Tuesday, June 5
Pour Me: New Belgium's Tart Lychee
quality things for dinner, week after week. You have really great beers, that you are hooked on. Things are good, but pretty uninspired. What does it take to break out of the rut? I will tell you: something that you swore you would never try again.
It could be the abrupt change, or the idea that you hit the rut, and will do something unusual to get yourself out of it. Well, I swore to myself that I would never, ever try a sour beer again. Well, I saw this Tart Lychee, and decided, "what the hell, I got nothin' to lose."
I am really, really glad I tried this Lips of Faith. It is fantastic, and I was genuinely surprised. Tart Lychee is a Lips of Faith brew from new Belgium. Lips of Faith is New Belgium's in-house development arm, where the folks of NB brew their own beers, and the best of the best gets a run. It is a neat way to do limited releases, to be sure, but of every Lips of Faith beer I have had, none have been nearly as good as Tart Lychee.
Working outside over a hot grill (working on baby back ribs: recipe to come), I poured this into my New Belgium goblet, and read the bottle. "55% ale aged in oak, 44% ale brewed with lychee and cinnamon." Cinnamon, eh? Where is the 1%?! The foam settled to a slight cream, and the beer was a very appealing golden-copper color that was pretty opaque. The nose was quite fruity, and I had a moment of reservation. Might as well... Down the hatch...
Oh. Momma. Tart Lychee is by far the most refreshing beer I have had this year. That one sip instantly cooled me off. It starts crisp, and the sourness is present, but not in-yo-face. It is a complement, rather than the statement. There is crisp, sour and tart all intermingling nicely. After you set the glass down, you are struck with a bit, just a slight bit, of burn from the cinnamon. The flavor is tropical, but not like any kind of mixed drink that you had in Cancun on spring break. No, the flavor is tropical in the sense of refreshment.
Sour beers, I though, were dead to me. Maybe I should start adding them into regular rotation. I know for sure that Tart Lychee will be, but hopefully it inspired me to try bold new beers.