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  • Well dang, it's the new year...

    HAPPY NEW YEAR! 

    2013 is going to be a big one for beers and stuff. Some very major New Belgium things are in the pipeline. Let's take a minute and call out a few facts and a few rumors...


    Facts (these are things I know to be true)-

    1. A collaboration beer with Dieu du Ciel! of Montreal is headed our way soon. This is a wonderful thing. It's a heavenly tripel with feijoa and hibiscus. Feijoa is a (probably) tropical fruit that's very strange (and worldly). Peter (our brewmaster) has wanted to make a beer with it for some years. And Dieu du Ciel! is famous for brewing with hibiscus. BOOM! 

    2. Transatlantique Kriek is making a comeback. Brouwerji Boon has sent us a whole mess of his Kriekenlambiek, and we have brewed the accompanying beer, and the two are blended (or, almost blended). These bottles should hit shelves in a month to six weeks. Get very excited because this beer is the tops, like all the way at the top of the tops! 

    3. Springboard is coming back! Springboard was the spring seasonal a few years back (07-08), brewed with schisandra and goji berries. It was a major crowd pleaser, and I am very excited about it's return... Springboard is coming back in the Folly Pack only. No sixers, etc... You are going to have to buy the mix pack to score yourself some, and you should try to score yourself some.


    Rumors (these are things that I have heard to be true)-

    1. The 2013 vintage of La Folie is really good.

    2. More throwback beers may/may not be hitting Folly Packs through the year.

    3. We're switching to Google+ as a platform for our Beer Streams.

    4. An Imperial IPA is in the works...

    5. I am constructing a giant carpet slide to serve as my main commuting option (it will be open to the public, if you want to come over to my house).

    6. We are adding two more U.S. states to our distribution footprint (one is very cold, one is very warm (maybe)).


    So there it is, some tale of coming news. Welcome to the future friends...

    -Juicebox

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  • Some things are happening soon, and other things are happening now.

    Here are the details...

    Soon: 

    The next and newest Beer Stream is this Wednesday. Matty and I will be talking all about the G. Love Collaboration- Peach Porch Lounger. The live tasting will go over the beer: raw materials, special processes, brewers anecdotes, etc... We'll talk about the history of the beer, the time I drank beer with G. Love, the art on the bottle, etc... And during all the talking we'll be drinking, sharing tasting notes, and generally be making pleasurable noises in regards to this beer. It will be really fun. If you follow the link above you can watch the last stream we did (or bookmark the page for Wednesday's tasting), so you can get the idea of what it is that we're doing (or get ready for the next one). This is going to be really fun, so please, join us.

    Now: 

    Shift Beer!


    We're running the Shift flag up the pole again. The website has some great stuff on it, you should check it out. We're hosting all the rest of our wonderful videos, like the sock puppets, and the Shift song, and some hot, hot Ping Pong action... There are a few food pairings to consider too, and you can read this blog (again). We're doing some other great stuff too, check it out.

    Also now:

    Getting ready for GABF! The Great American Beer Festival is coming next week, and I am taking today to gather all the details I need to share with you later this week.

    Hope you're well, and we'll talk again soon,

    Juicebox

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  • Oh my goodness, oh my goodness...

    Brewery Vivant got my letter! And they feel the same way. 

    This surely is a match made for the beer heavens. I cannot wait to gaze upon sunsets and drink beer together. Until then, I will always have their mix-tape.

    Response letter from Brewery Vivant!

    With a fluttering heart,

    Juicebox

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  • Dear Brewery Vivant,

    You're the best, I mean it. I wanted to take a few minutes and write you a letter expressing my adulation. So, here it is... When we first met it was magical. New Belgium was starting the Michigan roll out process and there you were, in an awesome, old funeral home in Grand Rapids. Your beers we great right away. We stopped by to say hello, drink a little, and it turned out that everybody inside the old funeral home (turned brewery) was awesome too. With wonderful and like-minded individuals such as yourselves it didn't take very long for the idea of a collaboration to come to the front. 

    First was the beer brewed at your place, in Grand Rapids: Escoffier. A bretta beer with French chef-er-y roots, and a beer dinner that was 12 courses long. 12 courses! The highlights that I read just barely did it justice. And the few cans you sent me left me craving more (can you send more?). The beer is all over Michigan now, and the Chicagoland area too, but really, it should be world-wide.

