New Belgium’s Fat Tire gets a facelift

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After 25 years, New Belgium’s flagship Fat Tire Amber Ale is getting a facelift. Well, five facelifts to be exact, and each one is completely different from any Fat Tire that you’re used to.

For New Belgium’s 25th anniversary they tasked a few brewing friends to put their own unique spin on this craft beer classic. Some breweries added a boatloads of hops, while others wanted to know what would happen if you tweaked the yeast to something completely different.

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What you get is a box of six completely different beers from six nationwide breweries. This 12-pack is perfect for sitting around with friends who like to talk about beer.

And that’s just what we did. The boss and I sat around one beautiful summer afternoon and split the lot and took down our tasting notes of each.

THE BEER

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Beer: Fat Tire Amber Ale, 5.2% ABV
Brewery: New Belgium Brewing Company – Fort Collins, CO & Brevard, NC

The classic. Sweet caramel malt flavor with just the right amount of hop bitterness to make sure it’s not too sweet. This was the base beer for all of the collabs to follow.

Beer: Fat Pale Ale XPA Belgian Pale Ale, 6%
Brewery: Rhinegeist Brewery– Cincinnati, OH

Belgian yeast in the main player in this beer. It is also the one that has the most recognizable Fat Tire flavor remaining. The maltiness hasn’t fallen away and the bitterness has stayed pretty static, maybe a little less. Fruity notes also come through from the yeast.

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Beer: Fat Hoppy Ale, 6% ABV
Brewery: Firestone Walker Brewing Company – Paso Robles, CA

YES. This is what Fat Tire has been missing for all these years — HOPS! The combination of traditional west coast hops like Mosaic and Citra make this juicy while the Mandarina Bavaria supplies notes of pineapple sweetness. It’s dank and delicious.

Beer: Fat Sour Apple Ale, 5.9% ABV
Brewery: Hop Works Urban Brewery – Portland, OR

A double tart punch from both the sour apple juice and lactobacillus make this the most unique out of the six. It’s interesting to say the least and worth sharing because I am not sure I could do a full bottle.

Beer: Fat Wild Ale, 6.2% ABV
Brewery: Avery Brewing Company – Boulder, CO

Juicy and malty aren’t usually two words that go together when it comes to beer. Somehow Avery and New Belgium achieved a perfect balance of the usual malt backbone from Fat Tire and citrus juiciness from a dose of brett that doesn’t over sour the beer.

Beer: Fat Funk Ale, 5.6% ABV
Brewery: Allagash Brewing Company – Portland, ME

This was the biggest surprise out of the bunch. The description of banana and clove notes was somewhat of a turn-off. I’m not usually one for those flavors in my beer. After one sip I knew I shouldn’t haven’t doubt the powerhouse that is a collab between New Belgium and Allagash. This was delicious. Bottle conditioned with Allagash’s own “Brett Allagagensis” for a slight tart finish. (The boss’s fave too.)

Where to find it

I’ve seen it at most of the distributors in the area. I picked mine up from Breski Beverage on Eisenhower Boulevard for only $20.99 with a full case coming it at $36.99.

No matter how you enjoy this beer, just get it quick because its a one time deal that will be gone before you know.

James Werner
Author: James Werner

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