The Great American Beer Festival, as many know, is one of the events to look forward to each year. In 2009, my father, Miss Erin and I made a triumphant return to Disneyland for the beer lover. One of the highlights of the night was New Belgium Brewing Company’s Le Terroir. Seeking out sours that evening, this one was a favorite. A few of its entries into my plastic cup resulted in its taste being tattooed on my mind since. Having not consumed it again, I was quite excited to hear from a fellow beer lover that it was available in stores as part of New Belgium’s Lips of Faith series. Thus on my commute home, I picked up a bomber to enjoy while filing out my NCAA bracket.
The nose of Le Terroir is quite hefty and permeates an area around the bottle as soon as uncapped. After pouring into my snifter, the aromas of spice, flowers, citrus, peach, apple and hops became even more apparent, continually mingling with one another. My first whiff brought thoughts of fresh granny smith apples. Subsequent dips of my nose into my glass found hints of fresh peaches and grapefruit in addition to hints of hops reminiscent of summertime extra pale ales.
While no where near as tart as some of the sour beers I’ve consumed, Terroir’s first punch carries a bit of weight. As we worked our way through the bomber, the sourness of each mouthful gave way to a dry lip-smacking finish where the hops of the beer briefly came through.
I found this beer to be extremely drinkable and refreshing. Furthermore, it would serve as a great introduction to more potent sour beers for the uninitiated. Le Terroir exceeded my memories of GABF 2009 and was a nice deviation from the Hefty dark beers we have had stocked in our beer fridge as of late. Once payday arrives again, with hommie papers in hand I’ll be picking up a few more bottles of this beaut and will be curious to see how it cellars for a year.
And if you need any more convincing, Miss Erin said she loves it.