New Belgium's new suit: new look and new brews

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New Belgium Brewing has been working on revitalizing its packaging for the past year, and just last week, they revealed it to the world. I got the chance at McCabe's Tavern in Colorado Springs to visit with a bunch of the Rangers and talk through the new packaging and some of the new brews they'll be debuting in the next month or so!To start off, the new packaging is really slick! While they haven't gone completely away from the beautifully delicate watercolor paintings, they've created a modern twist that both pays tribute to where they've been and establishes a new branding style. The Fat Tire bike is now front and central to the badge. They've dropped "New Belgium" to a slick sans-serif font that now sits on the 6-pack handle and above each beer name, but kept it on all the slightly-salmon red crowns.(I feel they've lightened the color of the crowns a tad, but it still is distinctly NB) Everything from a design standpoint hangs together very nicely, with the beer names being slightly bolder than the brewery, creating a perfect contrast.

IMG_0223As for the new brews, New Belgium is launching a wheat beer and a belgian style blonde.

Snapshot is the wheat beer, portrayed by an "instamatic" camera and a bright orange highlight on the label. The beer is unfiltered, and surprisingly tart on the end due to 12% of the pre-boil wort being inoculated with a house strain of Lactobacillus for up to three days before being re-blended with the rest of the wort and boiled. The rest of the process is the same as their normal beers, but the result is a wonderfully tart and refreshing wheat beer. If you told me this was a berliner weisse, I would probably believe you. While not as tart as most berliner weisses can be, this beer tasted very similar, and even if batch to batch sour levels fluctuated, it would remain extremely drinkable.

DSC_0009The other new release that's coming sooner rather than later is Spring Blonde. With the amazing sales of Accumulation, their White IPA, New Belgium is releasing this beer sooner than originally expected. Travis from New Belgium let me sample the Spring Blonde, and as an avid Ska True Blonde lover, this beer is going to seriously going to compete for shelf space in my fridge. Light and effervescent, with a slight lemony start perfectly balanced with the bitterness, Spring Blonde is an easy drinker that comes in at 6% ABV, but tastes much lower. As soon as this hits shelves, it's going to be a hit.

Everything about this rollout is distinctly New Belgium, with Rangers scouring the Colorado countryside for any remains of the old branding, replacing it with the amazingly slick new style. I think that many won't notice, especially because the beer hasn't changed at all. Congratulations on the new suit.Check out New Belgium's newly designed website to see all the new designs here.

BeerRyan Hannigan