Peter Bouckaert sounds tired. The 21-year veteran brewmaster for New Belgium is ready to formally unveil his new project, Purpose Brewing & Cellars in Fort Collins, Colorado, on Saturday, but he’s still wrapping up projects at New Belgium before he officially departs sometime at the end of the year. Double duty is taking its toll on his sleep schedule, but Bouckaert is audibly energized about what he’s been brewing at Purpose.
“Being open is almost more relaxing in a way, to find our groove in what we can do and what we want to do,” Bouckaert says. Purpose’s taproom has been quietly open since August, but the grand opening will take place Saturday, September 22 from noon-7 p.m. and will feature double the number of beers the brewery normally offers on tap.
Purpose typically offers four beers, one of which always falls under the “Smoeltrekker” umbrella, a rotating series of beers that have little in common except that they’ve come from a wood barrel.
“That’s been unique in that we always pick something substantially different, from more of a wine extraction to something substantially sour to a fruit addition,” Bouckaert says. “The other beers [on tap] are one-offs, where we try to work as a chef, with our ‘salt and pepper’ basically.”
By salt and pepper, he means fruits, spices, mushrooms, flowers … essentially every edible ingredient under the sun.
“It’s been really fun looking at different ingredients, talking with different people about process and ingredients,” Bouckaert says. “We always try to do it as the salt and pepper, to use it to enhance the flavor but don’t exaggerate it.”
For a peek at what Purpose has in store for its grand opening, see the tap list below.
Belgian blonde with pink peppercorn and hibiscus flowers.
Amber beer laid down on shiitake mushrooms.
Bright pink Belgian blonde married with cranberry, ginger, mace, orange peel, allspice, cinnamon, and cloves.
Old Elk bourbon barrel-aged dark roasted ale.
Hoppy ale made with locally grown and malted grain by Troubadour Maltings and rested on Japanese citrus Yuzu and Kabosu, then double dry-hopped with Belma and Bravo hops.
Soft sour blonde aged in a 2015 vintage Albariño wine barrel from The Infinite Monkey Theorem out of Denver. This barrel was inoculated with one of Peter and Zach’s mysterious cultures.
Smoeltrekker #6 and #17
Medium sour. A blend of 66.6 percent barrel #6, a brown aged in a Chateau Montelena Zinfandel barrel, and 33.3 percent barrel #17, a gold aged in a 2015 vintage cab franc barrel from The Infinite Monkey Theorem out of Denver. These barrels were inoculated with one of Peter and Zach’s mysterious cultures.
Nacht, a black ale matured on top of coconut, orange peel, vanilla beans, grains of paradise, and Brazilian Amburana wood, laid to rest, or should we say “woken up” on locally fire-roasted Sumatra coffee. Brewed with locally grown and malted grain by Troubadour Maltings.
Biere de Mars
Brewed with locally grown and malted grain from Troubadour Maltings, as well as lemon verbena and lemon peels, finished with Brettanomyces yeast.