Alright so my report back. I'll start with Oldsock's Questions:
I asked Eric and he explained the main change has been do to the volume change. Since moving to a Lips of Faith series they now produce 300 hectoliters instead of 30 hectoliters. And this means that the beer needs to be bottled on their main bottling line. And that means it must be pasturized so as to not contaminate the rest of their beers. Before it was all hand corked! And this allowed the beer to be in a different part of the brewery and these bottles could take the added pressure over time. Good News. Eric said they should have a corking line soon.
Most of my questions were background questions. Which has now generated more questions that I will have to follow-up with. Here's a good summary:
I tried to figure out how they approach sour brewing at NB. So from what I understand from my conversation with Eric. They started with the traditional bugs (lacto, pedio, brett) and pitched them into a bunch(lots) of barrels. And over the course of several years they got rid of the bad barrels and repitched more of the bugs from the good barrels (not sure how they control their ratios, like lacto getting out of control, more Qs). Eventually they moved up to using French Oak foudres. They now have 20 with 10 filled with Felix and 10 with Oscar. Oscar is their dark sour base (La Folie) and Felix is their pale base (Eric's Ale, Tart Lechee). Each of these foudres taste a bit different based on their location in the brewery. (This made me want to try the same wort and bugs but in different locations in my house). Supposedly foudre #3 is tasting really good right now. And once and a while you will here about a LOVE barrel. This is a single barrel or foudre that tastes great on its own. It can be Oscar or Felix. Some of the beers after they are blended are left to age in the barrel.
I did a more detailed write up about all the beers on my blog:
Let me know if you have more questions and I will pass them along.