    Then, we met Brian and Jacob (brewer, and head brewer, respectively). These guys came to Fort Collins to brew the other version of the collaboration. They were beyond friendly and extremely knowledgable in beer, it was a real treat to talk to them. The beer they made here, with our brewers, is not Escoffier, it's something else, but amazing too. This half of the collaboration is a biere de garde, of the farmhouse family (as with Escoffier). It has bergamot, orange peel, and uses your house biere de garde yeast (oh, so yummy). The collaboration's bottle is a 22oz-er. In homage to you, Brewery Vivant, Jodi put somes roosters on it, it's spectacular. To the right is a very dramatic picture of a mocked up bottle (the real bottle will be silk screened (just like the rest of our Lips of Faith)). 

    I am very excited to taste this next half of our beer relationship, it promises to be a real gem. Oh, and Brewery Vivant, this beer will be available through our distribution network in about a month (or so). Maybe you can come back to Colorado and we can drink both sides of this beer collaboration together, while sitting around a fire, and maybe we can share our feelings and more beers. That would be nice.

    Until we meet again Brewery Vivant, I miss you...

    Yours, 

    -Juicebox

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  • A collaboration (and a beer dinner!)!

    On the (very regular) occasion that something awesome happens in the beer world, and I am not invited, I like to pester those that were in order to get reports. I then take their reports and put them on this blog. Very recently we opened Michigan as a new market. We threw a bunch of sweet parties, hugged a lot of really nice people, and traveled up to a wonder-filled place called Brewery Vivant. In our Brewery Vivant hangings-out there were two collaboration beers made, one beer there (for their markets) and one beer here (for our markets). The beer that was made up there is called Escoffier. It's pretty great, it's named after a very famous French chef. And in the spirit of French chef-er-y the fine folks up at Brewery Vivant put together a beer dinner for this beer, some of their other beers, and then some of our beers. It was totally awesome. I was not there. But my pal Matty was, here's his report:


    I Went to Grand Rapids for Dinner...

    By Matty Smooth

    There is only one correct answer when your coworker asks you if you want to go to a beer dinner to release the latest collaboration beer: “Yes.” The chances are good that it could end up being pretty cool. In this case, it turned out to be the culinary experience of a lifetime.

    Brewery Vivant looks unassuming from the outside. The first time our guys saw it, they were eating lunch at a local gastropub. When they asked where the beer they were drinking was from, the server just pointed, indicating the brick building across the street, an old funeral home. New Belgium’s Head Brewer Alex and Beer Ranger Aaron decided the beer was good enough to warrant poking their heads in, where they met Jason and Jacob.
     
    Fast forward a year, and I’m passing through the same door – it still has the old sign reading “Chapel” over the doorframe – and into what looks like an old European beer hall. The Belgian flag has a place over the door, and the prancing red rooster, symbol of the Wallonia region of Belgium, is tastefully woven into much of the décor. The backdrop for the bar is the stained glass lancet arch that had backed the sanctuary, a shape mirrored by the shape of the bar itself. The whole place has an old-school-cool feel to it. After meeting Jason, their cofounder, and Jacob, their exceptionally talented brewer, we shook hands and clinked glasses for what felt like less than a minute and shot back outside for the trip out to Lubbers farm. The dinner needs to start early, we were told, to allow time for all 12 courses(!).
     
    “Escoffier” is the name of the beer. It’s also the name of a classic French cookbook, and most of the recipes from the night’s dinner were pulled from its pages. Jason told our little group that this had been his Chef, Drew’s idea. Drew had wanted to put on a full-fledged French cuisine festival for quite some time and the release of Escoffier seemed like the occasion for it.
     
    Occasion it was: Chicken and summer truffle terrine paired with Vivant’s Farmhand. Grape leaf wrapped, forcemeat gratin stuffed partridge breast on a brown butter crouton paired with Escoffier. Spiced beef tongue with cream on a fried green tomato paired with Escoffier. Grilled nelson lamb chops with foie gras puree and asparagus paired with our Biere de Mars. Cheese plate! Sweet veal marrow pudding with Vivant Zaison. That’s just a few of the courses.
     
    I’m not as much of a foodie as a few people I know, but I still know ridiculously good food when I see it. More than just the food, though, the setting, in the hayloft of the barn at Lubbers farm, and the phenomenal Vivant beers made. Just getting to chat with Vivant’s other cofounder, Kris, and Rick, their sales/marketing guy would have made it a pleasant evening.
     

