New Belgium Brewing Co. — Fort Collins, Colorado
• Style: India Pale Ale
• Bitterness: 70 IBU
• ABV: 6.5%
• OG: Not provided
• Grains: Not provided
• Hops: Simcoe, Chinook, Cascade + Cascade dry hopped
• Sampled: 12 oz. bottle
Description: “So, here it finally is – New Belgium’s foray into the true American India Pale Ales. Bring out the hops! This clear amber beauty bursts at the starting gate with an abundance of hops: Cascade (citrus), Chinook (floral/citrus), and Simcoe (fruity) lead off the beer, with Cascade added again for an intense dry hop flavor. Brewed with pale and dark caramel malts that harmonize the hop flavor from start to finish, Ranger is a sessionable splendor for all you hopinistas.”— New Belgium Website
Random thoughts: This was recommended by my friend Jeff B. from St. Louis, who lives—as he so eloquently puts it, "in the shadow of the behemoth Anheuser Busch". Fortunately, Jeff appreciates that beer has evolved beyond Bud Light Lime. Ranger is part of New Belgium's Explore Series, which is an exploration of a new beer style (IPA), and a reintroduction of three Belgian ales (Mothership, Trippel, and Abbey). You might not immediately recognize them as being from NB as the labeling is a bit different from their typical water colored designs.
The tasting: Coloring is deep golden. I definitely got a strong floral aroma (this is dry-hopped). Body is light with nice carbonation. Taste-wise, this one is all hops--from beginning, middle, to end. I really didn't taste malts or anything else.
Rating: 4 star. Really Good! I want this again. I like IPAs and thought this is a good representation of its style. For my friends in the Midwest, you should be able to find this because New Belgium is distributed widely across the US. So if you want to experience what IPA is all about, this is a good one to start with. Be warned, it's bitter--but in a good way. Good call Jeff! Thanks for the recommendation.