Review: Fat Tire, New Belgium

Fat Tire
New Belgium Brewing Co. — Fort Collins, CO.

  • Style:  Amber Ale
  • Bitterness:  18.5 IBU
  • ABV: 5.2%
  • Malts:  Pale, C-80, Munich, Victory
  • Hops:  Willamette, Goldings, Target
  • Calories:  155 per 12 oz. 
  • Sampled: 12 oz. can

Description:  "Named in honor of our founder Jeff's bike trip through Belgium, Fat Tire Amber Ale marks a turning point in the young electrical engineer's home brewing. Belgian beers use a far broader palette of ingredients (fruits, spices, esoteric yeast strains) than German or English styles. Jeff found the Belgian approach freeing. Upon his return, Jeff created Fat Tire and Abbey Belgian Ale, (assuming Abbey would be his big gun). He and his wife, Kim traveled around sampling their homebrews to the public. Fat Tire's appeal quickly became evident. People liked everything about it. Except the name. Fat Tire won fans with its sense of balance: toasty, biscuit-like malt flavors coasting in equilibrium with hoppy freshness." —  New Belgium Brewing Co.

Random thoughts:   I drank this on my company's plane on my way home from Phoenix.  First and foremost, the fact my employer provides a free beer (or glass of wine) to employees is pretty darn cool.  The act of serving Fat Tire (and not some industrial swill lager) elevates it to a higher level of greatness!

The tasting:   Amber in color, slightly hazy, with an off-white head that dissipated slowly, leaving lacing on the plastic cup.   The aroma was dominated by bready and caramel malt, with a hint of yeast.  I didn’t pick up the hops in the aroma.  The flavor mirrored the aroma, with the addition of subtle spicy hops.  Very little bitterness.  I didn't taste any of the spiciness or fruity flavors typical of Belgian beers.  Fat Tire is medium bodied with a slightly effervescent mouth feel.  It finished with a bready malt flavor.

Rating:  3 star.  Good.  I would drink this again if someone gives it to me.  Fat Tire is widely available throughout the country and I think it’s a great gateway to craft beer.  If you’re one of the swill drinkers, give Fat Tire a try the next time you see it.  You may never go back…

Have you tried Fat Tire?  What’s your favorite New Belgium beer?

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  1. Fat Tire is my main drink of choice if none of my personal favorites is available. Their Mighty Arrow is also a good choice if you get a chance to try it.

  2. I've seen Mighty Arrow in my grocery store. I'll give it a try. Thanks for the recommendation Geno!

  3. I think New Belgium produces some fantastic beers, but I agree with Bethany Sherwin, "Fat Tire is the Schlitz Malt Liquor of the New Belgium product line."

  4. Schlitz Malt Liquor?? Ouch! Good article. On the plus side, if the masses love Fat Tire, then they're likely to go crazy for the rest of the New Belgium's lineup.

  5. If you are into quality beers, save your money. I tried the variety pack, and all of them were a disappointment. I wish the beer was as good as the packaging.


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