Last year, New Belgium released a 12-pack of collaboration beers where each contributing brewery created a riff on NB’s flagship Fat Tire Amber Ale. Things got weird, in a good way. Firestone Walker created a hop-forward version of the amber, Allagash went the Belgian route, Hopworks Urban Brewery brought green apples to the mix…New Belgium must have been inspired by the unusual twists their contemporaries created because after 25 years, they’ve added another beer to the Fat Tire brand—Fat Tire Belgian White. And much like its namesake, FT Belgian White is an easy-drinking crowd pleaser that’s sure to attract a slew of new craft beer drinkers.
The beer pours a hazy peach with a thin head that dissipates immediately. It has a fragrant nose, with lots of classic Belgian white notes like citrus and funk and something vaguely spicy. The body is creamy and delicate, thanks to the oats and wheat in the malt bill, and delivers an overall light and refreshing sip. There’s a subtle sweetness from the use of Seville oranges, something vaguely exotic that’s hard to place (this is the coriander at work) and a mild peppery element along with a little bit of funk. Fat Tire is an easy drinking beer that’s known as a gateway into craft beer for so many drinkers; FT Belgian White is just as user friendly.
Belgian white as a style has a number of gateway beers in its ranks (think Blue Moon, Hoegaarden). Fat Tire Belgian Ale could easily move to the front of that pack and introduce a whole new generation of beer drinkers to Belgians, in the same way that Fat Tire Amber Ale introduced so many to craft beer over the last two and a half decades.
Brewery: New Belgium
City: Fort Collins, Asheville
Style: Belgian White
Availability: Bottles, cans and draft