New Belgium Brewing Company
New Belgium made its home in Fort Collins, Colorado, in 1991, but now it is preparing to expand to a second brewery in Asheville, North Carolina. As with many other breweries, the company’s CEO, Jeff Lebesch, started as a home brewer. It was 1989 when he rode through Belgium on a bike and returned to Fort Collins with the inspiration for New Belgium. That experience is the story behind the Fat Tire Amber Ale, one of Lebesch’s first creations brewed right in his basement. But he couldn’t start a brewery alone; his wife, Kim Jordan, was the first bottler, sales rep, distributor, marketer and financial planner for New Belgium. The business has grown to a 100 percent employee-owned company promoting sustainability, innovation, culture and quality. New Belgium currently serves 37 states and Washington, D.C., as well as British Columbia and Alberta. With the second brewery, the company expects to serve almost every state within two to three years.
“Ranger is an American IPA, which means it is all about the hops — especially American hops,” said Brandon Parizek, Iowa Beer Ranger for New Belgium Brewing. “We use Chinook, Simco and Cascade hops, which provide citrus, floral and fruity aromas in the amber-colored ale.” The Ranger is 6.5 percent ABV, and Parizek says there’s no doubt it’s a bitter beer, though the bitterness doesn’t linger. The name came from employees with the same title as Parizek’s: “Our sales folks are called Beer Rangers, and we were the ones that were non-stop asking the brewery to release a year-round IPA,” he said.
Rampant Imperial IPA
New Belgium created the Rampant a few years after the Ranger to appeal to the “more sophisticated IPA consumer,” but they quickly found out it was a favorite among every crowd. “At 8.5 percent ABV, there is a lot of malt added, which really helps balance out the bitterness and won’t overwhelm the lemon citrus and floral hop aroma,” Parizek said. “But be careful with this one; it can sneak up on you.”
Accumulation White IPA
An American wheat meets American IPA, the Accumulation Ale has refreshing, creamy notes of a wheat beer but drinks like a proper American-style IPA, with bitter and hoppy flavors. It is 6.2 percent ABV and the winter seasonal from New Belgium, expected to be on shelves by mid-November.
Beers produced with bottom fermenting yeast strains, Saccharomyces uvarum, at colder fermentation temperatures than ales. The cooler environment inhibits the natural production of esters and other byproducts and creates a product with a crisper taste.
Oct. 28 – Harvest Beer Dinner, 6 p.m., HoQ Restaurant, 303 E. Fifth St., Des Moines, www.facebook.com/barleysangelsDSM
Nov. 5 – Lagunitas Couch Trippin Takeover, 6 p.m., The Lift, 222 Fourth St., Des Moines, www.dmlift.com
Nov. 6 – Lagunitas Couch Trippin Takeover, 6 p.m., The Lift, 222 Fourth St., Des Moines, www.dmlift.com
Nov. 6 – New Belgium Beer & Bacon Dinner, 6:30 p.m., Mickey’s Irish Pub, 50 S.E. Laurel St., Waukee, www.mickeyswaukee.com
Nov. 7 – Iowa’s Premier Beer, Wine and Food Expo, 4-10 p.m., Iowa Events Center, 730 Third St., Des Moines, www.wineandfoodexpoiowa.com
Nov. 8 – Iowa’s Premier Beer, Wine and Food Expo, 1-8 p.m., Iowa Events Center, 730 Third St., Des Moines, www.wineandfoodexpoiowa.com
Nov. 8 – Full Moon Ride on the High Trestle Trail, 7-10 p.m., Slater Trail Head, Slater, www.bikeiowa.com/Trail/high-trestle-trail
Nov. 13 – Cheers to Mainstream, 5:30-8:30 p.m., Zart 1312, 1312 Locust St., Des Moines, http://mainstreamliving.givezooks.com/events/cheers-to-mainstream
Ranger IPA food pairings
Known for loads of hop flavors and aromas, IPAs have a dry, bitter attribute that’s perfect for cutting bold, spicy foods. Indian food is a given (not to mention historical), but also pair Ranger with Thai, Vietnamese, Cajun and Mexican fare. Great with spicy marinara or pesto pasta dishes.
Chocolate dipped waffle cones with strawberries
Dallas Byerley, our L.A. Beer Ranger, dropped us off a bag of New Belgium Chipotle Chocolates that the brewery had designed to pair with the Ranger IPA. Although IPAs are not normally paired with deserts we could not resist the challenge. Dipping huge waffle cones in the melted chipotle chocolate inspired us to create a homemade creamy ice cream that would not only balance the spice but also play nicely into the caramel malts of the beer. A trip to the farmers market was all we needed to determine the flavor of the ice cream, as bundles of fresh seasonal strawberries screamed out as the perfect ingredient to compliment the fruits of the Simcoe hops.
We finished the desert with two sauces fanned out under the cone, which not only gave a touch of character and design to the plate but also rounded out the flavor profiles of the beer. Mixing the Ranger IPA with strawberries and orange blossoms resulted in a light sweet and citrus sauce. The second sauce was a balsamic reduction which worked perfectly to heighten all the sweet flavors in the dish while providing a bridge between the spicy chocolate and coating the tongue with just enough bitterness to stand up to the combination of hops in the beer.
Char-grilled peaches and honey glazed grilled chicken
This recipe has char-grilled fresh peaches pureed with peach honey, lemon juice, fresh cracked pepper and thyme. Chicken breasts are cooked on the grill and finished with the char-grilled peach and honey glaze. Top the chicken with chunks of more char-grilled peach and a fresh sprig of thyme. The combined flavors of the dish will blend perfectly with the citrus/pine and floral aroma of the Ranger IPA. As you take a bite of the dish followed by a breath of the Ranger IPA and healthy swallow of the beer, you will notice how nicely the char-grilled flavor of the peaches along with the earthy taste of the thyme really bring forward the citrus/pine and floral characteristics of the hops, while the subtle hint of honey combined with the grilled chicken bring out the malt flavors of the Ranger IPA, producing an overall great mouth feel with the well blended malts and hops of this American India Pale Ale. CV