The Lips of Faith Series comes to us courtesy of the popular craft brewing brand New Beligium.  The popularity of their 7 year-round beers have gotten them stocked in many chain grocery stores, with Ranger IPA being one of my go to beers when I’m stuck shopping at a Vons.  My first experience with their Lips of Faith Series was at the La Jolla Brew House several months ago.  Super Cru was on tap and after my first one was able to brush aside the ‘B’ rating hanging on the wall.  The alcohol would disinfect the glass, no?  Below are two from the series that I’ve had the chance to enjoy recently.

Kick: In an afternoon full of tartness, this was a stand-out for me at the Churchill’s Sour Fest last month. 75% brewed with pumpkin and cranberry juices and 25% aged in wooden barrels, it had a different type tartness to it than the others.  When having the sours side by side, I was able to pick up on the fruit and spice in both aroma and taste.   When I grabbed a couple of bottles the following week and had it alone, I couldn’t pick up on the subtle flavors from my initial experience.  It got me thinking about how I’d like to approach tasting in the future and if it would be wise to get at least two within a particular style.   On both accounts though, I couldn’t pick up on any pumpkin flavor.

Dunkelweiss: Although I haven’t filed too much knowledge away on this beer’s style base, upon smell I instantly started to salivate.  In fact, as I write this and remember the smell and anticipating the taste- I’m salivating.  Unlike other reviews I have read, I enjoyed the combination of cloves and banana.  It had a rich flavor without feeling too heavy.  I think the beer showed creativity and am glad the brewers at New Belgium are being allowed to experiment.  The rest of us will reap the benefits!  I cannot

Final thoughts: I’m happy I’m finding a lot of beer I enjoy lately but I have to give myself a failing grade in regard to my goal of learning beer style characteristics.  I’m drawn toward beers claiming to be an experiment in mixing flavors and styles- and it’s not helping my cause.  If I add on beers that are true to their style to the ones I already enjoy, I may need to rename my blog “Beer With a Bit of Belly.”