New Belgium Brewing has been around for 20 years now. Wow! They have surely come a long way. So long, in fact, that they find themselves sitting in the number 3 position in the rankings for top craft breweries (sales) . There is very little doubt that their Fat Tire Amber has played a massive role in their great success.
In celebration, and in tribute to the beer that acted as a stepping stone for so many of us beer geeks into the world of better beer, New Belgium has packaged up the old classic in a new and exciting manner – unfiltered, dry hopped, and in cask format. From what Seattle Ranger Todd told me yesterday, 6 total firkins were sent to the Seattle area, each dry hopped with a different hop variety.
This has never been done before at New Belgium and each tapping is going to offer a very rare and unique take on the beer that put the brewery on the map. If I were you, I’d keep your ear to the ground (or your eyes on beerblotter.com) and do your best to attend as many of these special tapping events as possible. It’s not only an opportunity to celebrate with NBB, but it’s a chance to thank them for all they have done for the craft community and, obviously, to have some tasty and rare beer in the process. For me, it most exciting to get the chance to take in what each hop variety can lend to an amber ale. It will be educational, without a doubt.
So when is the first tapping? What hops will be featured first? Tell me. tell me, tell me!! Don’t fret, I have your answers!
This Thursday, February 10, the first two firkins will be tapped, simultaneously, across town from each other. One in Magnolia, at Mulleady’s Irish Pub and the other in Green Lake, at Latona Pub. Both are planned to be tapped around 5pm, for happy hour, and should be pouring for several hours. This will give you ample opportunity to maneuver between the two and make a night of it, without completely destroying all hope of being productive on Friday (not that you ever are you crazy slackers).
The Mulleady’s cask will be spiked with one of the “Three Cs” – Centennial. This is a moderate to high alpha hop that is very similar to Cascade and completely kicks ass! It’s pungent, citrusy, and mildly floral. Yum! The Latona cask will feature the uber-high alpha and somewhat rarely seen Bravo hop. This is surely a treat! This one has the potential to be a bit harsh and is often described as having an earthy spice, herbal, fruity and floral essence. Giddy-up.