Pacific Northwest – Already you have no doubt read the previous stories regarding New Belgium’s interpretations of the beers of Belgium. Today we are encouraging you to enjoy one of the more sought after beers from their collection, La Folie. Featured this year in a limited edition presentation (only produced once this year), the La Folie is one of the most recognized beers from the Lips of Faith series.
Fermented in the Flanders Red Ale style, the beer takes its influences from the region of West Flanders. Brewed as far back as 1820, the beer traditionally is aged for up to two years, and aged in oak barrels. Additionally, it was considered common to blend the older variety of this beer with a younger one, to balance out the sourness (from the older) with the sweet (from the younger). Unfortunately the practice of blending is hard to come by these days.
Traditionally, Flanders Red is a complicated, sour, Belgian-style Ale, that evokes comparisons to wine. Chances are if you have had a Rodenbach Grand Cru, Duchesse de Bourgogne, Petrus Oud Bruin, or Monk’s Cafe Flanders Red Ale, you have had a Flanders Red. Today there are a few local breweries that have attempted to demonstrate the style, but with limited success.
Pouring with a strong initial foamy head this beer leaves little islands of lace inside the glass that rests above the brown and opaque ale.
Smelling this beer one cannot help pick up a strong vinegar, and sour apple character, as well as some cherry, vanilla, and slight oak character.
Sipping on this beer you discern vinegar, citrus, vanilla and the familiar oak. Overall the beer has a medium weight on the tongue and might go well with some pork or apple wood smoked sausage.
La Folie Wood-Aged Biere, is our original wood-conditioned beer, resting in French Oak barrels between one and three years before being bottled. Peter Bouckaert, came to us from Rodenbach – home of the fabled sour red. Our La Folie emulates the spontaneous fermentation beers of Peter’s beloved Flanders with sour apple notes, a dry effervescence, and earthy undertones. New in 2010, we'll do a single bottling of La Folie for the year. Collect the 22oz unique to 2010 designed bottle and start a yearly wood-aged collection of goodness.
You Should Buy, this beer consistently avoids letting us down. These days if you are fortunate you can also try is sibling Love (English translation for the barrel used to age the beer). However this beer if you find it on the shelf should be picked up, and if you are feeling brave, you might put one away for next year.
Thoughts by your Colleagues
About the photos’ author
Paul “Fruit Trees” Orchard, is an amateur craft beer enthusiast and amateur photographer. Throughout the many years in craft beer he is always carrying a camera (smartphone, digital, traditional) and is invites you to see that beer can also be exciting even if you can’t drink the photo.
In accordance with new FTC regulations regarding bloggers and endorsements, the aforementioned company has provided me a free sample that was used for research prior to writing this review.