy beers. Here at New Belgium, we dig the new look of hops, and are brewing up some pretty awesome beers to show off the exotic aromas and flavors. Embark on your own tropical cruise with these two beers:

    Rampant Imperial IPA

    Two of Rampant’s headlining hops are Calypso and Mosaic (you can almost hear the steel drums), relatively new varieties first released to the public around 2011. The two hops color the beer with peaches, grapefruit, mango, lemon and blueberry (Tiki torches and flip flops not required, but recommended).

    Hop the Pond Double IPA

    Our latest Hop Kitchen Series release features a bunch of ingredients from around the world—four hops varieties and four different grains, to be exact. Hops including Australian Galaxy, U.S. Citra and Slovenian Styrian Dana weave notes of pine, black currant, lemon, pineapple and mango through the beer.

    Hop character in review:

    Five years ago: Orange, grapefruit, pine and grass (all of which I still love!)

    Today: Mango, grapefruit, blueberry, passion fruit (these flavors rule, too!)

    Tomorrow: Opening a bottle will literally transport you via a beer wormhole to Fiji.


    Looking forward to it — Chris

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  • Make this chocolate cake with Salted Belgian Chocolate Stout!

    If you’re into all things sweet and savory, you should definitely snatch up a bottle of Salted Belgian Chocolate Stout, our most recent Lips of Faith collaboration with St. Louis’ Perennial Artisan Ales. It’s rich, chocolaty, slightly fruity and kissed with hints of spice and salt. In a word: delicious. You know what else is delicious? Cake, especially chocolate cake made with the beer.

    Just down the street from the brewery is Little Bird Bakeshop, where owner and pastry chef Amy Marsh whipped up an intensely luscious chocolate cake featuring the stout. Now Friday production’s come to a halt as we’re all just sitting around nomming on beer cake.

    Amy Marsh of Little Bird Bakeshop.

    If you’re looking for a new holiday dessert to bake this winter, pick up a bottle of Salted Belgian Chocolate Stout and check out the recipe below. If you live in town, swing by Little Bird, where this recipe is likely to pop up again soon along with other beer-baked goodness.


    Salted Chocolate Stout Cake with Ginger Stout Glaze

    Cake:

    1 cup Salted Belgian Chocolate Stout

    2 sticks unsalted butter

    ¾ cup cocoa powder (preferably Dutch processed)

    2 cups all purpose flour

    2 cups sugar

    ¾ teaspoon baking soda

    ¾ teaspoon kosher salt

    2 large eggs

    2/3 cup sour cream


    Glaze:

    2 cups powdered sugar

    1 pinch kosher salt

    1 ounce (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened

    ¼ cup Salted Belgian Chocolate Stout

    2 tablespoons minced crystallized ginger


    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
    • Butter and flour a bundt cake pan.
    • Bring butter and stout to a simmer in a small saucepan. Whisk in the cocoa powder and set aside to cool.
    • In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda and sugar.
    • In a large bowl whisk together eggs and sour cream. Whisk in the cocoa mixture and then the dry ingredients until smooth.
    • Pour into prepared pan and bake in the center of the oven until it springs back when you press on it, or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean, about 45 min.
    • To make the glaze whisk the softened butter, stout and powdered sugar together in a medium bowl. When smooth, stir in the crystallized ginger.
    • When cake is cool turn it out of the pan and spoon the glaze over top.

    Enjoy!

    Cheers — Chris

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  • We support policies that protect clean water, and here's why

    Hey everyone,

    Nic here. This is a special guest post from New Belgium coworker Andrew Lemley, who's been working hard for quite a while now with legislators, authorities and concerned citizens on a proposed rule change to what are considered "Waters of the United States." Clean water is an important issue to us here at New Belgium, and the foundation on which great beer is brewed — but I'll let Andrew explain further:

    What’s a WOTUS? (read woah-tus)

    WOTUS is an acronym for “Waters of the United States.” It’s the definition of which surface water (lakes, rivers, etc.) can be federally protected to make sure our country has a top notch water supply. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Army Corps of Engineers are working to clarify which waters are in this category. At New Belgium we think this is a good idea.


    We care deeply about clean rivers, lakes and streams. We need them to make beer. Everyone needs them to hydrate. Outdoorsy folks need them to kayak, fish or skinny dip. The proposed WOTUS rule would expand which water is able to be regulated by the EPA and would include headwaters, tributaries and other waters connected to larger rivers. This clarification makes common sense: water bodies that are connected to rivers should be safeguarded like those rivers themselves.

