Monday, 8 December 2014

New Belgium Brewing Company Snapshot

New Belgium Brewing Company Snapshot
Style: Wheat Beer
Alcohol Content: 5%
From: Fort Collins, Colorado, United States
Purchased From: Great British Beer Festival 2014, Olympia, United Kingdom

New Belgium was established in 1991 after its founder, Jeff Lebesch, decided to take his homebrewing passion commercially. The name New Belgium originates from a bicycle trip the founders took through Belgium in the late 80's. They would cycle from brewery to brewery, sampling beer as they went (sounds like bliss to me). Almost every label has been designed by watercolourist Anne Fitch. Anne has often been credited with helping the brewery develop so quickly due to her eye catching designs. Infact this partnership has helped New Belgium become the third largest craft beer brewery in the United States.

Not resting on their laurels, in 2013 the brewery became completely owned by their employees through an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan). The quirky corporate culture this generates helped New Belgium to be recognised as one of INC magazine's "25 Most Audacious Companies to work". The brewery is primarily based in Fort Collins where they produce over 700,000 barrels of beer each year.        


Colour: Pours a very pale straw yellow and is completely clear. Personally, I like to add the yeast into my wheat beers, so I naturally left a small amount of beer in my bottle and gave it a quickly swirl around. Normally this removes all the yeast that clings to the inside of the bottle, however, in the case of this beer, no yeast seems to be picked up and the drink remains crystal clear.

Aroma: Definitely not the most perfumed beer on the market, but you can pick up notes of zesty citrus fruits subtlety juxtaposed by the hints of creamed wheat. It certainly smells like a archetypal wheat beer. Perhaps this drink can now rise to the occasion.

Body: At first the body feels very rich and creamy. The incredibly low level of carbonation helps add to this depth. However, unlike the majority of the beers I review, this beer actually felt thinner in the mouth once it has warmed. It appears to become more watery as the temperature rises. The hints of citrus help to clear the slight clogging sensation on every sip. Mix this with the watery body and you have a real thirst quencher on your hands. Totally not what I was expecting from this beer.

Taste: To be honest, this is not the most flavoursome beer I have ever tasted. Sharp citrus notes completely dominate the subtle hints of creamed wheat and yeast. It all feels rather unbalanced much like the current Arsenal team. Lots of upfront zest, but no defensive body. The finish is slightly tart and ends incredibly dry. I hate to say it, but I think this beer is quite similar to Coors' Blue Moon. A thirst quenching wheat beer that has unfortunately failed to make its mark on me.


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