FORT COLLINS, Colo. — A love of dessert wines inspired New Belgium Brewing’s latest small batch version of their award-winning sour brown La Folie – La Folie Grand Reserve: PX. The PX stands for Pedro Ximénez, a white Spanish wine grape varietal grown under intense sun to produce the super sweet, unctuous Pedro Ximénez Sherry with flavors of figs, molasses, roasted nuts and exotic spices.
New Belgium has been making sour beers for over 20 years, launching its wood beer program in 1998 with La Folie. The game-changing sour brown continues to serve as one of New Belgium’s most beloved beers and an inspiration for these small batch Grand Reserve variations.
“When I set out to make Grand Reserve, I feel like I’m taking La Folie to the prom or on an once-in-a-lifetime luxury vacation. It has to be very special,” explained Lauren Woods Limbach, New Belgium’s wood cellar director and blender. “La Folie is already so brilliant and complex. What I look for is the spaces in between and imagine what we could introduce to fill in those flavor gaps. The dried, stewed fruit of PX Sherry promised to elevate La Folie to a new level.”
New Belgium sourced 20 sought-after sherry barrels, each previously holding PX Sherry, using this good wood to mature La Folie’s dark base beer and New Belgium’s house culture for nine months. Once matured, 400 whole, hand-split Tahitian vanilla beans were infused into the sherry barrel-aged base beer for four months, swirled every day to intensify the combination of vanilla’s sweetness with existing fig, sour plum and cocoa flavors.
“It was an absolute labor of love. We were very meticulous throughout the process, sort of like helicopter parents/brewers. You really only get one shot at it,” Limbach continued, noting the limited availability of fresh sherry casks. “This recipe started in my head about two years ago. It always feels a little magical when the end result matches such high expectations.”
La Folie Grand Reserve: PX was bottled and kegged on a gentle amount of nitrogen, a unique technique unusual for wood-aged sour beers, providing a smooth and velvety mouthfeel that elevates the entire drinking experience. In 2015, New Belgium became the first brewery to release a nitro sour with Oscar Worthy Coffee – a wood-aged sour with whole bean coffee added. In 2018, it released La Folie Grand Reserve: Geisha, which became the first ever nitrogenated beer packaged with a cork and cage finish, a process replicated this year with the release of La Folie Grand Reserve: PX.
La Folie Grand Reserve: PX
Visual: Dark cherry wood red with strong tan/white crème and lacing.
Aroma: Cherries, vanilla, green apples, figs, raisins, berry jam initially with overtones of caramelized sugar, molasses, and dark chocolate.
Flavor: Sweeting initially with a sour middle that sways back to subtle sweetness before finishing with a mouth-watering pucker.
Mouthfeel/Body: Medium to full bodied, finishing with a full and smooth mouthfeel.
La Folie Grand Reserve: PX is 8 percent ABV and available beginning Feb. 9 in 375ml bottles and on draft. It is available for a limited time in select markets in the states of Colorado, North Carolina, California, Hawaii, Missouri, Arizona, Nebraska, Iowa, Texas, Washington, Oregon, Minnesota, Illinois, Idaho, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.
For more information about New Belgium or any of its beers, visit www.newbelgium.com.
About New Belgium Brewing
New Belgium Brewing, makers of Fat Tire Amber Ale and a host of Belgian-inspired beers, is recognized as one of Outside Magazine’s Best Places to Work, one of the Wall Street Journal’s Best Small Businesses and tops Bicycling Magazine’s Best Companies for Cyclists. The 100 percent employee-owned brewery is a Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Business as designated by the League of American Bicyclists, one of World Blu’s most democratic U.S. businesses, and a Certified B Corp. In addition to Fat Tire Amber Ale, New Belgium brews fourteen year-round beers: Citradelic Tangerine IPA, Fat Tire Belgian White, The Hemperor HPA, Voodoo Ranger IPA, Voodoo Ranger Imperial IPA, Voodoo Ranger Juicy Haze IPA, Sour Saison, Honey Orange Tripel, Dayblazer Easygoing Ale, 1554 Enlightened Dark Ale, Bohemian Pilsner, Abbey Belgian Style Ale, Trippel and a gluten-reduced beer, Glutiny Pale Ale. To learn more, visit NewBelgium.com and follow the brewery on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.