Beer Review: New Belgium Sour Saison
This beer review is sponsored by our friends at Bottlemixx in North Raleigh.
It’s no secret that I’m a fan of New Belgium’s work. When Fat Tire came to the North Carolina market years ago, I drank all of it. When I’m hosting a party or need a variety for a tailgate, their Folly packs are always a great mix of crowd pleasing beers. If I want something different and delicious, their Lips of Faith series is winner. So, when I saw this new packaging and the name “Sour Saison” I didn’t hesitate to put it on the counter and exchange currency for it.
Aroma: A pleasant mix of balanced aromas: lemons and cloves, mild white grape, white pepper, and coriander. Light tropical fruit and floral. Bread dough and cake batter with a smidge of barnyard bretta, grassy, and pine.
Flavor: Sweet with a strong sour initially that fades but lingers slightly. Light bitterness.
Opening the bottle, the aroma isn’t jumping out until you pour it into a glass (please use a tulip glass for this beer). Once in the glass, you’ll notice a pale golden yellow color with very crisp white foam. It just looks like a delicious Belgian-style beer. I found a lot of similar aromas that they described, especially the light tropical fruit. Melons, citrus, a little sweetness, but also some of that funk that one would expect from a farmhouse ale aged in foeders. Foeders are essentially large wooden barrels that are designed for fermentation, and they can have glorious impacts on sours and funky brews.
I feel like the word “rustic” gets overused, but there’s a rustic component to this beer that I couldn’t shake, and I mean that in a good way. In this case, I use the word “rustic” to mean it’s free of overpowering hops, added flavors, or weird gimmicks (though they can make for great beers).
The only thing preventing me from enjoying this beer more is the name. If you’re going into it expecting something truly sour, I have some bad news. To me, this beer is more funky with a hint of sour, while still being primarily a saison than any other combination of styles. It’s still a very enjoyable beer, and one I’d happily go buy a sixer of and share with friends. More good news: this beer is going to be available year round, which I think makes perfect sense for a brew like this. It’s different enough to intrigue beer geeks, and approachable enough to win over people who are newer to craft beer.
At around a couple bucks a bottle, and 7% ABV, this beer is another winner in my book. Head on over to Bottlemixx in North Raleigh and pick some up for yourself today!