Saturday, January 17, 2009
Seventeen bucks for a beer! Yes, and in this case, it's probably worth it. La Folie - meaning "crazy" or "insane" in French (surrender monkey) - represents a huge effort from New Belgium. It is a Flanders-style red, aged in French oak barrels for one to three years before being hand-bottled, corked and numbered (my bottle was 07-3152).
It takes substantial resources of any brewery to release a beer like La Folie. It's good to see New Belgium, the third-largest craft brewery in the country, according to the Brewers Association, using its resources for good and not for evil.
La Folie comes in a green wine-type bottle (1 pt., 9.4 oz). Soggy Coaster bought his at the Wine Merchant in the Nature's Oasis building.
Part of the fun of an "event" beer like La Folie is the aesthetic pleasure of uncorking the bottle, letting in warm slightly and pouring it out like some sort of sommelier.
La Folie pours a reddish tan with very little head. At first sip, it is intensely sour, and the sourness never goes away. It is well-balanced, not overly alcoholic (6 percent ABV) and enjoyable.
Soggy Coaster is a sucker for Flanders-style beer. The best in the category is The Dissident, a Flanders-style brown from Deschutes Brewery in Oregon that deservedly took home a gold medal in the 2008 Great American Beer Festival. La Folie lacks the complexity of The Dissident, falling short of the extremely high bar set by the Deschutes crew.
La Folie is a very good beer that aims for greatness and just misses. A-