You do not see too many tart / sour beers pulled from other styles. Nor do you see gingerbread in the equation either. But New Belgium Brewing is giving it a go with….
New Belgium will be adding their Abbey Grand Cru Ale into, you guessed it, 16oz cans.
30 years of craft brewing I saw certainly a wild ride so New Belgium is hopping up “Wild Ride Amber IPA: a hop-forward tribute to our OG Fat Tire.” Since it is Flagship February, would be a good time to have Fat Tire and compare it to Wild Ride.
If you need to make up for last Sunday or if you just want to keep that party going, maybe some truffles are in order..
New Belgium has teamed with Enstrom Toffee and Confections on a line of truffles. Tripel, dark ale and Fat Tire and since it is Flagship February, you should probably get red wrapped treats.
Ahh, 1985. Let’s see if New Belgium can make the past and/or future hazy.
‘85 pours a well hazed yellow color with hints of orange. That aroma is big. Just opened a can of sliced pineapple big. Super juicy. The beer itself is pretty soft and fluffy. There is a streak of solid bitterness that I like as well as some berry notes. Leaning towards strawberry. But it is the pineapple that sticks all the way through.
Of the VooDoo’s, this is my favorite.
Seems like two lifelines have been extended to Magnolia Brewing of San Francisco. One from Belgium. And one from New Belgium.
Magnolia has been struggling in a crowded San Francisco (for that matter, California market) and will now have both more financial power as a triumvirate of majority owner New Belgium, with Elysian Founder Dick Cantwell and Belgian lambic producer Oud Beersel as minority partners take over the rein.
Cantwell will take over the brewing tanks in his first gig since Elysian was sold despite his objections.
Magnolia has two brewing locations on Haight Street and Dogpatch from which Cantwell will brew. Oud Beersel will add their spontaneously fermented beers from Belgium and plans for an SF coolship are in the works.
I can see how New Belgium and Oud Beersel would play well together but I don’t quite know how Magnolia’s line-up fits into the puzzle.
I don’t know what is so special about foeder 65 but apparently it must have some good Oscar in it.
I do wonder what Missouri White Oak imparts into this upcoming New Belgium release.
And to add to the bounty, some single foeder Felix too….
For round one of the Fat Tire & Friends Riff Pack, I separated out the hoppy + the one and only Fat Tire from the wild and sour group (which will be post two). This will test my reviewing because is the goal for the beer to be connected by a flavor profile or color or ABV to the original? Or do I review simply based on which tastes best?
Let’s get down to it and see….
1. Original Fat Tire
I have not had this beer in a long, long time but I sorta know what to expect. There is a little alcohol on the nose followed by a touch of honey sweetness that is balanced by carbonation. The grain flavor kicks in at the tail end but there is not much else here. Plain, simple and unadorned. Super tasty on a hot day in Los Angeles.
2. Collaboration Fat Pale Ale with Rhinegeist
This is a Belgian XPA according to the label. Pours really close to the same color as the OG. It manages the feat of starting out mimicking the Fat Tire before taking that Belgian turn. Banana and clove notes are prominent. Bitter but that is the lingering and not the main focus here. Fat Tire gets Hefe’d to me.
3. Collaboration Fat Hoppy Ale with Firestone Walker
Fat Hoppy Ale is a serious departure from the amber. Starting with the medium yellow color. Then the big difference hits. This is really hop forward. Grassy and fruity and really juicy with a touch of spice too. This is a wonderful session IPA/ Pale Ale but not really redolent of Fat Tire much. A killer hop combo for sure. I am digging this one.
On the which tastes best scale, with three beers yet to taste, I have to go with the Fat Hoppy but in the category of connection to Fat Tire, the Rhinegeist is the clear winner.
I did not know that Pedaler’s Fork in Calabasas was not only a restaurant but also a bike shop and coffee spot as well. Plus it was the host of a beer pairing dinner with the challenging foudre based beers of New Belgium Brewing.
Thanks to the generosity of New Belgium, I was able to learn more on the Art (and Science) of Beer and Food pairing with the challenging and damn tasty, sour beers from the Fort Collins Foeder Forest.
Course # 1 – Shrimp Pasta with Black Pepper Nage and Pea Tendrils paired with Transatlantique Kriek
This was an odd choice. The bright and tart cherry from the Kriek was dulled by the cream and salt of the shrimp and the pasta. The cherry didn’t get a chance to shine and would have been better served with a salad that had some cheese and nuts in it. The ravioli were quite good as was the sauce and the beer was fantastic (my second favorite of the night) but combined they just didn’t add anything.
Course # 2 – Braised Pork Shoulder with Charred Celeriac Puree and Dried Apricot Sauce paired with La Folie Sour Brown
Now this worked! The light touch of apricot with the pork really found a willing partner in the La Folie which added a tart bite and notes of barrel wood to the food.
Course # 3 – Chocoloate Mousse Cake with Chocolate-Blackberry Ice Cream and Blackberry Sauce paired with NBB Love
First off, this beer is beyond excellent. It was so good. Subtle whiskey mixing with tart and a bit of blackberry as well. The chocolate mousse was fine. But in comparison it was the undercard of the dessert course. I had the cake and had sips of the beers and it was fine but it didn’t light a fire. A blackberry sorbet or gelato with chocolate cookies might have been stronger.
Kudos to New Belgium though for the thoughtful swag though. A really cool wood coaster with the Lost in the Woods logo, a napkin with the logo and a keychain bottle opener with wood and metal too. SO much better than a glass. Well done.