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  • Whole Foods, Beer and Twitter!

    Have you ever heard of a Tweet Up?  Me neither, that is until my dear friend The Beer Wench asked me to help out with one.  Turns out a Tweet Up is when a group of folks get together in the Twitter-o-sphere and use a hash-tag to talk about the same thing.  What's that you say?  Never heard of a hash-tag?  A hash-tag looks like this: #awesomegloves and you can attach that pound sign, followed by some words (in this case: awesome and gloves) to the end of your Twitter updates (henceforth: Tweets) and everyone using Twitter can search #awesomegloves (or whatever hash-tag you like) and see every Tweet using that hash-tag and see what the whole world thinks of their awesome gloves.  Using a hash-tag is like a proactive keyword search.  Make sense?  OK, so back to The Beer Wench, she has teamed up with Whole Foods and they have crafted a series of beer tastings to take place, live, in the Twitter-verse.  Head over here for the full and mighty press release. This model is based on the Whole Foods #WFMdish Tweet Up that happens on Thursday nights talking about food and recipes and all the specifics and generalities about those things, crammed into 140 characters.  It is fun and anyone can participate (assuming you have a Twitter account (if you don't you can still follow along, but not post your own thoughts on the matter)).  In this vein Whole Foods and The Beer Wench have slated #WFMbeer as the relevant hash-tag and put together some American Craft Breweries to start firing away with Tweets and the hope of your participation.

    The first in the series of craft beer tastings is scheduled to happen live, one week from today (on 12/20) at 7pm EST (again, using the hash-tag #WFMbeer), and the schedule for the night is as follows:

    7pm EST: New Belgium (@newbelgium) Snow Day
    7:15 EST: Deschutes (@DeschutesBeer) Jubelale
    7:30 EST: Bison Brewing (@bisonbrew) Gingerbread Ale
    7:45 EST: Dogfish Head (@dogfishbeer) Chicory Stout

    8pm EST: After party (free for all!!)

    As you can see from the schedule we here at NBB HQ are participating and we're bringing Snow Day to the (virtual) table and the other breweries look to be bringing some heat as well.  My recommendation is that you head over to your neighborhood bottle shop, procure these beers, get your Tweet-Deck running and get in on the fun.  This Tweet Up is a really good way to hear about new beers, try new beers, hear other people's opinions about said beers and also give your opinion (and I value that).  In other words, (capitol F) Fun...

    I'll see you in the Twitter-scape,


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  • It is winter, it's Snow Day time and the animals are dressed for it...

    Along with the release of Snow Day comes the winter-i-zation of the Liquid Center (New Belgium's own tap and tasting room).  Every year we cut out paper snow flakes and put up snowy decor and just generally snow up the joint, making it even more festive and conducive to drinking well made beer in the winter time.  This year our wonderful decorators took it one marvelous step further with small figurines of forest animals, all dressed up for the weather.  Take Pat Bena-dear for example- 

    Leg-warmers and all, this deer is ready for the Snow Day samples.  And that isn't even mentioning the rabbit (in the cozy hat) underneath Pat.  That rabbit is not going to suffer any frostbite on those cutesy ears, they will be ready for hearing every sneaking predator come summer-time. 

    Then there is the scared marmot:

     I'm not sure if it is fear in his eyes (frankly I'm not sure it's a male marmot either), maybe the right descriptor for the eyes is sadness, maybe there was a terrible tragedy down at the rock pile and forever his (?) gaze will be described as "the 1,000 mile type", poor marmot.  But that scarf-ed duck is there to be the marmot's defender and safety shroud (like a blanket (but more dramatic)).  

    Then there is the philanthropic reasoning behind the gussied up animals and the changing of seasons, the Glass that Gives.  This is a pretty sweet program that brings the giving of gifts to whole new heights.  The glasses in question come in two packs of either 12oz or 16oz globes and they make a great addition to your favorite beer lovers glass cabinet (or your glass cabinet for that matter).  And then the kicker: every 9 dollar package of glassware sold constitutes a 1 dollar donation to one of four charities: People For Bikes, Waterkeeper Alliance, Save the Colorado and Organic Farming Research Foundation.  And when you buy the glassware online you get to pick where your dollar goes!  This is philanthropy at it's tastiest.  So make sure you get your order in because the giving sort of holiday's are coming on fast.  And then... Holy Smokes!!!!!!!---> There is free shipping on the shipped glass for the Glass that Gives from now until the holiday season has concluded. 

