Collaborations are hella exciting (whoah, California has completely taken over my vocabulary). Heck, new beer releases are uber exciting, especially when they are between two breweries for which I have a lot of admiration, adoration, and respect. Super excited to announce the recent collaboration between New Belgium and Allagash — Vrienden, a funky sour concoction made with weird ingredients such as caramelized endive and hibiscus.
This is the first time I’ve gotten wind of the beer, which means that I’ve been a really bad Internet beer stalker. I’ve attached the press release below. Not sure what the distribution will be, but I’m really hoping to get my hands on some. Hopefully, it makes its way up to wine country … cause it would fly off the shelf up here.
– PRESS RELEASE –
New Belgium Brewing of Fort Collins, CO and Allagash Brewing of Portland, ME are pleased to announce the release of their collaboration ale, Vrienden (Flemish for friends). Brewed with caramelized endive and hibiscus, Vrienden is inoculated with lacto bacillus and brettanomyces, creating a slightly sour beer with a floral nose and a dry finish.
“We wanted a very simple sour so as not to compete with the hibiscus,” said New Belgium Brewmaster, Peter Bouckaert. “When we ran tests using our La Folie bretta, it was too intense and the hibiscus disappeared. The Allagash microbes bring just the right amount of sour and elevate the hibiscus notes where they belong.”
Allagash founder, Rob Tod, and brewmaster, Jason Perkins collaborated with New Belgium brewmaster, Peter Bouckaert, and Assistant Brewmaster, Grady Hull, at New Belgium’s Mothership facility in Fort Collins last September. They started the day sautéing endive in New Belgium’s employee kitchen to achieve caramelization. When asked what the endive would add to the beer, Bouckaert thought for a moment, shrugged and said simply, “endive.” The team later pitched endive into the mash and hibiscus into the kettle.
Vrienden is the second collaboration beer from New Belgium and Allagash and the first commercially available through New Belgium’s Lips of Faith Series. It is available on draft and in 22-oz. bottles now through February throughout New Belgium’s area of distribution where Lips of Faith beers are usually found.
About New Belgium Brewing Company
New Belgium Brewing Company, makers of Fat Tire Amber Ale and a host of Belgian-inspired beers, began operations in a tiny Fort Collins basement in 1991. Today, the third largest craft brewer in the U.S., New Belgium produces eight year-round beers; Fat Tire Amber Ale, Ranger IPA, Sunshine Wheat, Blue Paddle Pilsner, 1554 Black Ale, Abbey, Mothership Wit and Trippel, as well as a host of seasonal releases. In addition to producing world-class beers, New Belgium takes pride in being a responsible corporate role model with progressive programs such as employee ownership, open book management and a commitment to environmental stewardship. For more information, visit www.newbelgium.com.
About Allagash Brewing Company
Allagash Brewing Company started in 1995 in Portland, Maine. Allagash White, a Belgian style wheat beer, was the first beer brewed and the company flagship. Today Allagash makes six year-round beers, a regular rotation of seven yearly releases and an ever-changing selection of one-off beers. Allagash have dedicated themselves to brewing creative, distinctive and high quality Belgian-inspired beers. For more information, please go to www.allagash.com.
Based on the label, this looks like an almost feminine beer. Don’t get me wrong, I really love the graphic design on the label, but it shares some similarities with a body or skincare product, maybe because of the color, the font, and the flowers.