Beer Guy: New Belgium collaboration

Beer Guy Belgium

With New Belgium Brewing’s 25th anniversary happening this summer, the brewery has released something special: a box set of beer inspired by its flagship Fat Tire amber ale, but made by five outstanding American craft breweries.

The Fat Tire and Friends collaborative box set is in stores and New Belgium’;s Asheville brewery has them all on tap in its Liquid Center tasting room, which has quickly become one of the most comfortable and popular brewery spots around the mountains.

This was an interesting project. While all the beers are branded with New Belgium’s “fat” name, none of them actually contain the Fat Tire ale. Instead, brewers were given a lot of creative freedom to make these beers. The only requirements were that they had to be amber beers and come in at 6.2 percent alcohol or less. The results are outstanding.

Allagash, of Portland, Maine, did Fat Funk Ale using house yeast from Belgium’s De Dolle brewery, which lent pear and banana tastes to the brew.

Avery Brewing of Boulder, Colorado created Fat Wild Ale with a with notes of apricot and pineapple.

Firestone Walker of Paso Robles, California, did Fat Hoppy Ale with a big hops-forward taste.

Hpworks Urban Brewery of Portland, Oregon, created Fat Sour Apple Ale,with a tart flavor from lactobacillus and apple juice.

Rhinegeist Brewery of Cincinnati made Fat Pale Ale with a bready, biscuit-like flavor.

The beers were all made at the New Belgium brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado. Get your boxes and draft pours fast, because this was a limited run, and the beer t will likely be gone by August.

Long live the IPA

This is an IPA-loving town, and so it’s no surprise really that two more are on the way, joining the ever growing parade from local breweries. Highland Brewing of Asheville releases its citrus[-powered Mandarina IPA June 24 at the brewery, 12 Old Charlotte Highway. This is a delicious IPA, created by Highland brewer Hollie Stephenson with lots of California oranges. At five percent alcohol, it goes down smooth. Look for it in 12 ounce cans and on draft throughout Highland’s distribution area.

As June winds down, Oskar Blues Brewery is releasing Passion Fruit Pinner IPA which takes the 4.9 percent Pinner and gives it a kick with passion fruit and purred blood orange. Look for the 12 ounce cans across the country. It’s a limited release.

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