2014 is starting out with a lot of big news for New Belgium Brewing. Last year, the brewery that pioneered sour beers in America doubled the capacity to brew sour beers and announced that they’d be changing their imaging. For the first time in a very long time, the brewery’s mainline 6-pack offerings are getting a whole new look which will go live early this year. If you take all this information, you can combine it into a the final piece of the puzzle. New Belgium will release a new beer in their new packaging that hints at things sour to come.
New Belgium Brewing Snapshot Wheat Beer is the breweries only major addition to its full time line up in 2014 and it’s a good one! Snapshot is a wheat ale that’s brewed with coriander, grains of paradise, and finished with Target hops. The beer is brewed in two batches, one with standard fermentation while the other is exposed to Lactobacillus bacteria for some lactic fermentation. The two batches are then blended back together to even and balance the flavor.
Appearance: Hazy/cloudy pale blonde, white head, good retention.
Aroma: Lemon creme, citrus, coriander, notes of cracker.
Taste: Mandarin orange, crisp wheat. Lightly tart with a nice roundness.
Overall Impression: New Belgium has a winner in Snapshot. It’s lively, refreshing, balanced with a lovely round mouthfeel and a nice tart zing. Snapshot is flavorful and doesn’t sacrifice anything. While this beer is intended for mainstream audiences as an introductory sour, “beer geeks” will be just as happy adding this beer to drinking mix. New Belgium isn’t calling the beer a “sour” on the label, nor are they calling it a Berliner Weisse, which it kind of resembles but really isn’t. With the expansion of their sour cellars, there’s going to be a lot more sour beer to sell. Snapshot is going to expose a lot of people to tart/sour beers, people that may catch the sour bug. New Belgium will be releasing this beer the last month of January, just in time so you can buy it for your Super Bowl party.
Availability: Year round wherever New Belgium Brewing beers are sold.