Although I've never been New Belgium Brewing's biggest fan when it comes to their standard beer lineup, I've always admired the way the Fort Collins craft brewer -- Colorado's largest -- tries to keep environmental and employee-happiness issues on their list of priorities.
And in recent weeks, I've become a much bigger fan of their Lips of Faith series of one-off specialty beers that are sold in 22-ounce bomber bottles.
The company has made about a dozen of these beers; their most recent is Vrienden, a sour-style beer brewed in collaboration with Maine's Allagash Brewing. It is a mellow take on the style -- which uses the brettanomyces yeast strain -- and quite good.
In 2011, New Belgium plans to brew eight more Lips of Faith beers, two per quarter, says spokesman Bryan Simpson.
The first will be Dunkelweiss, a 9 percent ABV dark wheat ale "brewed with spices."
The second is Le Terroir, a dry-hopped sour ale that has been available before on tap, but not in bottles.
2011 will start off deliciously.
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