My son and I were on our way home from the homebrew store in Aurora where we picked up ingredients for our next beer making episode: wheat beer. We’d be going past the highly acclaimed, world renowned Morris Beer Store, so I figured that we may as well stop in and pick up review beers for the weekend.
It was late in the afternoon so the regular crew were gone, all except for a very sweet young lady who recognized me right away. “Hey! SixPackTech, right?” Yep. Her smile almost fell onto the counter as I mentioned I’d be perusing the beer shelf.
Here we go with the same beer choosing drill. I had something conservative in mind for Friday night and something bold and new for Saturday. On the bottom of the shelf was an old beer I had over a year ago and not since. I did a four-paragraph “review” on it back on the old Blogger site and I remembered it went over well. I decided to give this beer a retry and write something a little more in depth. I picked up a sixpack of Fat Tire Amber Ale brewed by New Belgium Brewing out of Fort Collins, Colorado. I winced at the $8.49 price tag. What price taste?
From the New Belgium site:
As our aspiring young homebrewer rides his mountain bike with “fat tires” through European villages famous for beer, New Belgium Brewing Company was but a glimmer in his eye. Or basement. For Jeff Lebesch would return to Fort Collins with a handful of ingredients and an imagination full of recipes.
Jeff’s first two basement-brewed creations? A brown dubbel with earthy undertones named Abbey and a remarkably well-balanced amber he named Fat Tire. To say the rest was history would be to overlook his wife’s involvement. Kim Jordan was New Belgium’s first bottler, sales rep, distributor, marketer and financial planner.
And now, she’s our CEO.
New Belgium is the first brewery to be entirely powered by wind. Also, I understand that after one year of service as an employee, you are awarded a New Belgium bicycle which sports fat tires.
As Friday beer time loomed, I wondered if I’d have any memories triggered by the taste of this previous beer. Why wait? It was time enough. I grabbed the first Fat Tire and loaded it into the glass.
The beer came up with a nice head and a beautiful orangey-red color like a brand new penny. Carbonation was rather small, but it may just be my glass. The aroma was barely perceptible but it had a slight yeasty smell to it.
The first sip yielded a slight tang of maltiness. It did not have an excessive amount of flavor to it, but it was rather tasty with a little sweetness up front. Each successive sip yielded more flavor and by the time the first glass was half empty (half full?) the taste really settled in. There was nothing overwhelming about the taste, not too much of anything, really. Just good flavor all around. I’d tend to classify it as a mild ale because it’s full enough in flavor but not overwhelmingly coating. The hops are barely noticeable. This is a good drinking beer to have a few of without getting stupid. They went down easy and the little bit of taste kept me wanting another sip.
I’d venture to say that this would probably make for a good session beer. The ABV is reasonable and the taste easily sets up shop in the mouth. I wouldn’t say it qualified as a lawnmower beer though. The tinge of flavor sets this beer up as slightly more full-bodied than a post-grass-cutting slammer. This is one beer to take your time with.
Fat Tire is an excellent beer to while away the time with. Pop one open while you’re tinkering in the garage or basement. Have a few during the game. Or while you’re out cooking on the grill. It’s perfectly suited for a warm, lazy afternoon out on the veranda, porch, patio or stoop. But if you’re looking to get pasted in the chops with bold flavors and heinous taste, buy something else.
Taste: B- > A lot of almost imperceptible somethings together simultaneously.
Smoothness: B- > Like canoeing down a shallow river.
Drinkability: B- > Where has the time flown?
Bang for the buck: C > A buck forty per beer is pushin’ it.