New Belgium Brewing (Ft. Collins, Colorado) has officially announced that it has reimagined its portfolio of specialty releases with the introduction of three new premium series: Wood Cellar Reserve, Belgian Reserve and Belgian Collection.
Shaking things up when you are one of the country’s most recognizable craft beer brands may be difficult, but the folks at New Belgium decided to establish these new series in an effort to properly “showcase the brewery’s Belgian roots and provide a platform for small-batch barrel-aged experimentation.” The beers that will comprise these premium series will range from rare experiments to new-look old favorites, but all are meant to be eye-catching, thought-provoking offerings.
“When we set out to reinvigorate one of America’s most established specialty portfolios, we quickly realized that to move forward, we had to dig into our roots,” said Andrew Emerton, New Belgium Brewing Specialty Brand Manager. “The overall vision with this new portfolio is to highlight beers we’ve been producing for years while adding new esoteric releases, and presenting them in a way that conveys the attention and respect that they deserve.”
It is probably best to just allow New Belgium to speak for itself when it comes to the Wood Cellar Reserve, Belgian Reserve and Belgian Collection, so here are their full descriptions sourced directly from the brewery’s press release:
Wood Cellar Reserve
“New Belgium’s Wood Cellar Reserve series is made up of a selection of rare, small batch wild and sour ales expertly aged by the most award-winning sour brewery in America. From individual barrel expressions, fruit and spice experimentations, and fermentation explorations, the series represents our most ambitious efforts in our two biggest passions – wood and beer. These beers contain the longest, continuous souring culture in America and will age in the bottle for years to come. Each batch is hand-bottled, conditioned over a number of months, and 100% naturally carbonated allowing for the perfect texture and carbonation that our blenders intended for the beer to be enjoyed.
The Wood Cellar Reserve series debuted last month with the brewery-only release of Le Kreik Noir. Next up is Single Foeder Oscar No. 65. This unblended dark sour has been maturing for 12 months in a 100 percent Missouri white oak foeder – the first American oak to join New Belgium’s forest of 65 French oak foeders. The beer pours dark walnut red and features subtle vanilla and coconut flavors that play beautifully with attributes like plum skins and cherry cola. Single Foeder Oscar No. 65 is available in limited quantities. Both the Fort Collins and Asheville breweries have cork and cage 750ml bottles. Additional 375ml bottles will be available in select markets later this month. Single Foeder Oscar No. 65 comes in at 8.5% ABV.”
“The Belgian Reserve series is about highlighting the great lengths we’ll go to in order to source and brew intriguing, complex yet sophisticated beers. Whether that’s 3,000 miles away or three feet away in our Wood Cellar. First up for this series is Sour Saison, New Belgium’s first ever year-round, traditional sour ale. To create this intriguing Saison, a French oak barrel-aged sour ale is artfully blended with a rustic, champagne-like Farmhouse Ale. This medium-light bodied beer pours goldenrod yellow with a nearly opaque heavy sheen and offers a pleasant mix of aromas including lemons and cloves, mild white grape, white pepper, and coriander. ‘Our goal was to create a timeless beer. Something that represented our world-class sour program as well as our passion for Belgian-style beer,’ says Ross Koenigs, New Belgium R&D Brewer. Sour Saison is 7% ABV and is available now in 12- and 22-oz bottles and draft.”
“The brewery’s Belgian Collection features beers with a true Belgian heritage. As such, two longtime favorites from New Belgium, Abbey and Trippel, have received refreshed packaging to complement their recent recipe upgrade last year, which distinguishes the beers as part of the brewery’s Belgian Collection. Abbey, a garnet brown hued Belgian-style dubbel, is one of New Belgium’s first beers and its most award winning, and Trippel, a golden ale featuring sweet citrus flavors and a strong boozy bite, have a new look that incorporates the original hand-painted label art created by the founder’s neighbor, artist Ann Fitch.”
The beers named in the descriptions above are just the beginning as New Belgium has “future releases planned for each series.” We will update you with details on future releases whenever we receive that information, so stay tuned. Until then, you can track down the current releases in the Wood Cellar Reserve, Belgian Reserve and Belgian Collection series by using New Belgium’s Beer Finder or by downloading the brewery’s Beer Mode app. Prost!