While Fat Tire amber ale (with its iconic bike logo) pays the bills for the Fort Collins, Colo., brewery New Belgium, what excites beer enthusiasts are its specialty bottlings. This week's trio of 22-ounce bombers are collaborative efforts between New Belgium and three other partners-in-crime.
Lips of Faith Series Brett Beer
This project, with San Marcos, Calif.'s The Lost Abbey, seems a natural fit, as both breweries share a passion for all things Belgian, including the wild yeast brettanomyces. A hazy gold in the glass with a thin head that leaves a nice lacing, this beer offers sourdough aromas with a bit of spice that segue to lightly sour flavors and just a hint of brett (banana and clove). This beer has a good malt backbone, along with orange and very soft hops on the finish.
Lips of Faith Series Super India Pale Ale
For this beer, New Belgium teamed up with the Alpine Beer Company, a small California enterprise. This honey-colored brew throws a thick head with decent persistence. As you would expect, resiny hops dominate the nose, with light touches of herb and citrus. On the palate, the hops are big and chewy but only moderately bitter and backed by toasted wheat and a hint of baked apple.
The Trip Series Honey Chamomile Blonde
This beer is lucky No. 13 in the Trip Series, a collaboration between New Belgium, Seattle-based Elysian (where it was brewed) and, in this case, the Beer Chicks (California-based brew sommeliers and authors). This beer is a bright golden pour with a thin head and fruity herb and hop aromas. Bold for a blonde, this brew's lovely malt flavors are colored by the chamomile and honey called for in the Beer Chicks' recipe. Light hops and a sweet-but-refreshing finish make this one a great summer quaff.