Patagonia Infused Lager - New Belgium Style

Published on 11/14/2013

by Nathan Borchelt

Toast Patagonia’s 40th Anniversary with New Belgium and Their New Beer Collaboration

This month Patagonia invites you to join in on celebrating their 40th birthday by partnering with famed Fort Collins, CO-based New Belgium Brewery to create California Route, a 5.5 percent ABV canned California-style lager.  True to the apparel-maker’s environmentally sound practices, this new brew is entirely crafted from certified-organic ingredients, using California lager yeast paired with Cascade hops and a hearty dose of noble hallertau, a noble hop with an acid rating of 3.5 to 5.5 percent. Organic Munich specialty malt is also added to the mix, delivering a clean, refreshing beer with subtle fruit flavors, aromatic citrus, hints of freshly baked bread, and a light lager finish.

As you’d expect from a brand known for its attention to detail, Patagonia’s taste-makers played a key role throughout the development of California Route.  Its name, however, was likely easier to choose. It plays homage to a long-established route on Patagonia’s Mount Fitz Roy, first climbed by a handful of mountaineering legends in 1968—and emblazoned on company’s logo. Not surprisingly, that iconic silhouette also appears on the blue 12-ounce cans.

New Belgium was an obvious choice for the pairing. The 100-percent-employee-owned brewery is a Platinum-level Bicycle-Friendly Business, uses renewable energy resources at their factory, donates a portion of the money made in their tap room to various charities, and started an internal electricity tax last January, earmarking the money for future sustainable energy efforts. Even the employee benefits are killer (beyond all the free beer). Work there a year, and you get a free bike. Work there five, get taken to Belgium. Ten years? A one-month paid sabbatical.  And, like Patagonia, New Belgium continues to innovate and experiment with the idea of craft beer, as exemplified by their award-winning Lips of Faith series.  Think beer made with Yuzu fruit, a coconut-curry hefeweizen, or the tart La Folie, a barrel-aged sour.

The only buzz kill?

Production will be limited, and likely hard to find unless you live in one of the markets where the beer will appear (Seattle, Portland, Chicago, Boulder, Denver, Boston, Santa Monica, San Fran, Palo Alto, Cardiff, and Ventura).  But that shouldn’t stop you from asking a kind-hearted geographically-blessed friend to ship you a can. Or from snagging a six-pack of one of New Belgium’s regular releases and joining the party in spirit.


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