Eric's Ale | New Belgium Brewing

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Eric's AleEric's Ale

Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
50/50 blend of fresh strong golden lager and three year wild beer. Peaches added then re-pitched with lager yeast using the fructose for the final fermentation.

Lips Of Faith #3

Added by Floydster on 05-04-2008

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Reviews: 269 | Ratings: 695
Photo of bagpiper2005
1.41/5  rDev -65.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Had a taste of this at the Mountain Brewer's Beer Festival in Idaho Falls.

Pour: Light amber color with very little head. Kind of boring looking, not much to it.

Smell: Faint malt smell, no hops, and somewhat acidic.

Taste: Akin to concentrated lemon juice. No real beer flavor to speak of, only sourness and bitterness. Awful.

Mouthfeel: Thin and watery with high carbonation.

Drinkability: Undrinkable.

Final Notes: Of all the beers I tried, this was only beer I actually gagged on and spit out. Not recommended at all.

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Photo of TPSReports
1.97/5  rDev -51.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I had a taste of this on tap at the brewery in CO. It is served in limited quantities with the brewmaster, Eric is making it.

It has a bit of a flourescent color, kinda like urine after drinking a gatorade. The smell was peachy, literally.

The taste? Wow is was sour. Second sip? More sour than the first. I couldn't notice much else in this brew -- it was basically a sour peach candy flavor. To be fair, I met a few people at the brewery that were having growlers filled with this beer to take on the road with them. I didn't understand it, but they loved it.

I won't be searching for this beer.

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Photo of beertunes
2.48/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Served in Imperial pint glass. Poured a clean, clear, honey-gold color with over an inch of creamy white head that had good retention and OK lacing.

The aroma was an oddly sweet-sour scent, that was very muted. Not much personality showed in the nose. The taste was unpleasantly sour, not the bold interesting sour typical of the style. I didn't really pick up any other flavors, but there had to be some there. Right?

The body was thin, but still OK. Drinkability was just meh. You could drink this, but why? Overall, not a very interesting brew, you won't be missing anything if you skip over it.

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Photo of birchstick
2.92/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark, caramel brownish amber without much of a head. Smells of peaches And some grain malts. Taste follows the nose. A bit of a peach flavor, but rather subtle. next are some VERY muted sour citric tones. Not much else on the palate. I was extremely underwhelmed by this guy. I don't know where all of the flavors went on this, maybe it was a bad keg?

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Photo of 6DaysBottomOcean
3.13/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a Hill Farmstead wine glass..

With little to no head whatsoever this looks like apple juice in the glass. Aroma of sweet apples, pears, grains (pilsner malt?) with a minor phenolic tartness. I'm not quite getting the peaches on the taste, apricots maybe. Sourness is is restrained and only noticeable via prickle of carbonation, in fact sour is too strong a word. Medium to heavy mouthfeel for the style, perhaps a lighter body would allow the flavors to be more pronounced. Still, this beer is enjoyable and i wouldn't mind having it again.

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Photo of PuckLSHS
3.14/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I had this one on tap today at Hollingshead in Orange, CA.

Appearance- Light in color, a very very light amber color. It was very bubbly and clear.

Smell- Peach, tropical fruit and a very fruity finish...VERY fruity smell. Definitely masked the sourness in the taste portion of the night.

Taste- Sweet and very sour fruit beer that, for me, is just a tad overwhelming for the actual brew. I would prefer a slightly less sour flavor so that I could get a bit more of the peach flavor that I got in the smell.

Mouthfeel- Very crisp and dry. Close to a brut champagne.

Drinkability- I would get this again at the end of a night, but I would not pick it as a great everyday beer. It has a more sour taste than most of the flemish sours than I am used to. Not counting this one out, but not entirely thrilled with it.

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Photo of Suds_With_Buds
3.25/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This was surprising, I had heard great thing about Erics Ale from a good amount of people who don't really enjoy sours or fruited beer.

I really didn't enjoy this.

The nose is solid, getting nice peach notes. The appearance is a slightly murky golden hue with good carb.

