Tag Archives: Colorado

New Belgium Fat Tire

New Belgium Brewing Co.
Fort Collins, CO
Fat Tire Amber Ale

This is New Belgium’s flagship brew and, while I’ve had it many times previously, I love how pervasive it is down here in Dallas.

The pour is not too lively, but some increased flow yields an elegantly rocky, slightly off-white head which dissipates, but is sticky. The clarity is perfect and the color is all golden honey and a slightly ruddy straw

The nose is slightly soapy and fruity, notes of apricot and pear, along with some sour notes reminiscent of wet hay, probably indicative of a nice hop character.

The sip is very smooth – the mouthfeel is neither aggressive nor full, but it’s not weak either. The first thing you notice is a fruity sweetness with hints of graham cracker malt, and which all gives way to a snappy hop finish that is grassy, not fruity.

While Fat Tire may once have been considered a more sizeable brew, it has been somewhat dwarfed by many of its overly-hopped counterparts (particularly to the west). Nonetheless, this beer persists as an interesting, if not entirely complex brew, that is as easy to drink on its own as it would be to drink it with the many foods that it might accompany well.

The lacing down the sides starts with a Braille-like pattern that eventually gives way to even tiger stripes at each tip of the glass.


Boulder Hazed and Infused

Boulder Beer Co.
Boulder, CO
Hazed & Infused

The pour yields a pillowy off-white head that froths and climbs the glass and makes no indication that it wants to leave. The color is a deep amber, initially more golden before pouring the bottom of the bottle in, which turns it hazy and caramel-colored.

The nose has grapefruit, pine, and our hops’ cousin and old pal, marijuana. There are hints of pine, damp like an English forest, and really pleasant mentholated quality that climbs from the back of those pine needles.

Good effervescence on the pour; the bubbles twist erratically up and around the glass.

The first sip is reasonably delightful. The mouthfeel is very good and far creamier than one might expect. This is thanks, in part to the good quarter-inch of head that is still nestled atop the beer, locking in what is a great deal of hoppiness.

Grapefruit comes across initially, but is softer and sweeter before yielding to a fantastically dry hop snap that leaves the back of the tongue with a damper and grassier finish than many hop slap-happy brews might. The dry-hopped quality of the beer really comes through both in the nose and the finish of this brew.

While some hoptastic beers leave you feeling almost parched with their dry bitterness, this beer leaves you sated and ready to take another ride on the hopstacle course. I apologize for all the puns, but this beer is making me happy. Another fine offer from the great beer state of Colorado.

The lacing is more of a wall than a pattern. It stretches in great swaths like a tapestry of foam down the back of the glass. Even at the bottom inch of beer, a silver dollar of head balances atop the tawny brew. Pick this one up, hopheads, for a nice, lower ABV sample.

Flying Dog In-Heat Wheat

Flying Dog Brewery
Denver, CO
In-Heat Wheat Hefeweizen

Today was a crappy day–cold, grey, rainy. It was not a summery, wheat beer kind of day, but I just got back from my brother’s wedding in Florida so I want more warm weather and will drink my way to it. I just mean that I’m getting in the spirit.

The pour elicits a bleached white, soapy froth that is thick and easily-settled. The color is marigold and straw with a translucent clarity that dapples light when the glass is lifted. The nose is ripe banana and includes a touch of acidity, like cherry, with a slight talcum-powder back.

The mouthfeel is full and shares a powdery quality with the nose. That coating is not unpleasant and exhibits no grittiness. There is an evident wheat tinge that comes though cleanly and crisply, like wheat grass, but it is certainly quiet compared to a sweet malt volume that gives a nod to the banana aroma, but that is balanced by a malty nuttiness and a faint orange zest that hints at coriander. By the way, that’s nuttiness, not nuttiness.

This is a low-ABV beer with a lot to offer in terms of complexity and body and could pair with many dishes. Try it with a chicken dish (orange chicken would do well to bring out the zest in the middle of the swallow).

Hail to the Maharaja

Avery Brewing Co.
Boulder, CO
Maharaja Imperial IPA

I’m trying Avery’s Maharaja Imperial India Pale Ale. Purchased at the Houston Whole Foods (along with a Chelsea B.C. Oatmeal Stout growler), the IIPA is pretty unique. It’s a pale ale for sure, with an aggressively hopped aroma (102 IBUs!) and a deep cloudy color like marigold. The head pours clean white and is not heavy–and doesn’t last as long as it should–but the brew leaves a really nice lace all the way down the glass. The ABV is high (9.65) and there is a certain amount of alcohol in the mouth but there are still some noticeable citrus notes throughout. Slight hints of caramel persist through the finish but, overall, I think the high ABV overpowers a bit. I like the creaminess of this nearly opaque ale, though there are more than enough IPA options that won’t leave you feeling as though your teeth are being dissolved. Worth trying for hopheads, but one bottle is probably enough.