Name: New Belgium Brewing
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Type: Production brewery
Available in DC Market: Yes
What you need to know: New Belgium, since entering the DC market in 2011, has made quite an impact. Here, as elsewhere, they take over lines and bottle lists with their massive portfolios. Everything from Fat Tire to the sours they've come to be known almost as well (at least in craft circles) for. New Belgium has resourcefulness, assets, a wide styles of beer, and a bunch of credibility. A grade A combination that makes them one of the best breweries in America,
Beer #1: La Terroir (American sour ale / 7.5%)
In Their Own Words: "Le Terroir: French, meaning ‘from the terrain, soil, land, ground, earth.’ You may have heard it as a wine term speaking of the environmental conditions of the vineyard, the pH of the soil, even the slope of the land. But beer has it too, especially a New Belgium sour beer, which oozes terroir from the pores of the wooden foeders we age it in. They produce a base beer that’s golden-colored with a soft overripe peach aroma and just the right amount of tart. And after 3 years in the foeders, you can bet it has some nice earthy tones. Round out that fruity base with even more unique fruity hops like Amarillo and citra, and this beer may just have more terroir than your classiest wine. And with the hop burp, compliments of the dry-hopping, Le Terroir is definitely classy!"
Food Pairing: Coconut cheesecake and toasted coconut meringue.
Our Thoughts: I would love both of these things separately. Together? The idea is…suspicious. I mean yes, sours could cut through the intense sweetness and nuttiness of coconuts. But the dry-hopping? The oak barrel? No, I'm not sure this works together. Still, both the beer and the food are tremendous. Try and save this beer for a trip through the cheese table where it will certainly find a better pairing than this certain-to-be delectable pie.
Beer #2: Rye PA (American IPA / 7.5%)
In Their Own Words: "Artisan maltster River Bend Malt House of Asheville, North Carolina, kiln a perfect rye. And when you pair gobs of their spicy rye with heaps of spicy hops you get a great Hop Kitchen Beer. This unique, and collaborative, Rye IPA boasts a bold blend of Simcoe, Galaxy, Cascade, and Mosaic hops to bring a thunderous 75 IBU. Have a sip and feel the bang."
Food Pairing: Duck confit (Duck leg very slowly simmered until soft, pulled from the bone and served on a ragout of French lentils.)
Our Thoughts: The confit here should be with the Terroir above. That would be a fine pairing. This one is decent. Rye and all those hops will cut through the richness of that confit. But I'd almost rather have the nutty sweetness of coconut cheesecake here than the protein sweetness of duck confit. Either way, Rye PAs are generally an A+ with me so elbow me out of the way when you get in line.
This profile is a part of the DCBeer.com SAVOR Brewery Profile series. For more information, follow the link to see profiles of all 2014 SAVOR participants.