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Sunday, June 5th 2011

Fat Tire Amber Ale
(New Belgium Brewing Company)

Fat Tire made its canned debut three years ago this week. It was the first canned offering from New Belgium and is a beer that's been a so-called gateway brew for many craft beer lovers. As New Belgium continues to expand its distribution this, their flagship beer, is one that you'll see more and more. Cheers!


From the New Belgium site:


"Named in honor of our founder Jeff's bike trip through Belgium, Fat Tire Amber Ale marks a turning point in the young electrical engineer's home brewing. Belgian beers use a far broader palette of ingredients (fruits, spices, esoteric yeast strains) than German or English styles. Jeff found the Belgian approach freeing. Upon his return, Jeff created Fat Tire and Abbey Belgian Ale, (assuming Abbey would be his big gun). He and his wife, Kim traveled around sampling their homebrews to the public. Fat Tire's appeal quickly became evident. People liked everything about it. Except the name. Fat Tire won fans with its sense of balance: toasty, biscuit-like malt flavors coasting in equilibrium with hoppy freshness.”

Here we go...


Pour - very bright orange in appearance. Clean and clear with just a bit of yeast sediment floating around. The head on this is about a half inch in thickness and leaves some lacing as it slides downwards. 

Aroma - caramel, honey, bread dough, Play-Doh and orange peel


Taste - malty, sweet, yet light on the palate. Plenty of toasty and nutty flavors with some hints at a hoppy finish. Straightforward ale in many ways and very drinkable for just that reason. I've actually heard a number of people say they like the taste of this beer best from a can (over both bottles and draught). 


Overall - Certainly a beer that many people from the east coast, who've travelled out west, speak volumes about but as it becomes more and more accessible across the country I think it's going to start being seen as pretty average. That's not saying anything bad about the beer, don't get me wrong, I just happened to see it as a pretty solid, yet straightforward amber ale. This is however New Belgium's flagship beer and it pays the bills and enables them to brew plenty of smaller batch beers (like their Lips of Faith Series) that appeal to a smaller audience. For that we can all say "Cheers!".


Would I buy more of it? - if faced with this or a six-pack of their Ranger IPA in cans I'd probably go with the Ranger IPA. This is certainly an all-around easy to drink beer and definitely a good choice to bring on a camping trip with friends or to a party on the beach. 


yes, a beer can be "can conditioned"


Note - New Belgium cans three of their beers. Along with Fat Tire you'll also find Sunshine Wheat and Ranger IPA in cans. The Ranger IPA is probably the one you'll have the hardest time finding as its a limited release with limited distribution in cans. Cheers!


Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Fat Tire Amber Ale
Style: American Amber/Red Ale
Brewery: New Belgium Brewing Company
Fort Collins, Colorado  
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: Pale, C-80, Munich, Victory
Hops: Willamette, Goldings, Target
ABV: 5.2%
IBUs: 19
Date: June 5th, 2011

Posted by Russ

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