Friday, March 30, 2012
[A Beer a Day] La Folie Sour Brown Ale (2010) | New Belgium Brewing | Fort Collins, CO
Sometimes, I'm completely fucking befuddled how someone couldn't completely swag their bodies all the way down to their knees when something like Of Montreal's Suffer for Fashion finds its way into their specific aural boundaries. But I've been near such an inert human being whose sensibilities are offended by a shrieking, strident Kevin Barnes. It just doesn't suit their neural palates, and I totally understand. I get it. I mean, I like totally loathe Stevie Ray Vaughan, but admitting that kind of information, especially in Austin, Texas, is likely to get my ass stripped of my residency. I would literally have to register as part of the Taliban and be subjected to David Gray all day long. But I get it. Music -- like beer -- is highly individualized, and any indignation against your personal preferences is like an f-bomb email attack that you can't wait to reply to.
Sour beers have lately become all-the-rage in the brewing world -- but there was a time in the recent past that these goblins were considered the Of Montreal of Beer. They were tart and tang, snappish and inharmonious -- and lets be honest, they are flavored by letting bacteria basically rot the product. Well, in my opinion, that was everything that you needed to love about them -- an imperfect climax of sweet cherry, brettanomyces, and wine tannins. I was absolutely hooked from the very first sample I had of Russian River's Consecration.
Unfortunately, those of us outside of a very small geographical area are not subjected to its greatness -- which is why we have to find other outlets. More and more brewers are beginning to get their feet wet with sours now that the ancillary beer crowd is becoming more aware of its genius -- and, like Chicago, the second city to Consecration's New York is New Belgium's La Folie.
Recently, Melissa had been whining about the pervasive lack of Jester King's Das Wonderkind (sour) around the city, and so I offered accommodation in the form of a bottle that I had been storing in The Cellar for a couple of years: a 2010 La Folie Sour Brown Ale.
The thing with sours is that they are so fucking unpredictable. They have the emotional grip of a pregnant woman, and with that, I didn't really know if this 700+ day-old bottle of beer would hold up over time. I popped it to find out, knowing that under-delivery of the target sour beer would be like dealing with Melissa's metaphoric pre-natal undercurrents. Standing between these two was like having teenage daughters sharing the same room. Just pour the fucking beer, dad!
Let me express to you the best I can: 2010 La Folie was FUCKING perfect. And I'm being honest here, it easily rivaled Consecration with the grace of a Claudette Colbert. La Folie was absolutely charming: sweet but strong, delicate but tart in just its peripheries.
Typically when I un-earth these bottles aging in my cellar, I don't really miss them after enjoying them. But this is definitely one I wish I could have another shot at. I made sure to stock an La Folie 2012 in an attempt to find another Ingrid Bergman or Greta Garbo in a bottle.