New Belgium Brewing expanded into the Maryland, Virginia and D.C. markets and the earth shook, the winds blew, the rain poured, and the rivers flooded.
Of course it was just a coincidence that the arrival of the nation’s third largest craft brewery to the Mid-Atlantic region occurred at about the same time as the Virginia Earthquake, Hurricane Irene, and historic rain and flooding in the Washington, D.C. area. But Mother Nature’s upheaval forced us to hunker down indoors and provided the perfect opportunity to sample and savor bombers of New Belgium brew, including:
- Ranger IPA, an American-style IPA brewed for hopheads (6.5%, 70 IBU)
- Fat Tire Amber Ale, a well-balanced session Amber — simply a classic (5.2%)
- Hoptober Golden Ale, smooth and complex; brewed with five hops and four malts (6.0%)
- Trippel, a tasty, strong Belgian-style ale brewed with coriander (7.8%)
New Belgium arrives in DC with a lot of hype, as we have been waiting for years to find this Colorado-based west coast mainstay here on the east coast. Forever, it seems, you could only get Fat Tire west of the Mississippi. I first came across Fat Tire in the late 90’s when I was in Scottsdale, Arizona and I loved it. Some craft beer drinkers think that Fat Tire is an average Amber that is not worthy of the hype. I disagree — Fat Tire is one of my favorite session beers that simply gets better and more drinkable as the night goes on. It’s a smooth drinker, with a distinct biscuity taste. It’s a beer you remember, along with the good times you had while drinking it. That’s why I love Fat Tire and I welcome it here with open arms.
New Belgium started its distribution in the DC area with 22 oz bombers only. Bring on the six packs!
Looking for Fat Tire? DCist.com has a guide to finding New Belgium. The comments to the blog post have a great discussion on the hype around Fat Tire. Count me among the fans!