    Clean water is a part of our triple bottom line business model. Crafting great beer while caring for the planet and doing what is right is how we operate. Our journey has led us to take steps to reduce our own impact on the water supply. We’ve built an onsite process wastewater treatment plant. We’ve cut water use. We give philanthropic dollars to nonprofits engaged in water conservation. We do what we can to honor the environment in our own process and philanthropy. We also know that good policies that protect water can do more than we could ever do on our own.

    The next time you open a beer while you watch the sun set over a clean lake or hear the river rushing by your campsite, raise your glass (or can or bottle) to the WOTUS.

    If you want to dig deeper and find out how you can help, visit our friends at the Natural Resources Defense Council. They have all kinds of great info and can help you speak out for clean water too. 

    Cheers — Andrew


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  • Outside includes New Belgium on ‘best places to work’ list 2014

    I should preface this post with the following: This is just my third day at New Belgium. But in just three days, I’ve already seen enough to confidently confirm New Belgium’s inclusion in Outside Magazine’s list of the “Best Places to Work” in 2014 (silent fist-pump). Let’s have a quick look at some of the magazine’s reasons:

    “The New Belgium complex boasts an on-site gym.”

    Fact. I saw a guy working out on an elliptical machine yesterday while I was on a safety tour around the brewery. On my way out of the gym, I gave the punching bag a fist bump.

    “When the team feels like giving back, it’s no sweat.”

    Fact. My co-worker bought me lunch today. Seriously, check out how much was raised for charity via Tour de Fat. Plus, check out all of this amazing charitable activity

    “Employees are presented with a New Belgium cruiser bike after one year.”

    Fact. The bike’s redesigned each year, so when you’re cruising around and see someone on your model, you might be prone to shout, “Hey, 2012. Right on!” I have 362 days until I might shout at fellow 2014ers.

    That’s just the tip of the awesomeness iceberg that is New Belgium. Swing by Outside to read the full story.

    Looking forward to day four — Chris

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  • This is a confusing picture of a foeder

    And while it's confusing, I happen to think it's pretty cool. Here's what's going on:
    This foeder is currently being worked on before we begin to hydrate it.
    This picture was taken from the outside of the foeder, looking in.
    You can see the dark cherry staining of the wood on the inside of the foeder. The color comes from the wine that this foeder used to hold.
    Soon this foeder will hold delicious, aging sour beer.

    Cheers — Nic

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  • Let's recap the 2014 Tour de Fat

    Beer, often associated with fun (which it is), is not often associated with fundraising. That's not the case for the Tour de Fat. Every year carnies from New Belgium hit the road, taking interactive sculptures, art bikes, beer, good times and live music with them — all in the name of charity. This year the Tour de Fat raised $625,000 for cycling-related nonprofits across 10 cities. 

    Yup, $625,000.

    That's about $70,000 more than was raised in 2013, and a new record for the Tour de Fat. That money goes toward causes such as building new bike lanes, maintaining and creating mountain bike trails, providing bicycles to youths and other awesome, awesome things. Of course, none of it could happen without volunteers from our partner non-profits who staff the event (you can find out about all of them from the Tour de Fat page) and everyone who comes out to buy a beer or two and have a swell time.

    Now it's time to look toward next year, when we'll (fingers crossed) raise even more money and awareness for better cycling around the country.

    Cheers and much love — Nic

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  • Bike n' Brunch with New Belgium & You Me and Apollo at Doe Bay Fest

    Today we've got a special guest post from Seattle-based New Belgium-er Todd Gillman. Todd teamed up with our friends (and Fort Collins band) You Me and Apollo at this year's Doe Bay Fest to host an intimate show on Washington's beautiful Orcas Island. Watch the video, and peep Todd's words below.