    And then if your not philanthropied out (how could you be?), upload a picture of your Snow Day/Glassware extravaganza (that will surly ensue) to our Glass That Gives Facebook app and we will give yet another dollar to the designated good-causes.  So get after it beer lovers, do some good, knock out that gift list and have a couple beers along the way, we all benefit.



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  • The World Series and Some New Lips of Faith

    I am a St. Louis Cardinals fan, have been since birth.  Since my youth in St. Louis I have been able to see my Birds win more than one World Series and tonight I hope to watch them win one more.  Last night's game 6 was one of the best baseball games I have ever seen in my entire life.  Hits, flubs, drama, extra innings and a home town hero emerging in David Freese (Freese, if you are reading this (which I assume you are) I would love to send you some free Fat Tire (let me know)).  I paired last nights win with some Hoptober.  A great fall beer in hand for a great Fall Classic.  And tonight I am cracking a couple reserve bottles, a 22oz of Le Terroir and a 12oz of 7 year old Transatlantique Kriek for some fellow Show-Me-State-ers that are coming over to view the game.  Go Cardinals!

    And then on to some beer stuff.  Monday marks the release of Snow Day, our new winter seasonal.  It is also the day that a couple new Lips of Faith are hitting the shelves as well.  Prickly Passion Saison and Fresh Hop IPA are going to be firing into beer stores and bars all across our 28 state (plus the District of Columbia), so get ready!

    I will be talking about these beers a lot more in the coming weeks so stay tuned...

    Until Tuesday...


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  • NEW BEER! Another Seasonal Addition for Winter

    New Belgium has a new winter seasonal, it's called Snow Day.  It is dark and hoppy and perfect for the coldest of months.   The tough news to take on the NBB seasonal front however is the hiatus that 2Below is going to take, two years off the shelf to make room for Snow Day.  But fear not good people, the newest of New Belgium offerings is a true delight, so good in fact I drank one this morning and wrote a review just for you.  I figured with Snow Day beginning to hit the shelves over the next few weeks you should be armed with the knowledge required of an informed consumer. 

    Let's start with the bottle picture, pretty isn't it?  That label shows off a winter-wonderland-like-vision of the Mothership and the amazing (and amazingly huge) window into Brewhouse One.  It also shows just how much snow can pile up in your imagination when you're thinking about the perfect beer for an unexpected day off.  This label is another Anne Fitch gem.  Anne has been painting labels for us since our co-founder Kim Jordan knocked on her door looking for Fat Tire and Abbey bottle art 20 years ago, and she nailed it again.  The winter season also marks the yearly cap change (visible in the photo), once the days start to shorten the white replaces the red, and it always makes me long for pond hockey season.  Then the red cap comes back in spring and it makes me pine for bike camping.

    I popped the bottle open and poured the beer into it's neighboring globe glass.  Snow Day pours dark, like very dark, black in fact. The black beer builds a strong, walnut-hued head.  The foam was very sturdy and did want to dissipate (like at all).  The aroma was strong, I only had to tilt my head slightly towards the glass to start picking it up.  On the nose the hops are very present.  This beer has Cascade, Centennial and Styrian Golding hops and the spicy tones were complimented by the Pacific Northwest (of America) hoppy-citrus punch, creating a full, round hop-o-sphere to take through the nose holes of your face. Upon first sip I was taken aback with the unexpected.  Looking at the dark color of Snow Day I was expecting a strong, roasted bitterness.  I was fooled.  The darkness in this beer comes from a new brewing malt called Midnight Wheat, it imparts a blackness to the color but does not give the burnt, acridity found in a lot of darker beers.  This wheat malt lends a good (almost) sweetness as well as that easy, smoothness found in a good wheat beer.  The sweetness in this beer bordered on the edge of chocolate (maybe coffee too) and these flavors were launched into flavor orbit when considered along side the hoppy bitterness also found in Snow Day.  The mouthfeel was pretty easy, very crisp and more refreshing than I would expect from a winter beer.  The finish had a subtle dryness, just enough to leave the palate feeling clean, but not sucked of it's moisture.  I enjoyed the sample sips so much I went back for more to the same end (the end is yums-ville (and we all have tickets for the ride)). 

    This beer is winner.  I too will miss 2Below, but I am really excited about Snow Day.  The hole in my heart left behind by 2Below caesura will be filled (beyond capacity) with Snow Day and fun winter activities (like pond Hockey).  This beer should be available soon (assuming you live within our distribution area) if it isn't already.  So get out there my friends and start embracing winter.



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