The Long Table Farmhouse Ale from New Belgium is a classic style that is seeing a renaissance as of late in the craft brew industry. The Farmhouse style originated from the practice of 19th century farmers using their excess crops to brew their own beer to share with family and friends. Since crops and what was available varied year to year, region by region, and even between homesteads, the original Farmhouse Ales would many times use different ingredients for each batch, making each one singular and unique.
New Belgium seems to honor this tradition with one of their newer brews, Long Table. After pouring in to a classic tulip glass there is a fair amount of light density head that is multifaceted; it contains many sizes of bubbles and dissipates fast leaving a beer that is a clear golden yellow. On the nose is a discrete floral scent that is very subdued and quite elegant. On the first drink you notice light and perky citrus notes that are slightly complex, but in no way overpowering. There are a few tastes all working together that start from an earthy base and move to a citrus finish, but they all balance well and no single flavor profile dominates.
I can easily imagine drinking this brew with close friends and family as we share a hearty meal under the night sky around a table that has been handed down through the generations. This is a very well balanced beer that I could see drinking for a long time.