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.
Name: New Belgium Brewing Company
Type: Production Brewery
Available in DC Market: Yes
Location: Fort Collins, Colorado
What you need to know: This time last year, New Belgium wasn’t in the DC market. Now Fat Tire, as well as most of the rest of the extensive New Belgium portfolio, is all over DC. What a difference a year makes. One of the most renowned breweries in America, New Belgium makes everything from session beers to world class sours.
Beer 1: Belgo (Belgian IPA / 7%)
Beer Advocate: 87 (153 reviews)
Rate Beer: 94 overall, 87 style (370 ratings)
Notes: From New Belgium: “When we set out to brew, we use imagination and salvation to guide us- not necessarily style guidelines. It’s the Belgian way. So, Ameri-Belgo and IPA both being styles, the branding begged for New Belgium whimsy to liven things up. Hmmm Belgo sounds like a Belgian disco. Hops like to party. Next thing you know, we bust out a disco-ball and brewers started groovin. Hops started hoppin. Add in an authentic Trappist yeast strain and the place brewed into a frenzy of citrus hoppy folly.”
Beer 2: Tart Lychee (American Wild Ale / 8.5%)
Beer Advocate: 89 (58 reviews)
Rate Beer: 98 overall, 88 style (134 ratings)
Notes: From New Belgium: “According to Lauren, the imaginator of this pucker-pleasing ale, Lychee Fruit is so insanely sweet and flavorful you almost can’t stand it alone. Sour to the rescue! The combination of our barrel-aged sour beer, Lychee Fruit puree, and cinnamon sticks pours a frothy head of tart perfection.”
The Tart Lychee is on our list of 25 Don’t Miss SAVOR beers. Belgo is a fine Belgian IPA, but you can find it pretty regularly in DC. Stick with the sour in this case.