February 18, 2013 – New Belgium Brewing Fat Tire Amber Ale
One of my great loves in life is riding a bicycle. You wouldn’t know it to look at me, as I’m hardly built like Lance Armstrong – in fact, I’m built more like a guy who drinks beer literally every day – but then again, I don’t ride bikes like Lance rides them. First off, I’ve never used a performance enhancing drug in my life, and second off, I don’t generally ride bikes that are built for speed. I ride beach-style cruisers, bikes that are built for comfort and enjoyment of the ride. They tend to have fewer speeds than road bikes, they tend to be lower to the ground, and oh yeah – they have fat tires.
Fat Tire Amber Ale by New Belgium Brewing is one of those beers everyone talks about. It’s a standard party drink if you’re partying with people who have any taste at all, it takes the place of your standard Budweiser or what have you. It’s inexpensive as crafts go, and is one that almost everyone can agree on. It’s an amber ale, and befittingly it’s an amber color. Fluffy and tan, the head quickly dissipates to give way to the scent of a slight bread smell. Like someone made lightly browned toast in the kitchen ten minutes ago. Lingering, but not powerful. I began to feel my hopes fall – I’d been drinking Fat Tire off and on for years now, and I remember it being more – distinctive, I guess – than this.
The taste, like Toucan Sam, followed the nose. (I feel like I’ve made that joke before. If so, sue me. I’m doing this for free.) Toast, caramel, a slightly creamy taste? Overall – perhaps my senses have been dulled by overindulging in truly good beer. It’s certainly possible. But overall this tasted almost bland, almost flat. Like, I wouldn’t turn it down, mind. But I’m not exactly beating a path to my nearest store to buy a six pack of this either. It was just there. Like the garnish on the side of your plate at a restaurant – no one complains about it, but I can’t really imagine anyone with refined taste dying to consume that, either.
This is a beer for your friends who are learning to love beer, I suppose. A beer that you can keep on stock in quantity because no one will turn it down except the pickiest of people, but if you have better things to offer, expect those to go first. I can’t really recommend it but I don’t want to slag it either. If you haven’t had it, I’m not sure what you’re doing reading this blog, but DO try it to have a basis for comparison if nothing else. Otherwise – well, you have your own opinions. Do as your taste buds command.