The taste is where this brew fell apart in my opinion, after taking a big whiff and preparing to be blown away, I am met with very very subtle peache flavors and wood characteristics that are almost immediately replaced with a funky bland almost bandaid like taste.

Pretty dissapointed with how this stacked up to the word of mouth.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.28/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

BOTTLE: Brown glass. 1 pint 6 fl oz. Branded red pry-off crown cap. Fancy screen-print label art. 2015 vintage. Best before April 2, 2017.

Served chilled into a tulip. Expectations are quite high given the deliciousness of New Belgium's Le Terroir and La Folie.

HEAD: ~2 inches wide. Fluffy and white. Good adequately thick consistency, good complexion. Retention is above average - ~4 minutes. Leaves no lacing as it recedes.

BODY: Vibrant gold. Clean; no yeast is visible within. Appears well-carbonated.

It's a nice looking sour ale. I'm eager to try it.

AROMA: It does smell a bit off, actually - hinting at vomit. Hm. Peach, pear, acid, pilsner malt, lime, sour apple, and lactobacillus bacteria. I don't pick up on any lambicus yeast(s), and the bacterial sourness seems somewhat one-dimensional. Sourness seems disappointingly tame...maybe 3/10 in terms of intensity?

Suggests an imbalanced but enjoyable sour ale that lacks the complexity of, say, La Folie.

Not boozy.

TASTE: The sourness is indeed disappointingly reticent and downplayed, coming in at a 3-4/10 in terms of intensity of flavour. The peach is nice, ringing distinct and vivid, but the depth of flavour just isn't there; this doesn't burst with fresh orchard peach fruit like it ought to. Additionally, it almost hints at marmalade or peach jam - playing it sweet when it should play it sour. Hints of other fruits come into play throughout: sour green apple, lime, cider, maybe even pear. The malt backbone is clean and light, comprised of pilsner/golden malts. Lactobacillus seems to provide the entirety of the sourness; neither pedio nor lambicus yeast make appearances.

It does slightly remind me a bit of vomit; I'm not sure if that's just the acidity combined with some kind of off-note. The beer is not as off-putting as that descriptor makes it sound, and it really is quite faint - but it's there.

Not particularly well-balanced. This lacks the intricacy and depth of flavour of superior sour ales (like New Belgium's own La Folie), but it's pleasant enough for what it is. I hoped for a more tart peach presence.

As a blend, it tastes quite young. Using older constituent sours would obviously help curb this, but maybe the heavy reliance on pilsner malts is also doing the beer a disservice.

Ale esters are strangely absent. Oddly, there's zero wood/barrel presence whatsoever. No acetic notes, no unifying oak, no wine. I'd like to see New Belgium ditch the foeders in favour of barrels, and give this more time in wood.

TEXTURE: Acidic. Somewhat refreshing. Smooth, wet, light. Not as smacky as most bacterial sours are. It doesn't induce puckering.

Decently executed, but not quite there. Not boozy, astringent, gushed, or hot or anything, but lackluster.

OVERALL: This entry into the Lips of Faith series is better than most of its brethren, but never quite rises to the high quality seen in La Folie or Le Terroir. Pricey by Lips of Faith standards, to boot. It's enjoyable and I'm glad I tried it once, but I wouldn't purchase a second bottle. More sourness, more wood presence (i.e. any wood presence), and deeper peach notes would really improve this. Basically, if you're going to brew a fruited sour, I recommend going big on the fruit and huge on the sourness. This, unfortunately, does neither.

If anything, this has me curious to try the older constituent sour used in the blend. As-is, the blend hardly seems harmonious; indeed, it even seems diluted. Discerning drinkers familiar with New Belgium's other sours will find this ultimately to be quite a let-down, but generally speaking it's well above average.

Low B- (3.28)

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip.

3.5 A: Lightly hazed golden color. Two fingers of frothy white head with just below average retention and not really any lacing.

3.5 S: Definitely more funky and fruity than sour. The peach comes through well initially, but fades upon further sniffs, and there's some wild apple in there too. A touch of muskiness and general barnyard. A smaller touch of acetic acid. Good, but would be great if it was more intense.

