New Belgium Lips of Faith Dark Kriek Review

Lips of Faith Dark Kriek by New BelgiumLips of Faith beers by New Belgium Brewing Company are special releases that are available around St. Valentine’s day. They describe these beers as “funky” and “fruitful” and Dark Kriek is no exception. It is a big sour cherry ale with lot’s of complexity and flavor. New Belgium describes the Lips of Faith releases as follows:

For many years we’ve celebrated Valentine’s Day at New Belgium Brewing by creating a special small batch beer for our family and friends. These beers tend to be a little funky, fruitful and straight from the heart. This year we decided to share the love.

On the same page, they describe Dark Kriek as follows:

New Belgium Brewing’s Dark Kriek is a limited edition Belgian kriek or cherry beer. Much darker than a traditional kriek with a dash of sour cherry up front, our Dark Kriek is actually a blend of two beers. We start with a light, dry, tannic beer aged two years in oak barrels and combine this with a heavier, dark ale and cherries to create one smooth cherry blast of love.

Although I enjoyed this beer, especially after it warmed up to probably about 50ºF, it is not for the casual beer drinker and it is not a sweet and sour lambic like Lindemans’ lambics.

Dark Kriek Bottle from aboveWhere I Found It. I found a 22 oz. bottle of this special release beer at BevMo in Sacramento, CA.

Serving Type. I poured from the bottle into a glass.

Appearance. Dark Kreik has a frothy head that lasts a long time. The head has an eggnog-like color with a touch of pink from the cherries. The beer has a dark amber-red color that reminds me of redwood or mahogany. Although very dark, this beer is crystal clear.

Smell. The aroma has a a dark, roasty malt quality like that of a barley wine. It is, however, just a touch yeasty smelling. The bouquet has a rich fruit sourness like that of dark cherry and cassis. This sour bouquet is the prevalent smell in the beer especially as the beer warms up to an appropriate drinking temperature.

Taste. When consumed too cold, Lips of Faith Dark Kreik tastes sour and the other interesting flavors are subdued. After this beer warms up a bit, the flavors are much more pronounced. This beer is sour like a sour lambic ale but unlike other lambic ales like Lindemans’ kriek, this beer is not fruity sweet. Instead, it has a roasted malt sweetness that is more like the molasses sweetness that you might find in a barley wine. The fruit flavor is not lost in the sourness but is enhanced by the other flavors to create a nice dark cherry flavor.

Mouthfeel. The mouthfeel is what I like least about this beer. It was thick and syrupy with some chalkiness probably caused by tanins.

Drinkability. Dark Kreik is a interesting, complex, and tasty beer to try. It is a strong beer with unique flavors and sourness but is not a session beer. A 22 oz. bottle of this beer is perfect to share with somebody else. With that said, I would pick up this beer again, if it were available.

Dark Kriek with a white background to show the colorRating. My ratings below are on a five point scale with five being the best score.

  • Appearance (20%): 4.0
  • Smell (20%): 4.0
  • Taste (40%): 4.0
  • Mouthfeel (10%): 2.5
  • Drinkability (10%): 3.0
  • Overall: 3.75


  • Style: Belgian kriek, fruit beer
  • Brewery: New Belgium
  • Alcohol by volume: 8%
  • Other ingredients: cherries
  • Beer Advocate rating: 3.6 (as of May 29, 2009)

Other Reviews

Glass and Bottle of Dark Kriek by New Belgium

Bottle of Lips of Faith Dark Kriek

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About David Jensen

David is a craft beer and photography enthusiast.
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5 Responses to New Belgium Lips of Faith Dark Kriek Review

  1. timbo says:

    Tried Santa Cruz’s Dark Night Oatmeal Stout yet? Tried it at the Sacramento Beer Festival a few weeks back (don’t bother going in 2010…not worth it in my opinion…very disorganized).

    Also had a chance to try the Devil’s Canyon beers finally. The Amber Ale was pretty good and the Lager was interesting. Wasn’t a big fan of the Scotch Ale tho…

  2. ale says:

    damn. i just saw this post. its not available anywhere. any idea if it is available anywhere anymore?

  3. jenjen says:

    I just bought a bottle of the Lips of Faith Dark Kriek today (June 4) at Whole Foods in San Diego.

  4. David Jensen says:

    Good work, enjoy. I’m visiting So Cal and I just picked up a few San Diego and other Southern California beers. I’m working on an AleSmith IPA right now, very excellent beer.

  5. Blake says:

    David, the Alesmith X is amazing, isn’t it??

    I’m on my way to BevMo right now in Orange, CA to pick some up. I think I’ll love it, thanks for the review.

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