Monday, December 23, 2013

Shocking Winter Beer: New Belgium Accumulation White India Pale Ale

Until recently, I usually avoided winter beers, because I felt they were usually really thick and over powering. Man! Have I been missing out on great beer?!?! This is what I get for not reading labels or judging a beer by its name.

A couple of weeks ago, a good friend of mine, Pat, suggested I try out New Belgium's Accumulation White India Pale Ale. He sent the this picture with the suggestion to brighten my day on a what had been a pretty crappy day. Thanks to my buddy, my day brightened, I got this beer, and was surprised in a slump busting kind of way.

Opening and pouring this beer, I found the beer was clear and had a very good smell to it. Some would call it floral, but I always have a mental image of roses or tulips when I hear that. I would say that the beer smells very nice and makes me think of nature, so I can understand 'floral' description.

When I drink an IPA I generally expect a bitter beer that can sometimes feel like a punch in the mouth or on an extreme I am eating straight hops. If drinking an IPA for you is like skiing down a black diamond slope (really difficult and dangerous for novices), Accumulation would be a blue diamond (intermediate). Pat points out that a process called dry hopping during the brewing process takes the edge off the beer allowing the drinker to enjoy more of those 'natural' notes, and even some tastes lemon and grapefruit. In my opinion this beer is a very enjoyable beer and one I would suggest for a lot people wanting to find a good winter seasonally released beer.

The same night I reviewed this beer, two other friends of mine, Mandy and Denise responded to my previous challenge to try a new beer and tell me about it. Coincidentally enough they were both having the Accumulation. As you can see with conversation Denise didn't like the beer, and Mandy really did. Both of these reactions are great! Because they are trying new beer and formulating their own tastes in beer. They even point out a fruity aftertaste they got from the beer.  I really enjoyed hearing from these two. I look forward to hearing more from these two and others with their new beers.

I would rate the Accumulation White IPA a 9 out 10.

New Belgium is a brewery out of Fort Collins, CO that started in 1989 with a few basement home brews, including their current flagship beer, Fat Tire. They currently have plans to expand their operation with a second brewery in Asheville, NC by 2015. New Belgium is the 3rd largest craft brewery and eighth overall beer producer in the United States with a annual production of 764,424 barrels of beer, as of 2012. This is nearly doubling their production since 2006. They have a lot great beers which I will be reviewing soon.