Beer Review 0154: New Belgium Lips of Faith Biere De Mars
New Belgium Brewing’s Lips of Faith series is a limited release set of beers, featuring brews that are more extreme than your ordinary craft beverages. The last Lips of Faith offering I reviewed, Cocoa Molé, was a beer brewed with cinnamon and various hot chilies, and I rated it 88 points.
The brewery released its Biere De Mars along with Cocoa Molé, although this is a beer they have made before and decided to brew again after it achieved some popularity. Most of the Lips of Faith beers are one time only brews.
Made with oats, wheat malt, and brettanomyces, a wild yeast strain, this beer is advertised to impart citrus flavors, hints of spice, and a slightly sour finish — thanks to the yeast.
New Belgium, based out of Fort Collins, Colorado, recently made headlines when they announced they would be building a second brewery in Asheville, North Carolina. New Belgium will join Sierra Nevada, who also recently announced plans to open a second facility in Asheville. Needless to say, this is a major victory for me, as my home state is North Carolina.
Pouring this one gave way to an average size head, which was very pillowy and lasting. As it diminished, it turned into more of a thick, creamy, bright white cover atop a beautiful orange/amber beer that had golden highlights when held to the light. The drink had a hazy body, but was clear of particles and sediment. The lacing was excellent, leaving behind thick wispy sheets that were as creamy as the cover of the remaining head.
To the nose, this beer featured a nice balance between hop and malt — the dominant scent was orange peel, backed by shades of sweet caramel, grain, and bread. There was a light yeast presence, funky and musty; and from afar, I detected a mild alcohol note, even though this beer is only 6.2% ABV (alcohol by volume).
Tasting the beer, there was a caramel note up front, sweet and creamy, followed by a blast of citrus (lemon and orange). The finish was sweet and ended on a big yeasty twang, flooding the taste buds with orange and a musty bread-like conclusion.
New Belgium’s Biere De Mars is a nice, enjoyable beer, but I’m not totally sure it is worthy of a limited release. Worth a try if you find it for a reasonable price; otherwise, you might want to spend the coin on other beers of this style. The major drawback was the yeast on the finish, which was almost too overwhelming. And be careful with this one — at just 6.2% ABV, this is sneaky, believe it or not.
New Belgium Lips of Faith Biere De Mars, 87 points. Price: $5.99 for one 22 oz. bomber size bottle.