3.0 T: The taste suffers from the same problem as the nose. It's tasty, but the flavors seem muted. Not nearly as sour or funky as I had predicted. The peach flavor is there and it probably is the major component of the taste. Other than that, there is a light barnyard flavor and a light acetic acid flavor. Some apple and pear as well. Mild sweetness to balance. A small amount of oak and a tiny amount of astringency.

3.5 M: Lightish body. Good moderate carbonation. Could be creamier. Average.

3.5 D: Goes down really easy, but this isn't the greatest. Aroma and taste need to be amplified about 5X for this to be a good brew. It is tasty though. In any case, I needed a good sour fix and this didn't do it.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A:Poured a golden color with good carbonation leaving a small white head

S: Light peach, sourness and funk

T: Where is the peach? Plenty of sourness and funk though

M:Dry, well carbonated, booze

D: While it was not bad I was looking for flavor other than straight sourness

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Photo of caskstrength
3.31/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Peach not evident. If it didn't say it on the label, doubt I would identify it. More lactic than acetic sourness, but not intensely sour. Fruit there too. Mouthfeel as expected, not too thin or thick. Didn't find much wood or oak or other barrel aged things.

Verdict: nothing stands out here. Most of the sours I've had so far are better. Can't see me drinking this much down the road. Kind of got bored half way through the bottle.

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Photo of wisrarebeer
3.32/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

$8.99 for a 22oz bottle

A: mid-brown, slight haze, poured with a nice head that dissipated in about 5 minutes
S: mid sour nose but doesn't parallel Belgium sours, seems a bit unrefined and lack depth and finish
T: pronounced sourness, peach is not overly noticeable, not in the league of Belgium sours but decent attempt, lacked complexity and refinement
M: not overly carbonated, lacks depth and character, more like a lambic than a gueuze

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Photo of HalfFull
3.33/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served up in a wine glass from a 22 oz. bomber. Eric's Ale pours a golden straw with a light cap of foam. Offers a nice clarity and maintains a light cap, dispersing some spotty lacing.

Nose is sweet and tart and a bit sour with some earthy hops through the foam. Quite welcoming though surely not overwhelming. Touch of light fruit and alcohol esters and with a subtle hint of sourness after a long draw.

Taste is light and follows the nose. Bit of sweet fruit and only slightly tart. Carbonation is present though subtle and nicely balanced. Green apple and pear seem more dominant than any peach flavors until the finish. Not too wild about this wild ale. Typical feel and finish yet underwhelming.

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Photo of bonsreeb85
3.36/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Crystal clear copper, thin quickly fading head that turns to a nice looking film over the top of the brew.

The smell is of oak, tart stone fruits and very sweet/sour.

Flavor is tart yet not overly so as it rounds out to a sweetness. THe peaches are definately detectable. The wood facet is understated but present. Honestly I could go for a little less peach, and more complexity. This isn't quite carbonated peach juice, for it definately has some sourness, but it is like the bottle says "a sour for those who dislike sours"

The body is pretty light and there is an abundant amount of carbonation.

Drinkability is okay, nothing to great. I would not seek this one out again. I do not regret giving it a go though. If nothing else it is definately refreshing.

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Photo of Briken
3.42/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Eric's is a light, clear orange-amber with a light tan highly carbonated head. A light gueuze-like aroma with an earthy sour fruit and light wood notes. Flavors of light peach and wood although not much. Light sourness balances the sweetness. Very moderate carbonation and even mouthfeel. Finish is semi-dry with light woodiness.

Eric's ale is right inbetween a gueuze and a lambic. It's not overly sweet or sour, there are no strong flavors and the mouthfeel is very even for either style. It delivers exactly what it says on the bottle. It's for those that don't like (or have never had) a sour or a lambic. This is a good beer but at $8 I think I would rather buy one or the other styles that I am in the mood for.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.45/5  rDev -15%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to schen9303 for splitting this one with me. Poured from a 22oz. bomber into a Duchesse oversize wine glass.

A: Gentle pour yields no head, just a thin white wisp atop a clear, goldenrod brew. Lacing is spotty and with no real cling. Not a real looker though a more vigorous pour probably would've help.

