New Belgium with the HUB team
What the heck is “Vrienden,” and how are beers with Vrienden? Well, that funny word’s Flemish for “friends,” and we like brewing with friends. In other words, Beers with Vrienden is our draft-only collaboration series with friends around the country. We like to think of it as a space where mutual admiration becomes liquid inspiration. But while there’s an abundance of fun and creativity in the series, the beer itself is, well, pretty darn limited in volume. If you live in Fort Collins, you only get a crack at a single keg. In total, each batch runs about 24 kegs.
So far in 2015, we’ve put together a couple of awesome beers, with a few more on the way. Our first collaboration was with Miami’s J. Wakefield Brewing, a name you might recognize from the amazing tropical fruit Berliner weisses they make. For that collaboration, we invited Jonathan Wakefield to our brewery to make a Grilled Pineapple Berliner Weisse. Wakefield and New Belgium co-workers chopped and grilled the pineapples, brewed the beer, and then we shipped the bounty down to Miami for a few special release parties (and held one keg for our hometown fans).
Not long after the Wakefield session, the fine folks from Portland’s Hopworks Urban Brewery (aka HUB) visited us to whip up an awesome Organic Peach IPA called B-Side. Tomorrow, we have the pleasure of opening our pilot brewery to Charlotte’s Heist, NoDa, Free Range and Birdsong Brewing for another kickass collaboration. Just around the corner? A sour collaboration with The Rare Barrel.
That’s all step-one of Beers with Vrienden: An amazing small-volume beer brewed in our pilot brewery and released to the collaborating brewery’s hometown market. Step two? The reciprocal beer. A few weeks back, we had a blast visiting HUB to brew a sour peach ale (they also made a rad Spotify playlist for the brew session). We’ve also got some great ideas kicking around with our Charlotte friends.
So, how do you get a taste of these beers? Well, a little bit of luck is involved. If you’re a Fort Collins (or Colorado-wide) resident, you can keep an eye on our weekly On Tap at the Liquid Center email. We’ll make a big deal when a Beers with Vrienden offering goes on tap, and they usually don’t last the day. If you live elsewhere, keep an eye on our social channels like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (as well as this blog). We’ll certainly tell you when we’re brewing another beer and, later, when and where you can expect to find it.
For now, get ready Charlotte fans. We’ll fill you in shortly on when/where to expect our upcoming collaboration.
Cheers — Chris