A couple of new-but-limited New Belgium beers have rolled into my area, and it didn’t take much convincing for me to give them a try. Presented for my consideration are Citrus Rescue, a new IPA that is not part of the Voodoo Ranger line of New Belgium IPAs, and Devilishy Light Lager, a non-IPA that is part of the Voodoo Ranger family. For reasons, apparently.
Citrus Rescue Citrus IPA
First up, we have Citrus Rescue, a limited release IPA that is brewed with oranges that are not “perfect” and pretty enough for store shelves, according to New Belgium. The brewery is partnering with Imperfect Foods on this beer to make a point about food waste, and this limited release IPA was brewed with 34,560 of these “good but imperfect looking” oranges.
Wow, I’m really starting to identify with these poor oranges. Let’s just move on to the beer.
I like this beer a lot. It pours cloudy and pale straw yellow while building a big, foamy white head. Popping open the can releases a burst of fresh orange aroma. Take a sip, and you get a nice, big hit of hops that isn’t very bitter or piney chased by the flavor of fresh orange on the finish. It’s not the taste of orange peel or commercial orange juice but the bright, pulpy flavor of a fresh orange without the sweetness. I don’t mind a little fruit in my beer when it’s done right, and New Belgium has done it right with Citrus Rescue. This is my idea of what a juicy IPA should be. (And makes me miss Citradelic.)
Citrus Rescue is dry hopped (hops are added late in the brewing process during fermentation or conditioning) with Citra, Lotus and Mosaic hops that amplify the citrus flavor, in addition to Chinook, Incognito, Galaxy and Nugget hops. The beer weighs in at 180 calories per 12 ounces, 6.5 % ABV and 30 IBU.
Devilishly Light Lager
You might be familiar with New Belgium’s Voodoo Ranger family of IPAs. Voodoo Ranger Devilishly Light Lager is definitely not an IPA. It’s hard to fathom why New Belgium has chosen to mix this oh-so-light lager in with the rest of the rangers, but here we have it.
Devilishly Light was released in the fall of 2021 using North Carolina, home to New Belgium’s Asheville brewery, as a test market. If you’re looking for bold taste, try something else. If you’re looking for a beer you can crush all summer afternoon, well then, we have ourselves a contender.
DL is thin, pale and bubbly with just a hint of an herbs to the aroma. It’s crisp without being over carbonated with a finish that is exceptionally clean. No light beer aftertaste here. There’s not much taste at all, just some very, very light notes of bread and fruit with just a touch of bitterness on the back end to remind you that, yes, they probably walked some hops past the brew kettle at some point. I would absolutely take a Devilishly over a Bud Lite or Miller Lite as my first beer on a hot August day at the ballpark, but after two or three, I probably couldn’t tell the difference anymore.
Devilishy Light tips the scales at 4.2% ABV (typical for an American light lager), a paltry 8 IBUs and 100 calories per can. Well, New Belgium says 99.9 calories, but I’ll have no truck with that kind of gas-station numeracy. I’m rounding up. There’s no info about this beer on the New Belgium website, and it’s hard to find online, so it may still be a North Carolina-only offering. If it’s available in your state, let me know. If you miss out on this one, you’re really not missing much.