    Most of the other attendees were beer writers, or photo bloggers, and I met some really cool people. Someone asked me how I came to be invited, and I couldn’t lie: I’m just real good at eating.



    Thanks for the write up Matty, you're a pro.

    More on the Brewery Vivant collaboration beers coming next week!

    And PS, thanks to Rick Muschiana from Brewery Vivant for the photos!

    I'm out of here!

    -Juicebox

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  • IPA Day is August 2nd...

    Did you know there is an IPA Day? Well there is. And it's all thanks to Ashley Rouston (The Beer Wench) and Ryan Ross (of the San Diego based, heavy hitting, Karl Strauss). These two beer drinkers felt the IPA needed its very own day, so last year they decided to give it one. And I, for one, couldn't be happier. Coming Thursday, the 2nd of August, 2012 is the 2nd annual International IPA Day! There are lots of things happening for this special day, for the most up to the minute details you should follow #IPADay on Twitter.

    And, if you want to celebrate this most-wonderful of days with New Belgium there are three glorious ways:

    Firstly, come to the brewery! We are going gaga over IPA Day and things are going to get awesome. There are 4.5 IPAs on tap for the day and we want you to sip them all. We got Ranger, Belgo, Matt's Cascadian Dubbel (a dark, hoppy, Belgian yeast-y bit of wonder), The Alpine Beer Co. Collaboration: Super IPA, and we are tapping some Red Hoptober (the .5 of the count, a hoppy seasonal for fall (though, not quite an IPA)). We will have hops spread about the room and when you find a variety that you like (smells nice) we will serve you up the beer that contains the hop of your choosing. Then pair it with chocolate! And then, your first sample pairing is free! The match the hops to the beer game will  continue through the day and things should be really fun.

    And then we're doing a Beer Stream! A Beer Stream is a live streaming event hosted on our Facebook page where anyone (with a FB account) can come join some easy New Belgium personalities talking about our beers. This will be our 4th (or maybe 5th) stream to date and we have covered everything from Shift to Tart Lychee, and (frankly) it's about time we hit the IPA's. On IPA Day the Beer Stream we will be covering Ranger, Belgo and Super IPA. Those easy personalities I was talking about are myself (the Juicebox) and Matty Smooth. Matty is a brewer/know it all around these parts and he is chocked full of beer making knowledge. So, the important details- click on the Beer Stream link on our Facebook wall on Thursday, August 2nd (IPA Day) at 5:00pm MST... 

    And then there is a third way to celebrate IPA Day with NBB, and this one is for those folks that can't make it to Fort Collins, nor do they have a Facebook account. The third way is to go out and buy an IPA (maybe a Ranger?) and drink it on Thursday in celebration.

    Happy IPA Day

    Alright! Break...

    -JUICEBOX

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  • It's American Craft Beer Week!

    It's time to celebrate American Craft Beer, are you ready? Starting May 14 (yesterday!), and going through the weekend, America is a-buzz with great beer. There are events happening in all 50 states and that means if you are in America you can celebrate. Here is a link to the Brewer's Association's  page that is listing a lot of the goings on country wide. Check it out, then check your own calender, then go some place great and drink an American Craft beer.

    Around these parts (NBB) we have lots of things going on for ACBW. Firstly, the Fort Collins collaboration- Collusion 2012. All nine Fort Collins craft breweries got back together for the third year and brewed up another gem. Filled with Colorado barley, hops, honey, and snow (seriously, snow, right out of Rockey Mountain National Park). The beer defies style. I tried it last night at Equinox and I can describe it as great, kind of light, and totally drinkable. Here is a video of the making ––>

     

    Pretty sweet huh? And that being watched, you should know that you can get a glass of Collusion at all of the involved Fort Collins breweries, including New Belgium, right now. But act quickly, because the liquid is limited and you'll want to get your tongue on it before it's gone.

    And on top of all the colluding, the Liquid Center here at NBB is blowing up with events all week: trivia today, Loose Lips taste contests tomorrow and Thursday, a brewer's panel is also happening on Thursday, and then some beer poetry on Friday. It's going to be a hoot (I even heard rumors of kereoke...). And, you can (and should) come in and sign the Declaration of Beer Independence at any time during the week, it is hanging right on the wall. Go ahead, sign it, let the world know that you support craft beer.

    So get after it friends, start drinking now, because this is everyone's beer week!