S: Nose is subtle and a bit washed out. A bit of oak and a tickle of tartness. Peach and other fruit flavors pushed way in the back. On point but not the most aromatic.

T: Opens oak and a bit watery. Hints of sweet peach and cane sugar. Peach flavors and tartness comes in towards the middle and end, souring and developing as it lingers on the palate. Dries out towards the finish which is moderately puckering. Aftertaste is wood and yeast, and tart peach.

M: Light bodied and highly carbonated. Invigorating and coarse in the mouth and goes down abrasive. Finish is dry and aftertaste lingers.

D: A slightly above-average AWA that could use a bit of help in the nose department and perhaps a bit of age in flavor. Seems a bit watered down at times but its not bad by any means. Worth picking up if you can get it on the cheap.

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Photo of froghop
3.45/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours a clear orange with a small white head, and some lacing.

smell is of yeast, sweet fruit, a touch of caramel, and sour malt.

taste is tart, sour malt, wild yeast, some fruit, and a sweetness in the back, end is tart and sour.

overall a good sour ale, the fruit come out nicely.

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Photo of DaveJanssen
3.48/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into tulip glass. Reviewed 6/24/2010. Bottled 25-Feb 2010.

Ar: Lactic, light acetic, brett funk, tart, very acidic initial smell, floral fruit, similar acid smell to La Folie, some mild RR character

Ap: Light/med white head, good retention, lace, clear gold/brass

T: fruity and tart, mild brett, peach, slightly thin sweet watery end, peach becomes stronger with warmth, good mix, acidic but not burning, unique fruit profile, brett funk milder than in the aroma, better with warmth but seems too young for good sour/brett character

M: ends with sweetness and mild acid, more acedic initially (but never burning), medium carbonation, lacking in finish

O: weak finish but good, more barrel time for complexity/dryness would be nice, it is good when i'm tasting it, but the aftertaste is not good, better with warmth and time, but still mild

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.48/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle into a teku.

Appearance: Pours a clearish amber color. The head is two fingers high and white in shade. Retention sucks, perhaps as expected. Not to mention, the head's texture is fizzy and bubbly like soda. Very little lacing sticks to the glass. (2.75)

Smell: The sourness here seems like basic lacto notes, rather than a complex and nuanced brett funk. Still, it counterbalances the peach nicely. Even without the tart touches, this beer's fruitiness doesn't come off overly sugary. Letting it open up will reveal some oak and vanilla. I don't think this has the aroma of a world-class sour ale, but it's plenty likable for what it wants to accomplish. (3.5)

Taste: At first, this is almost crazy sour...for about a second. After that brief onslaught, the lacto flavors intertwine with peach sweetness to create a well-rounded brew. The finish is oaky and buttery. It hits the basics beautifully, but it doesn't develop much complexity beyond said basics. (3.5)

Mouthfeel: This is a nice and dry beer. I swear I get a touch of booze on the back end, which is slightly off-putting. That's about the only niggle I have with the feel - it's fairly delicate and light (not insubstantial), going down easily. Medium carbonation is slightly obscured by the body - whatever, this is really fuckin' easy to drink. (3.75)

Overall: This isn't my favorite sour ale, not even from this brewery. But, it's still pretty good, and fairly approachable. The best part about this beer is how drinkable it is - I mean seriously, I'm killing an entire bomber as quickly as I would a typical 12 oz. IPA bottle (quicker, even...) For my $15 or so, however, I'd rather buy La Folie. (3.5)

3.48/5: Hey Eric, this one is pretty damn good

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Photo of LittleDon
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz pour served in a tulip shaped glass at Trinity Brewing Co. Golden and clear with a fair sized head that quickly disappears into a small lace ring. Apples and champaigne aroma. Bit of a carbonation bite up front. Not much of anything up front and middle, some fruit, but noticeable sourness on the back of the palate. Mild bitterness is also evident in the finish. Thin mouthfeel. Not sure what to make of this. Not a lambic/fruit beer, not a sour red.

