Recently it was announced that the folks of Fort Collins have collaborated with nationally recognized Belgian-style brewery Allagash, to create Vrienden. Flemish for ‘friends’, Vrienden is collaboration ale that was brewed with carmelized endive and hibiscus, before being inoculated with lacto bacillus and brettanomyces, which has resulted in a slightly sour beer with a floral nose and tastes with a slightly dry finish.
We wanted a very simple sour so as not to compete with the hibiscus, said New Belgium Brewmaster, Peter Bouckaert. “When we ran tests using our La Folie bretta, it was too intense and the hibiscus disappeared. The Allagash microbes bring just the right amount of sour and elevate the hibiscus notes where they belong. –source, New Belgium Brewing
With Allagash Founder and the public face of the brewery, Rob Todd (along with brewmaster Jason Perkins) collaborated with New Belgium’s brewmaster Peter Bouckaert and assistant NB brewmaster Grady Hull, at the Fort Collins brewery (aka the Mothership), this past September. Unlike traditional brewing days, the morning was spent sauteing endive in the New Belgium employee kitchen to achieve caramelization. The crew would later pitch this (endive) into the mash along with using hibiscus in the kettle.
Vrienden is the second collaboration beer from New Belgium and Allagash and the first commercially available through New Belgium’s Lips of Faith Series. –source, New Belgium
New Belgium Brewing Company, makers of Fat Tire Amber Ale and a host of Belgian-inspired beers, began operations in a tiny Fort Collins basement in 1991. Today, the third largest craft brewer in the U.S., New Belgium produces eight year-round beers; Fat Tire Amber Ale, Ranger IPA, Sunshine Wheat, Blue Paddle Pilsner, 1554 Black Ale, Abbey, Mothership Wit and Trippel, as well as a host of seasonal releases. In addition to producing world-class beers, New Belgium takes pride in being a responsible corporate role model with progressive programs such as employee ownership, open book management and a commitment to environmental stewardship.
Allagash Brewing Company started in 1995 in Portland, Maine. Allagash White, a Belgian style wheat beer, was the first beer brewed and the company flagship. Today Allagash makes six year-round beers, a regular rotation of seven yearly releases and an ever-changing selection of one-off beers. Allagash have dedicated themselves to brewing creative, distinctive and high quality Belgian-inspired beers.
As always if you can’t find it on draft or in bottles, ask your server or grocer to get you some!