New Belgium Debuts Snapshot Wheat in 2014

New Belgium Brewing is proud to announce their newest year-round beer offering, Snapshot Wheat. Snapshot, an unfiltered wheat beer with a citrusy nose, a sweet malt profile and a flash of tart across the finish, will roll into all New Belgium markets in February, 2014.

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“This has been a fascinating process,” said New Belgium Brewmaster, Peter Bouckaert. “We are actually blending two beers here – one that is traditionally fermented and one that undergoes a lactobacillus fermentation which creates a subtle tartness. By blending the two, we smooth out the tart and create a very refreshing and sessionable wheat beer.”

Brewed with wheat and pale malt, Snapshot pours a hazy, lemon-yellow with bright white lacing. The beer opens with a citrus note from Target hops, coriander and grains of paradise, then gives way to malty smoothness and a refreshing tart snap at the finish. Snapshot will be available year-round in 12-oz bottles and cans, 22-oz bottles, and draft throughout New Belgium’s area of distribution.

New Belgium will launch Snapshot Wheat with a multi-city tour, tasting and interactive photo shoot next spring. Stay tuned for details.

New Belgium to Double Down on Wood Beer Capacity

New Belgium Brewing is about to double its wood beer capacity with the addition of 32 new French Oak foeders (large wooden casks for conditioning sour beer) that will bring their total foeder count to 64. Space has been allocated, reinforced concrete flooring has been poured, and the first 12 foeders will be put in place this week. The expansion will allow New Belgium to effectively double its wood beer production in coming years. New Belgium first began making wood-aged sour beers in the form of the award-winning La Folie in 1998 when Brewmaster, Peter Bouckaert, joined the brewery. Bouckaert formerly brewed at Rodenbach in Belgium, home of the Flanders style, Rodenbach Red.

“With this expansion, we’ll get so close to that feeling I had the first time I walked through the forest of foeders at Rodenbach,” said New Belgium’s Wood Cellar Manager/Blender, Lauren Salazar. “Just knowing they’re all full of souring beer – ALL of them – is exciting. It’s a destination. Something you have to experience first hand.”

New Belgium has been experimenting with lighter and blended sour beers through its Lips of Faith program since 2003. The brewery will use this expansion to bring Lips of Faith offerings like Tart Lychee and Eric’s Ale into year round production by 2015. The newest set of oak foeders are 130 hectoliters each and come from Sterling vineyards in California. After the initial installation of 12 in November, 20 more foeders will be placed in December. Once rehydration is complete, sour beer from the current wood cellar will be used to inoculate the barrels with resident souring bacteria and wild yeasts. The beer will then age up to two years before it is blended.

On February 1st, 2014 New Belgium will hold its second annual Lost in the Woods party where guests can mingle and experience the wonders of wood beer first hand.  Check back in mid-December for details at www.newbelgium.com.

‘Tis the Season for New Belgium’s Frambozen

Frambozen Bottle and GlassWhether the holidays bring sunshine, rain or crisp white snow, New Belgium Brewing’s Frambozen has a place on the table. Celebrating its twentieth birthday, Frambozen is one of the few beers released annually by New Belgium, and is named after the Flemish word for raspberries.

In line with the season of tradition, New Belgium annually sends delegates to the Pacific Northwest to select freshly picked raspberries and oversee the process of turning them into a pure juice that the brewers use in fermentation.

Frambozen pops with fresh tart raspberries and is backed by nutty, chocolate and caramel malts. It has 6.5 percent ABV.

“After all these years, Frambozen continues to be a holiday tradition because its flavors pair so well with decadent and delicious meals that bring people together,” said New Belgium Assistant Brewmaster Grady Hull. “It’s only available through the Thanksgiving through New Year season, but it’s always a hit and why we’re excited to celebrate two decades of brewing this one.”

Frambozen is available in most New Belgium markets through January and pricing varies by location. For food pairing ideas, to learn more about the beer, and to find it near you, visit http://bit.ly/aidK2G. You can also follow New Belgium on Facebook athttp://www.facebook.com/newbelgium and Twitter (@NewBelgium) to get the latest on New Belgium brewery and beer news.

Oskar Blues Brewery joins forces with The Infamous Stringdusters to Raise Funds for CO Flood Victims

Oskar Blues Brewery announced plans early this week to team up with nationally-touring bluegrass/high country band, The Infamous Stringdusters (http://thestringdusters.com/site/), to raise money for individuals, families, and small business affected by the flooding that washed through Colorado in September.

