Distilled: New Belgium Brewing brings Ohio Fat Tire (and more)

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From the December 12, 2013 edition

Another popular brewery is about to release its beer to the Columbus market when Colorado’s New Belgium Brewing hits bars and shelves Monday, Dec. 16. The last time a similar fervor about new beers being available in our fair city hit was with Yuengling a couple years ago.

New Belgium’s most popular beer is the Fat Tire Amber Ale, which most beer fans have either tried or at least heard about. Its popularity is easy to see given the masses generally prefer simplicity. The amber ale is a solid, if unexciting, beer. It hits all the requisite flavor profiles, but not much outside of that. It’s worth a try, but don’t set expectations too high.

Thankfully, other beers will also be available from New Belgium. The brewery will also release its Trippel and Ranger IPA in 22-ounce bottles and draft, and the seasonal Accumulation White IPA on draft only.

Of these three, the Accumulation is the standout. There’s a fairly strong initial taste of floral hops that gives way to grapefruit citrus and sweetness. As it settles, a peppery finish comes through strongly. It’s not the most amazing IPA, but has a respectable complexity. It’s also easily drinkable and smooth thanks to the wheat.

New Belgium’s year-round Ranger IPA doesn’t have the same interesting flavors playing off each other, instead going for a straightforward hop profile using three varieties. The Simcoe flavors come through the most, with the Chinook and Cascade hops fading into the background. Hops heads will probably find it to be a good IPA, but nothing to go crazy for.

Lastly, New Belgium’s Trippel is much like its other offerings: satisfactory. The Trippel has a big booziness initially that gives way to a mild sweetness of fruit and a kick of spice. I expected more piquancy from the coriander it’s brewed with, but it’s fairly minimal, giving the Trippel a little depth without going over the top.

New Belgium will also make their Lips of Faith series available, but I haven’t tried those yet. I hear good things and look forward to checking them out.