Beer Reviews

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For the last decade, I’ve had to listen to people along the Wasatch Front (hell, across the fucking state!) piss and moan that they couldn’t get New Belgium beers in the Beehive State. It was almost as if there was some kind of JFK conspiracy surrounding the demand. It was a bit odd.

In 2012, if you were to look at New Belgium’s distribution map, you’d see a huge Utah-shaped hole in the western United States that penetrated down to the Earth’s core. Our roads were good enough to ship their beer across the west, but our state’s totalitarian form of liquor control was not.

Then, one thing changed: Utah’s demand for high-point beer (beer above 4% alcohol by volume) went through the fucking roof. The state’s unrefrigerated warehouse was too small and they needed space. Enter the beer distributors: They had plenty of refrigerated space and a willingness to get in the (money) game. Legislation was passed, the beer was stored cold and New Belgium’s big refrigerated storage concerns were a thing of the past.

So now, New Belgium’s beers are finally in Utah! Here are some insights on the few that are available. More labels will definitely follow.

Fat Tire Amber Ale
New Belgium
ABV: 5.2%
Serving Size: 12 oz. Bottle

Description: Pours a crystal-clear amber color. The nose is malty with a bready, biscuity character and a touch of floral hops in the background. The flavor mostly follows the nose—again biscuity, bready malt with a few subtle, secondary floral hoppy notes.
Overview: Many consider this to be one of the more famous entry-level craft beers. It didn’t become this popular because it sucks.

Accumulation White IPA
New Belgium
ABV: 6.2%
Serving Size: 12 oz. Bottle

Description: Pours a cloudy, somewhat hazy straw color with a nice, foamy cap on top. The nose is a hoppy blend of grass, grapefruit and lemon with a touch of earthiness. The taste is similar—tart and grassy, but more earthy and with a pleasant spiciness as the flavor lingers on the tongue.
Overview: White IPAs are fairly new in the beer world. This is better than most white IPAs, but still not better than the Wasatch Ghostrider.

Rampant Imperial IPA
New Belgium
ABV: 8.5%

Serving Size: 12 oz. Bottle Description: Light, amber/orange in color, this beer is great to look at! The nose is primarily citrusy hops followed by some sweet, grainy malts. The taste also starts with citrusy hops along with some bready caramel malts. Caramel and toasted malt tend to dominate in the middle. The end has hints of lemon and pine. Overview: If you’re not quite sure if imperial IPAs are for you, this is an easy option that’s not too complex. The malts tend to dominate over the hops, making it not overly bitter. Cheers!

Follow more of Mike’s musings on beer at utahbeer.blogspot.com.