    Via Todd:

    Much has been written about the annual Doe Bay Music Festival, where, each August for the past 7 years a small throng of music lovers makes a pilgrimage of sorts to Washington’s idyllic Orcas Island. Doe Bay Resort’s rocky coves and expansive Puget Sound vistas provide the stunning visual backdrop for 4 days of amazing live music. Past performers include Built To Spill, The Head & The Heart, Blitzen Trapper, Damien Jurado, Pickwick, Bobby Bare Jr., and many more. Many DBF vets will plan their summer vacations around the festival, often building-in extra days on the front and back ends, but it’s not just the bands and performances that keep people coming back year after year. For one thing, the San Juan Island archipelago, with its deep emerald green waters and rugged, cliff studded coastlines will always be a visually arresting and magical escape from the mainland. But the San Juans in August is the epitome of the good life, as reliable warm sunny days give way to cool misty nights, making for perfect camping, which is the preferred mode of accommodation at DBF.  The resort itself is small and dotted with sections of woods and meadows, limiting the available amount of festival space, so the event itself is always an intimate affair, where you may find yourself walking down a narrow footpath with Doug Martsch from Built To Spill, or sitting on a rock outcropping staring at a jaw-dropping view while a cellist serenades the Puget Sound sunset. While there’s always tons of kids and families at the festival, we’ve come to think of DBF as “summer camp for adults,” a place where Seattle’s urban creative class can slow down and kind of get back to nature, collectively, as intimate live performances form the soundtrack. “Intimate” is the key word here. Everything about the festival is intentionally small, which creates a sense of camaraderie and blurs the normal lines between artists and fans. This also creates a challenge for people trying to get festival passes, which sell out notoriously fast. New Belgium has been super fortunate and grateful to be DBF’s craft beer of choice for the last 5 years, because honestly, we’re not sure that our summer would be complete without this annual pilgrimage!


    For the last couple years we’ve organized and hosted “tiny adventures” in the morning hours before the music begins in earnest on the main stage. We usually combine something active to help clean out the cobwebs from the night before, with something educational because we’re curious people and we’re visitors on the island, and we’ll throw in some of our delicious beer for good measure. For the intrepid souls who’ve gone out on a limb and have shown up early in the morning, bleary-eyed and confused, these activities have proven year after year to be an unexpected festival highlight. This year we once again led a hike through the old growth forest to the mountaintop vistas of Moran State Park, and a bike tour out to Buck Bay Shellfish farm for a tour and a seafood ‘n beer brunch. This year, we also wanted to add another element of awesome to our tiny adventures. In keeping with the musical vibe of the festival, we wanted to host a private set for the bike ‘n brunch crew. Naturally, we wanted to work with our beer-loving, Fort Collins-based band pals You Me And Apollo, who blew minds at DBF 2013, and who were invited back to play the Main Stage in 2014. These guys were a pleasure to work with and they put on one of our favorite performances of the entire weekend... as unplugged and as “intimate” as it gets! 


    Cheers — Nic

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  • Press play Wednesday: the science of Shift

    Time again for another captivating and informative video to help spur your Wednesday along. I was looking back through the 'ol New Belgium Youtube channel today when I came across this gem. It features scientists (wearing their scientist coats) singing about everyone's favorite after-work brew, Shift.

    Enjoy.

    Cheers — Nic 

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  • How will we celebrate our 50,000th batch of beer?

    50,000 — it's a big number, and, like all big numbers, when people reach them they tend to celebrate them. We just brewed our 50,000th batch of beer. It's taken us 23 years to get to this point, and I think I speak for everyone here at New Belgium when I say we are pretty dang proud.

    Rob added hops and salts to the kettle during our 50,000th brew (which just so happened to be Fat Tire).

    Originally, every 10,000th batch of beer was celebrated by brewing Abbey Grand Cru for New Belgium coworkers; it's a bigger, slightly boozier version of Abbey meant to be aged. We broke from tradition when we hit the 40,000 mark and made (what is now the very infamous) Cobra Horse. An imperial lager (aka malt liquor), Cobra Horse weighed in at 9 percent ABV. In the words of brewer Mike Cothran, "Cobra Horse is our production mascot if you will. He is half horse and half king cobra. A mythical creature that Bo Lytle (another brewer) created as his childhood mythical rock band. We adopted the name, and revel in it when hanging out together as a group." 

    I would just like to say (for the record) that Cobra Horse is bad a**.

    Cothran and the rest of the brewing team changed things up yet again to celebrate brew number 50,000. They planned ahead for this one, brewing a blackberry Frambois Grand Cru in the pilot system a few weeks ago. At 15 percent ABV it is the biggest beer we've made (on record) for production. It's also really tasty. 

    The Blackberry Barleywine, which was enjoyed during the 50,000th brew toast at the brewery on Friday.

    Cheers, and here's to the next 50,000 — Nic

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