New Belgium Brewing Co.
Ft. Collins, CO
As I said in the Gingerman Beer and Chocolate post, this new brew from New Belgium deserved a proper review and many revisitations. It uses Cascade, Simcoe, and Chinook hops, as well as an extra dose of Cascades in case there weren’t enough citrus florals in there for you.
A steady pour yields a foamy white head that is billowy and sticky. The clarity is excellent and slow, intermittent bubbles march their way to the surface. The color is marigold with some strawberry blonde accents.
The nose is sticky pine and grapefruit with some hints of tobacco, and the florals come across as wet flowerbed soil – an earthiness that is a nice combination of hops and malt body.
The head is sticking to the glass as crystalline lacing before the first sip. The mouthfeel is excellent and nicely balanced between sere, saliva-sapping bitters and a more mellow grassiness that isn’t quite earthy. Grapefruit notes are evident thanks to the Cascades, but the Simcoes add some pine forest air and the Chinooks provide the tobacco background that impart some of the more herbal counterweight.
For those hop hounds among you who might like hops but wish some of these brews toned down the Cascades a bit, this beer is excellent. The start is smooth, the middle is citrusy, and the finish is grassy. This beer is big – 70 IBUs – but is constructed with New Belgium’s characteristically steady hand.