Someone living on the East Coast is used to hearing the phrase "Anheuser
Busch, St. Louis, Missouri," closing every beer commercial for the national
giant. Within Colorado, however, we're reminded that it's "Anheuser Busch,
Ft. Collins, Colorado." The drive to Ft. Collins will take you past
billboards encouraging you to visit the beer factory.
What you will not see are ads extolling you to visit the New Belgium
Brewing Company, although such a trip would be infinitely more informative,
and tasty, than a visit to the home of the Clydesdales. A strong
introduction to the New Belgium family is Fat Tire, their amber ale.
According to the lable, Fat Tire is dry hopped with a nutty malt flavor and
hoppy aroma. It is the sweetness of the malt that you will notice most
about this beer. It has little aftertaste, making it a smooth, sweet beer.
Many Coloradans think of Fat Tire as an excellent tourist beer. Its
smoothness and easy drinkability make a fine introduction to quality
Colorado brew for people more used to the standard mass produced beers and
put off by the stronger brews.
Many non-beer drinkers also find Fat Tire easy to drink. Next to a stronger
beer, however, Fat Tire seems weak and even tasteless. Its quality will
stand out if it you drink it by itself, but will pale if you drink it
following a stronger brew.
Fat Tire, and New Belgium Brewing Company, has developed a loyal following
within Colorado. One member of the staff of the Association of Brewers
commented it's one of the only brews he would pay for in a bar. Considering
that Colorado seems to have a bewildering array of decent to excellent
brewpubs and microbrews, this is high praise indeed. Fat Tire is just
expanding its distribution and product line, having only recently
introduced six-packs of twelve ounce bottles; previously you could only buy
it as a 40 ounce bottle or on-tap at your local beer hall.
Fat Tire is a pleasant, drinkable beer, especially if you're looking for
something light. New Belgium is an excellent up-and-coming microbrewery,
and if you find some of its products at your local watering hall, be sure
to have a taste for yourself.
"It requires a very unusual mind to undertake the analysis of the obvious."
--Alfred North Whitehead