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SAVOR Brewery Profile: New Belgium Brewing (@newbelgium )

The brewery is loved by beer nerds these days as much for these delicious beers as it is for their regular offerings. New Belgium made their first foray into the east coast market in 2008 when they started distributing their beers in North Carolina. They are continuing to expand and will begin selling their beers in the DC area this fall. I, for one, cannot wait to have these beers available regularly at my local bars and beer stores.

New Belgium holds a special place in my heart. I can definitively trace my love of craft beer back to my high school days growing up in Denver when I’d opt for a Fat Tire instead of a Coors Light whenever I had the choice. Fat Tire was everywhere, and honestly, I didn’t really know the difference between craft breweries and the big macro breweries back then. All I knew is that Fat Tire tasted a hell of a lot better than that watery stuff.

When I moved out to the east coast for college, I was crushed to find that New Belgium’s beers didn’t make it out here, and while that was tragic for me, New Belgium’s popularity continued to soar west of the Mississippi. The popularity of staples like Fat Tire allowed the brewery to start experimenting with wild yeast and oak barrels, resulting in a number of limited release beers that have been dubbed the “Lips of Faith” series. The brewery is loved by beer nerds these days as much for these delicious beers as it is for their regular offerings. New Belgium made their first foray into the east coast market in 2008 when they started distributing their beers in North Carolina. They are continuing to expand and will begin selling their beers in the DC area this fall. I, for one, cannot wait to have these beers available regularly at my local bars and beer stores.

Type: Production Brewery

Available in DC Market: Not yet (but will be starting in September)

SAVOR Offerings

Super Cru – 20th Anniversary Beer (Belgian Strong Dark Ale)

Beer Advocate: C (6 reviews)

Rate Beer: Not enough reviews for a score

Notes: Super Cru, brewed for New Belgium’s 20th Anniversary, is an interesting twist on New Belgium’s flagship, the aforementioned Fat Tire. It’s Fat Tire, but with double the malt, double the hops, Asian pear juice and saison yeast, all coming together to create a brand new beer weighing in at 10% ABV. Early reviews haven’t been particularly positive, but this still sounds like a very interesting beer and one worth checking out given New Belgium’s history of successful experimental beers.

Ranger IPA

Beer Advocate: B+ (629 Reviews)

Rate Beer: 95 Overall, 90 Style

Notes: After almost twenty years in existence, New Belgium finally added an IPA to their regular lineup last year with Ranger. It’s a very solid IPA, especially for the price, but admittedly, there’s nothing particularly special about this beer. I’m a little disappointed that they picked this as one of their SAVOR offerings, as it’s no longer new and exciting. They have so many other interesting beers in their lineup, and I would’ve loved to see them bring something else from the Lips of Faith series instead.

What you need to know:

New Belgium makes so many beers that it’s difficult to pick any two beers to define this eclectic brewery. The Super Cru shows off their innovative side, but early reports indicate that this one might be a little too out there for more palettes. Ranger is a fine beer, but it’s one of the more standard offerings that New Belgium makes. Ultimately I won’t complain too much about one of my all-time favorite breweries, but I think they could have made better choices to use as a showcase for entering the DC market in a few months.

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