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Photo of champ103
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear golden/orange color. A fluffy two finger white head forms with good retention. Some patchy lace is left behind.
S: An acidic sourness up front. Funky yeast, leafy hops, and ripe fruits.
T: A simple acidic sourness is the dominate flavor. Though it is not over the top. Really green as well. Leafy hops, with a medley of ripe sour green apples and peaches. Very sweet.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. Fairly creamy. Though it is missing that great crisp dryness that I love for the style. Easy to drink. The bomber is gone in no time.

Overall a middle of the road Wild Ale. This is very enjoyable. Though I wish it was less sweet and dryer. Still something that is worth a try.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.59/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked up this 22oz bottle from Binny's in Lake Zurich 1 month ago. Bought based on name (my name) and hope for a good wild ale.

The beer pours crystal clear, like copper colored, with a thin head and almost no lacing.
The aroma is mildly funky and a little peachy (possibly only because I was searching for it). The beer tastes a little like a white wine, tart and fruity and just enough musty funk to keep it interesting. A light touch for a wild ale, it would serve well as a gateway.

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Photo of DeanMoriarty
3.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Light golden/amber with little to no head.

S: Sweet malty fermented fruit smell (maybe peach).

T: Sweet champagne, grainy and dry - more wood than peach flavor for me, but not a lot of either.

M: Good carbonation With big bubbles that dissipate quickly - solid Clean finish.

D: Real drinkable but a bit too sweet.

I like this but couldn't drink more than a pint in a single sitting. Solid brew in the "Lips of Faith" series though - keep em coming !!!

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Photo of hopsbreath
3.62/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

With a hard pour, this golden cantaloupe colored beer, cascades into my tulip to reveal a three fingered snow white head that quickly dissipates to a wispy ring. No lacing is evident during my time spent with this beer but that's pretty typical for the style. 3/5

Sugar cookies galore dance on the nose with hints of the tartness to come. I imagine the sweetness will fade with age but it smells so good now I don't think any extra time is in order. 4/5

The taste is moderately sour with some definite yellow cling pairing nicely. Behind the curtain exists the sweetness that seems as if it came from a dubbel. I don't remember reading thy anywhere, but I swear it seems that this was a quality dubbel before the souring commenced. 3.5/5

Mouthfeel and drinkability are spot on. For dinner I paired this with turkey chili and it was so refreshing. And calming to the palate between the bites of spiciness. 3.5/5 on both fronts.

I thought overall this made for a good "with food" sour. I would like to enjoy it more often with food, except at the price point of $8 a bomber, I don't see that happening often. Its cheap for a sour but expensive for an everyday beer. By itself I think it would be a little weak and a better albeit more expensive sour would hit the spot better. If it was offered at $6, I think I would revisit it again.

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Photo of emerge077
3.62/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

5 years later, something still seems missing.
Tastes more like La Folie with the same weird grape jelly note, and peach jelly instead of fresh peaches. Odd aftertaste, just sort of bland. For the new price of $15 you'd expect some complexity but it's just not there, sadly. Wonder what happened to this, it seems that it's been neutered.

4/19/10: 4.22
First time seeing the bottles, this one was served up at Four Moon Tavern. Had this on draft last week at Map Room, so i've got a good frame of reference for draft vs. bottle.

Poured into a New Belgium globe, there was a steady pillar of carbonation visible in the center, similar to the Duvel tulip. Bright orange, with a gentle broken skim on top, and wavy drips of lace all around.

Aroma was more toned down from the tap version, but sweeter and peachy from the juice in here, very fruity vs. being more sharp and acetic on draft. Just the barest whiff of barrel funk, just enough I guess for a broader audience...

Flavor has been sweetened slightly, peach figures big, sweet and natural with a tart lactic snap behind that. Light and airy, very spring/summery. Not as sour as the draft version, but not a complete loss for sour heads. This is very reminiscent in feel to New Glarus Cranbic. Soft and fruity with just enough tartness to qualify as sour.

Something seems missing though, which is a trend in the Lips of Faith bottle series... maybe the pasteurization/filtering has something to do with it? This has been the most impressive though, after La Folie.

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Eric's Ale from New Belgium Brewing
4.06 out of 5 based on 695 ratings.
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