Review: 2 Below, New Belgium Brewing Co.

2 Below
New Belgium Brewing Co. — Fort Collins, CO

  • Style:  Winter Ale
  • Bitterness: 32 IBU
  • ABV: 6.6%
  • Malts: Pale, Munich, Caramel, C-80, Carapils, Victory
  • Hops:  Target, Sterling, Liberty
  • Sampled: 12 oz. bottle

Description:  "Pull on your wool socks and crack open a 2° Below Ale. This tasty winter warmer started life as a small batch beer brewed for the Al Johnson Uphill Downhill a telemark ski race in Crested Butte, Colorado. The Uphill Downhill celebrates the exploits of Al Johnson, letter carrier extraordinaire, who delivered mail by ski in the late 1800 s. Dry hopping during fermentation creates a floral nose with a hint of pepper and spicy, subtle undertones. 2° Below provides a bright, hoppy palate and a cheery warm afterglow.  — New Belgium Brewing Co.

Random thoughts:   This is the sixth of my winter seasonal reviews.  Cool bottle cap!
The tasting:  Color is a light golden orange with a white head.  Aroma is mainly hops.  It's nicely balanced.  I'm having trouble identifying the specific malt and hop flavors, but they blend together nicely.  Body is light, it has nice carbonation, and is very crisp.  I this this makes a great session beer. 

Rating:  3 star.  Good.  I would drink this if someone gave it to me.  I don't understand why New Belgium is calling this a winter seasonal.  It's not especially malty, and it doesn't have an unusual twist like most holiday brews.  However,  it's a good beer.  If you're throwing a holiday party, this would be a good beer to include as it should appeal to those who don't want a big malty or spiced beer.

Have you tried 2 Below? If so, let me know what you think.

Nov '11 update:  2 Below has been replaced by Snow Day as New Belgium's winter seasonal.

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