New Belgium Drops Three New Brews

photo by Kevin Gibson
photo by Kevin Gibson

Amidst a flurry of pineapple IPA releases by a variety of breweries, Colorado-based New Belgium Brewing recently dropped an intriguing Citradelic Tangerine IPA, a new year-round beer, as well as a Belgian pale ale and a pair of gluten-free brews.

Citradelic adds tangerine by way of the relatively new Mandarina Bavaria hop to the naturally fruity and tropical tones of Azacca, Galaxy, and Citra (plus a couple of others) for a beer that might be described as a breakfast IPA. The bright orange-colored beer pours with a clean, off-white head, and the aroma immediately brings forth the tangerine.

Take a drink, and it’s both unusual and familiar, with a crisp, refreshing body, a medium malt balance, and a notable but not overpowering piney bitterness at the end. But the tropical fruit elements, including natural fruit, dominate start to finish for a beer that will make a great spring or summer sipper. It’s a deceptive 6 percent ABV, but a clean and drinkable 50 IBU.

“This hop profile really lends itself to that big citrusy, juicy fruit nose, so the next logical step was to riff off of that with actual Tangerine,” Assistant Brewmaster Grady Hull said in a release. “The result is a brightly citrus, slightly bitter, and pleasantly balanced IPA.”

The other three new releases include:

Side Trip Belgian-Style Pale Ale: During a retreat to Belgium, brewmaster Peter Bouckaert managed to score a yeast strain from Brouwerij Van Den Bossche. To that he added Belgian Chateau Abbey and Cara Ruby malts from the oldest malting plant in Belgium, select Belgian hops, and the seasonal Side Trip was the result.

The beer comes across like the cousin to a wild pale ale, with a fruity nose, and a crisp, carbonated body. This isn’t a bretted beer, but between the tartness and the surprising hop dankness in the finish, it certainly is reminiscent. I’m not usually a Belgian ale enthusiast, but this one surprised me.

Glütiny Golden Ale and Glütiny Pale Ale: According to the press announcement, New Belgium brewers used an enzyme to break down the gluten proteins to provide a pair of options for beer lovers who need to, or are simply trying to, avoid glutens.

Glütiny Golden Ale, at 5.2 percent ABV and 20 IBUs, is an easy-drinking, crisp beer; Glütiny Pale Ale, at 6 percent ABV and 30 IBUs, has a crisp, clean body, but leans toward IPA-style bitterness. For my palate, there was a hit and a near-miss here.

I found the golden ale to be reminiscent of Victory Brewing’s Golden Monkey, albeit a lighter version. Belgian-inspired, it is blends a fruity nose and flavor profile with a clean, crisp finish. Easy drinking, and a great addition to the gluten-free scene.

The pale ale, drinks a bit like a session IPA, with a medium-floral aroma, and a moderate sweetness to balance a bitterness that lingers with a piney, spicy quality. Somewhere in between, something fell flat for me – as if something went missing in the malt side, which allows a pervasive metallic flavor to take over about halfway through a 12-ounce pour. Not a bad beer, but if I were to go gluten-free, I’d choose the golden ale.

All four of these new releases from New Belgium Brewing retail between $8.99 and $10.99; to check availability, check the New Belgium website.