Product spotlight: New Belgium Brewing Company

If you’ve followed this blog or this bar for any period of time, you already know we’re huge proponents of decentralized ownership. The people who work and/or shop at a business ought to have a say in how it runs. Further, they ought to own the business. That’s how we operate (you, the consumer, own the Public House), and we’re proud to flaunt our model. Likewise, we’re proud to feature brews from New Belgium Brewing Company. They’re 100% employee owned through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). And they make damn good beer.

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Snapshot : Snap! You just captured an unfiltered wheat beer full of refreshment and a flash of tart at the finish. Smile-inducing aromas of citrus hops jump from the nose, accompanied by the sweetness of coriander and grains of paradise. Brewed with wheat and pale malt, Snapshot pours a hazy, lemon-yellow with bright-white lacing. But the real enticement is the snap of tart. New Belgium’s affinity for sour beers led to the in-process blending of lactobacillus to pucker up Snapshot’s base. An extra step to acidify and beautify and get this beer ready for its close up.

Abbey : Winner of four World Beer Cup medals and eight medals at the Great American Beer Fest, Abbey Belgian Ale is the Michael Phelps of New Belgium’s lineup – but it didn’t start out that way. When Jeff and Kim first sampled the beer at the Lyons Folks Fest, reviews were mixed at best. One of founder Jeff’s first two Belgian style homebrews (along with Fat Tire), Abbey is a Belgian dubbel (or double) brewed with five different malts and an authentic Belgian yeast strain. Abbey is bottle-conditioned, weighs in at 7.0% alcohol by volume, and pairs well with chocolate (or boldly served by itself) for dessert.

Rampant : A burly and bitter Imperial IPA, Rampant pours a pure copper and carries the sheen of a rightly hopped beer. The Mosaic and Calypso hops bring stonefruit to the front seat, and the addition of Centennials nod towards citrus for a well-rounded aroma. The taste expands these hops with heavy peach tones and a profoundly bitter bite. There is some malt sweetness to stand this beer up, and Rampant’s finish is bone-dry.

1554 : Born of a flood and centuries-old Belgian text, 1554 Black Lager uses a lager yeast strain and dark chocolaty malts to redefine what dark beer can be. In 1997, a Fort Collins flood destroyed the original recipe New Belgium’s researcher, Phil Benstein, found in the library. So Phil and brewmaster, Peter Bouckaert, traveled to Belgium to retrieve this unique style lost to the ages. Their first challenge was deciphering antiquated script and outdated units of measurement, but trial and error (and many months of in-house sampling) culminated in 1554, a highly quaffable dark beer with a moderate body and mouthfeel.

Fat Tire : Named in honor of New Belgium’s co-founder’s bike trip through Europe, Fat Tire Amber Ale marks a turning point in the young electrical engineer’s home brewing. Belgian beers use a far broader palette of ingredients (fruits, spices, esoteric yeast strains) than German or English styles. Together with co-founder Kim Jordan, they traveled around sampling their homebrews to the public. Fat Tire won fans with its sense of balance: toasty, biscuit-like malt flavors coasting in equilibrium with hoppy freshness. Fat Tire: Pairs well with people.

And in a few days, one of our tap lines will play host to

Shift : New Belgium employee-owners work in shifts to brew to life world-class beers. Those efforts are rewarded daily with a shared end-of-shift beer. We’re passing that welcomed occasion onto beer drinkers in this Shift Pale Lager. Think American pale ale meets American lager. It’s easy to drink, crisp and congratulatory. So, clock out and crack open a Nelson Sauvin-hopped Shift Pale Lager to reward your work. Or play. Or, if you’re like us, combine the two and surround yourself with drinking buddies.

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