(Fort Collins, CO) – Better late than never, we failed to share this video from Focus on the Beer in which Scott Simmons chats with New Belgium’s Lauren and Eric Salazar. If you are a fan of New Belgium’s specialty beers, especially La Folie, it is twenty minutes worthy of your time. If you can’t spare that, a few notes below…
Lauren Salazar says not to cellar New Belgium beers, in general, because they oxidize (like other beers). Some of their beers may stay at or near peak up to a year but most are meant to be “drank at that moment.” They work to perfect the blend before releasing it and that blend is likely not going to improve over time, especially in a poorly-conditioned cellaring environment. But if you’re doing so to develop your palate purposely to appreciate characteristics like oxidation, perhaps that is another story. Just don’t expect all or most beers to improve with age just because they are high-gravity.
With respect to La Folie, New Belgium packaged its largest-ever production run this year at 500hl. They explain why they went away from cork-and-cage for La Folie which ended with the 2009 edition. It used to take them ten hours to bottle 30hl but with the pry-off cap, they can now obviously produce much more and send it out to all of their distribution markets. La Folie may change a bit year-to-year because they are looking to make the best beer they can from the barrels they have at the time.
Fun (or not so fun) factoid: they once had to destroy all of Falling Rock’s anniversary beer one year. Despite the blend tasting in their words, “amazing,” they had exploding bottles.