Beer Review- New Belgium Vrienden

The latest New Belgium offering from the Lips Of Faith Series is a collaboration with Allagash Brewing Co, an excellent artisan brewery out of Portland, Maine. I wasted no time picking up a bottle once it hit the Nashville shelves.

New Belgium Vrienden (Lips of Faith Series)
New Belgium Brewing Co. & Allagash Brewing Co.      

ABV: 8.5% 

Smitty's Review: Sampled at 50 degrees. Pours copper amber with a one finger, fluffy ivory head that dissipates to a retentive ring. The aroma is a wonderful blend of cherry, potpourri, brett esters, and flower petals. Medium bodied with a soft carbonation and somewhat creamy texture. Initial flavor of grainy pale Belgian malts that quickly transitions to a moderate tartness, with notes of culinary herbs and sour fruits. Finish is very acidic and somewhat dry, with a lingering acidity and dirtiness on the palate.

This is a solid beer with a tamed use of wild yeast strains. I would say that this is more of an "intermediate level" beer for venturing into sour beers. I will admit that my expectations were very high, since Allagash was involved. Did they meet them? Not quite, but I still enjoyed it. This one is not as complex or cohesive as La Folie or Tart Lychee, which are my favorite New Belgium sours.

Rating*: 8.25 out of 10

Recommended Food Pairing: Shellfish, Salmon, Goat Cheese, White Stilton cheese

Good. $8.99 per 22oz is a respectable price for a wild beer

Beer Audience: Not for the pedestrian palate. Leave this for Sour Heads and those venturing into sours

Where To Buy:  Wine and Spirit stores with a craft beer selection

* rating system based on aroma (1 pt), appearance (1pt), palate (2 pts) flavor (3pts), comparison to other commercial examples of the style (3pts)

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