The Grammy-nominated band known for adding a philanthropic touch to their tours chose to partner up with the Oskar Blues CAN’d Aid Foundation (https://foundation.oskarblues.com/) for their upcoming Road To Boulder tour and Ski Tour to support a cause that hit close to home for members of the band.

Andy Hall, the band’s dobro player, is a resident of Lyons, CO—a town of just over 2,000 people that remained shut down for over a month due to damage (estimated at $1 billion) caused by the overflowing waters of the banks of the St. Vrain Creek. Hall recounts his decision to move to Boulder, CO over Charlottesville, VA in the first single the band has released in nearly two years, “The Road To Boulder”, featuring Bruce Hornsby on accordion. The single will be released as part of an EP that will also feature 3 other tracks recorded during the band’s live performance at the Bluegrass  Underground. (Preview the EP at (https://soundcloud.com/warnerblaster/sets/road-to-boulder-ep-the/s-fJr5I.) Hall made the move from Nashville to Boulder, and in time, gravitated to the town of Lyons, a bluegrass mecca embedded in the Front Range of Colorado. It was in Lyons that Hall recalls The Infamous Stringdusters playing one of their first gigs at a small venue in the middle of the small town. In time—the band’s popularity skyrocketed, and The Infamous Stringdusters became a household name and fixture in the bluegrass circuit.

To help a community that embraced the ‘Dusters music from the beginning, the band has committed to donate $1 from every ticket sold to their December Road To Boulder tour and their February Ski Tour to the CAN’d Aid Foundation’s Colorado Flood Relief Fund. (For a list of tour dates: http://thestringdusters.com/site/tour-dates/.) The fund was created by Oskar Blues Brewery to help support the damaged communities in which the original Oskar Blues Grill & Brew location and the brewery’s 35,000 square foot brewery are located in. To date—the CAN’d Aid Foundation’s Colorado Flood Relief Fund has raised over $250,000 and distributed over $200,000 to flood victims and small businesses along that Front Range that sustained loss as a result of the flood.

The band will also donate all proceeds from sales of the single “The Road To Boulder” to the CAN’d Aid Foundation.

Fans of both Oskar Blues Brewery and The Infamous Stringdusters will have the opportunity to raise a glass together during pre-show events hosted by the brewery at venues along the tour. Updates on Oskar Blues & ‘Duster pre-show events can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/OskarBluesCANS.

New Belgium and Patagonia partner to create California Route Organic Lager

Patagonia Inc., the outdoor apparel company, and New Belgium Brewing are excited to announce California Route, a limited-release organic lager.

For 40 years, Patagonia has led the way in developing innovative outdoor gear and in environmental responsibility. To toast the company’s accomplishments, New Belgium partnered with Patagonia to create California Route, an organic California common-style beer. Boasting California lager yeast with subtle fruity esters and a refreshing light lager finish, California Route organic lager is canned for adventure. The beer has an aromatic blast of citrusy Cascade hops and a heavy dose of noble hallertau. The addition of organic Munich specialty malt builds complexity with hints of freshly baked bread. Consistent with Patagonia’s long-standing commitment to organics, the beer is brewed with certified organic ingredients.

“New Belgium has long admired Patagonia and it is an honor they thought of us for this collaboration,” said Bryan Simpson, New Belgium’s media relations director. “We’ve exchanged ideas and best practices over the years and most recently collaborated on the Save the Colorado campaign. Having an organic beer to celebrate four decades of Patagonia’s good work is very gratifying.”

Patagonia played a key role throughout the development of the beer, and when it came time to name the beer, California Route was at the top of the list. The name of the beer pays homage to the California Route on Patagonia’s Mount Fitz Roy. First climbed in 1968 by Yvon Chouinard, Doug Tompkins, Dick Dorworth, Lito Tejada-Flores and Chris Jones, the California Route is considered a Patagonia classic, with good rock and fun free-climbing in a wildly beautiful setting.

“When my sister, Claire, had the idea of brewing a 40th anniversary beer, the folks at New Belgium immediately came to mind,” notes Fletcher Chouinard. “Not only are they forward-thinking in their business and brewing practices, but their beers have been a go-to for our crew and customers around the country for a long time. They were great to work with and we couldn’t be more stoked about the project!”

California Route is 5.5% ABV and sold in 12-ounce cans. Pricing varies by location. California Route will be sold in the following markets: Seattle, Portland, Chicago, Boulder, Denver, Boston, NYC, Santa Monica, San Francisco, Palo Alto, Cardiff and Ventura. For more information on the beer, click here: patagonia.com/beer. This one-time, limited release will be available mid-November.