To me, nothing sounds more exotic in a beer than pear and ginger. When I first saw these ingredients on the label for New Belgium’s new seasonal Lips of Faith brew, I was skeptical. Generally when I think of ginger, I think of overwhelming heat and spice from a tuber that normally doesn’t sound appetizing to me.
A lot of traditional ginger ales take this approach of immense heat that turns every swig into a risk instead of something I would prefer to pair with dinner. So, I was rather worried when I saw that ginger was going to be a key component of New Belgium’s new brew.
The company’s Lips of Faith series is a more high-end special beer that costs a little more than an ordinary beer. A pint of the beer will cost $8.99. So it definitely could be a risky expense for a college student looking for a nice beer, but ends up with something a little above their comfort level.
Luckily, instead of a strong pungent taste, my first sip of the beer was more subtle, sweet and balanced than what I was expecting. There is definitely heat from the ginger, but it is not overpowering. In fact, it’s a fairly pleasant aftertaste for a beer that is beer — not ginger ale. By volume the bottle contains 7 percent alcohol and has a bitterness rating of 10. There is a definite sweetness to the beer. It is fruity with a moderate amount of wheat that together creates a crisp, balanced taste.
There wasn’t much bitterness to the beer, which I generally like. The one thing that seemed missing for me was greater hints of pear. Although it is fruity and full of lemony citrus, the pear seemed pretty absent in comparison to the other flavors. Honestly though, I kind of enjoyed the neutral sweet taste that is lightly heated from the ginger.
For someone who is bored with the normal affair of seasonal brews, the zest, heat and sweetness of this beer provide a new and different way to celebrate and enjoy the summer. What’s more, this brew can be blended into a variety of cocktails, which is fairly rare and hard to pull off in a beer. New Belgium has a variety of recipes to try and pair with the pear ginger beer.
But for those just interested in the beer and nothing else, this new entry into the Lips of Faith series is worth checking out if anything because it will add some extra heat to your summer.
Collegian Senior Reporter Skyler Leonard can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @skyler_leonard.