In our humble opinion, RyePAs always seem to deliver the goods. Maybe it’s because we drink so many IPAs that the ingredient tweaks of a RyePA make them standout from the pack. Well, consider us excited that New Belgium is bringing back its RyePA, two years after its initial debut. Even cooler, New Belgium is involving its now dual hometowns in Colorado and North Carolina.
Originally brewed with Carolina Rye, heirloom rye grown in North Carolina and floor malted by Riverbend Malt House in Asheville, the RyePA revival also incorporates rye from Colorado Malting, a fourth-generation family farm in Alamosa, Colo.
“As we open our east coast home in Asheville this spring, making a beer with roots in both homes led us right back to RyePA,” said New Belgium Brewer Matty Gilliland. “Using malt from Riverbend and Colorado Malting allowed us to source hyper-locally, brewing some essence of both places into the beer and growing our existing relationships with awesome craft partners.”
Get to know the maltsters
Founded in 2010, Riverbend Malt House is the only production scale malting facility in the southeast United States. Riverbend’s mission is to provide area craft brewers and distillers with locally farmed, artisan malts, helping to reduce the industry’s impact on the planet. As a founding member of the North American Craft Maltsters Guild, Riverbend Malt House is a leading force in the nation’s micro-malt movement.
Founded in 2008, Colorado Malting is a handmade malting operation. Operating from the Cody Farm, a fourth generation family farm, the Cody brothers designed and built their equipment and run their operation from what used to be their grandparent’s home. From the field to the glass, Colorado Malting is taking beer back to its roots so brewers can make the best beer in the world.
As pioneers in the malting industry, both Riverbend and Colorado Malting have unique processes and regionally specific grain varietals. Serving as the missing link between farmers and the brewing industry, Riverbend uses a traditional artisan floor malting technique dating back to the 1700s. Each batch of their heirloom rye is raked by hand to release heat and incorporate fresh air into the grain bed.
Operating from their fourth-generation family farm in Alamosa, the Cody brothers designed and built their malting equipment and run their operation from what used to be their grandparent’s home. From the field to the glass, Colorado Malting is taking beer back to its roots so brewers can make the best beer in the world.
The RyePA revival
New Belgium brewers and Riverbend co-founders first developed a Rye Saison using Riverbend’s Carolina Rye Malt for Asheville Beer Week 2013. The brewers were so pleased with the beer, they decided to use the Carolina Rye in RyePA in 2014 and now again in the 30 percent rye malt profile in the RyePA revival.
Riverbend and Colorado Malting co-founders met at the Craft Brewers Conference in 2014 and then again at the Craft Malt Guild in Denver. The craft malters have admired each other’s work over the years and this is the first time they know of that their grain has been brewed into the same beer.
This beer is brimming with big hop flavors. Galaxy, Cascade, Simcoe and Mosaic hops round out the hop profile. Blackcurrant and tropical fruits compliment grassy herbs in the nose, while a sweet-bitter-sweet taste voyage and 6.6 percent ABV make this a very drinkable beer. Big, juicy, fruity hop flavors are complemented by a spicy rye finish. The bold, spicy RyePA sings with a bowl of jambalaya, a spicy meatball sandwich or a hot masala. The hoppy Rye IPA is available in New Belgium Folly Packs nationwide through May.
In addition to brewing a great beer, the partners are aligned in shared truths, including conducting business as if people and place matter. As a B Corp, New Belgium looks to align with purpose-driven businesses whenever possible. Both Riverbend and Colorado Malting operate with care and consideration to their communities and the land.