If you have set foot in a liquor store or a liquor department at your local grocery store you probably noticed that New Belgium’s Fat Tire Amber Ale, along with their Mothership Wit (Organic Wheat) and 1554 Enlightened Black Ale beers are now available in Wisconsin. Fans of Fat Tire have been lamenting the unavailability of this Fort Collins, Colorado Brew for years, bragging to all within earshot that its “their favorite beer ever” Lament no longer because the stuff is everywhere. Having tasted Fat Tire on numerous occasions, my question is why is this beer in such high demand? I recall being in Chicago shortly after it was released there and people were going nuts for it there too.
I don’t have anything against Fat Tire or New Belgium brewing I just don’t get the hype. It seems like these beer drinkers feel that they have been deprived of the best beer ever brewed. Fat Tire isn’t a bad beer but it sure isn’t an outstanding one either. It’s a gateway beer. A microbrew that is mild enough that your typical Miller or Budweiser drinker would like it, kind of like Spotted Cow or Leinenkugel’s Red. In this instance I believe the mere fact that it wasn’t available here is a large reason (if not the only reason) people are clamoring for it. I predict that in a year or so the Fort Collins beers will be just like every other beer that finally makes its way to Wisconsin, just another good beer choice among hundreds of other good beers available to us.
Its not like the fans of Fat Tire don’t have options. Why haven’t they been enjoying some of the great Amber/Red style beers already being brewed in Wisconsin. Sprecher Amber, Capitol’s Wisconsin Amber, Tyranena’s The Headless Man Amber Alt, Ale Asylum’s Ambergeddon, and Central Water’s Ouisconsing Red are just a sampling of the killer red/amber style ales brewed here in Wisconsin. Each of these beers are, in my opinion, better than Fat Tire Amber. In celebration of the arrival of the three New Belgium beers I have compiled my list of five beers not available in Wisconsin that I would like here more than Fat Tire:
Three Floyds Alpha King Pale Ale
Three Floyds Gumball Head
Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale
Deschutes Obsidian Stout
Russian River Pliny the Elder Double IPA