New Belgium 1554 Enlightened Black Ale

What follows is the August 28th edition of my weekly column written for DIG Magazine.

Since New Belgium’s entrance into Louisiana this spring, their portfolio has grown beyond the staples like Fat Tire and Ranger IPA. One of those beers is 1554, an ale that defies your typical description. New Belgium claims to have found references to this century old style, and had to attempt a reproduction.

1554 pours a dark brown, almost black, with a nice two finger head that dissipates quickly, leaving some nice lacing on the glass. The aroma is bready and roasty with hints of caramel and dried fruit. It has that biscuity flavor that defines New Belgium beers, yet this isn’t just a darker version of Fat Tire. The roastiness prevails here, with chocolate and coffee notes, yet it isn’t bitter. Termed as an ale, yet fermented with a lager yeast at higher temperatures, the finish is slightly dry with some fruity sweetness.

This isn’t a big beer at all with 5.6-percent ABV, and it’s highly quaffable. Pair 1554 with dishes that include Havarti or bleu cheese, Portobello mushrooms or a hearty steak.

Find six packs of New Belgium 1554 for around $9 at most local grocers as well as specialty bottle shops and liquor stores.

To read more about Louisiana’s craft beer scene, visit, like The Ale Runner Facebook page and follow @TheAleRunner on Twitter.



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