    -Juicebox

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  • A quick hit, Lost Abbey and New Belgium

    Tomme Arthur of Lost Abbey (in California) was here yesterday to get together with our Brewmaster, Peter Bouckaert, and brew up another installment of their wonderful, collaborative ideas. In 2004 these two got together for the first time and made a beer called Mo Betta Bretta. That beer was brewed at and sold through The Solano Beach Pizza Port. The beer was a full, 100% brettanomyces fermentation and has been described to me as a "pineapple bomb of absolute joy." Seriously, that was what this guy I know said about it. Anyway, that beer was so good that Peter and Tomme figured they would make it again, or at least another version of it, another full brettanomyces beer.

    Yesterday was the big day here at NBB. Tomme was at the brewery and stuff got done. This is just a teaser post, the full post with an evaluation of the beer and way more (and better) pictures of the process is forth coming (as soon as the beer is done and bottled and conditioned and ready (should be around May 1)).

    Hang in there folks, this collaboration is going to blow your minds...

    xoxo,

    JUICEBOX

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  • 2012, A CollaBEERative Year

    Around the New Belgium parts of the American Craft Beer landscape collaboration beers are in our blood. The first was Transatlantique Kriek with Brouwerij Boon in 2004 and then again in 2008. The Trip Series beers with Elysian in Seattle started in 2008 as well, and together we have gone on to create 11 of those over the years with no plans on stopping. Then there was Vrienden with Allagash in 2010, a delicious brettanomyces and lactobacillus beer with Belgian endive and hibiscus flowers. 2011 saw Clutch, a dark sour with the Maryland hardrockers of the same name. And 2012 will be another year of collaborative beers, in fact, a year full of collaBEERations.

    Coming this year are delicious beers with Lost Abbey of California, Brewery Vivant of Michigan (that's right Michigan, we're coming for you), another as yet unconfirmed (news coming soon) musical collaboration, and one more with the Alpine Beer Company out of San Diego. Seems like a lot to cover, so I am going to save all the pertinent info for the pertinent times and that leads us to today's post: A Beer with the Alpine Beer Company.

    There are a few things that make collaborative beers awesome: the collective mind that is inherent in the process, the pairings of histories and styles of both breweries, the mixed expertise, the companionship and brewers getting to visit and brew in foreign brewhouses. Last week our very own Peter Bouckaert went out to San Diego county to hang out with Pat and Shawn (and others) of Alpine to make the first installment of this beer. Installment one was brewed at Alpine and will be available in Alpine bottles and in Alpine's distribution areas. Installment two (coming later this year) will be brewed at New Belgium and will be available in New Belgium bottles and in our distribution areas. Pictured right is Peter and Pat hanging out, talking about how great this beer is going to be.

    These guys all got together and performed some beer making magic (probably closer to science) down there in SD. What I could take away from my interview with Peter (his accent is pretty thick) was that the beer brewed at Alpine is going to be a wonderful, very dry beer, spiced with pink peppercorns. The pink peppercorns bring a strange sweet/sour rather than overly peppery flavor, they are subtle and very interesting. Three hops were used in the beer: Motueka, Columbus and according to Peter "a third hop, a forgotten hop, no seriously, I forget what the third hop was." The beer is dry hopped and will carry a some pleasant lemon/lime and tropical fruit tones. Then there is the brettanomyces, added late in the fermentation and then again for bottle conditioning. The most wild and Belgian of all the wild and Belgian brewing yeasts, the brett in this beer should impart the typical brett characteristics, pineapple and funky awesome-ness. It sounds great, doesn't it?

    And again, this version of the collaboration will be available through Alpine only. So if you are lucky enough to be within arm's reach of Alpine beers you should really go out and find some of this in the coming weeks. Otherwise you are going to have to wait until later this summer when New Belgium and Alpine will get together again in Fort Collins (this time) for another gem of a beer. From what I gather the beer brewed at NBB later this year is going to be an IPA of the real San Diego variety: bold, hoppy, delicious. But this summer is a long time from now and things could change, especially in brain's of wonderful and creative (and a little crazy) Brewmasters like these. But either way, stay tuned in and get ready for some great collaborative beers in 2012.

    -Juicebox

    PS. Photos came directly from Aimee Gilchrist's iPhone. Aimee does events and sponsorships for the New Belgium Brewing CO. in the Southern California area and vicinity. Thanks Aimee, you take real pretty pictures.

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