New Belgium is celebrating 25 years, but it is us that are getting the presents. For their 25th anniversary, New Belgium has collaborated with other brewers for new twists on their flagship Fat Tire Amber Ale. These collaborations are available now in a mixed 12 pack nationwide.
They joined forces with their southerly neighbors at Avery for Fat Wild Ale which brings just a bit of funk to the party. Though there is definitely Brett as well as apple and orange notes in the aroma, the flavor only slightly strays from the Fat Tire profile. The flavor is dominated by bready and biscuit flavors with the Brett seeming to only contribute just a bit of pineapple and tropical fruit. Fat Wild Ale is 6.2%.
The beer that is most like Fat Tire is the collaboration with Rhinegeist from Ohio. The aroma in this beer is quite muted. The biggest difference in this 6% beer is a bit heavier malt flavor and body with a late hop burn and more pronounced fruity esters.
New Belgium teamed with Portland’s Hopworks resulting in Fat Sour Apple. This beer has a typical Fat Tire aroma dominated by the malt and yeast. The beer is only slightly tart with a leaning more towards sweet, but there is a definite green apple flavor. It has a good pale-ale level of bitterness and finishes dry. Overall, it’s a clean and easy-drinking 5.9% beer.
Fat Funk brewed with Allagash is a very distinct beer from Fat Tire. It is a wonderful combination of old Belgium and New Belgium. The old is represented with big aromas of banana and clove which carry into the flavor. There is a nice Saison flavor characterized by coriander and clove spiciness with a dry peppery finish. The overall flavor is reminiscent of a solid Saison like Saison Dupont.
But perhaps the beer that most sets itself apart from the standard Fat Tire is the beer brewed with Firestone Walker. Fat Hoppy definitely shows Firestone Walker’s West Coast style. This 6% beer screams West Coast IPA with piney and orangey aromas, only a brief mid-tongue malt appearance, dank grass and pine flavors, a slight lemon-zest note, and a bitter but clean finish.
The mixed pack contains 2 of each of these 5 beers as well as two of Fat Tire. It is quite fun to sip these beers and compare and contrast them to the original. Happy 25th, New Belgium!
Alex writes a beer review every other Friday. Two weeks ago he reviewed the Bluegrass Billionaire by Clown Shoes.