Sunday, May 18, 2008
New Belgium Breweries
Once upon a time there was a boy. And this boy really loved going to concerts. One night, he found himself (and his brother) in Saint Louie, at one of these shows. The boys ordered a beer that they hadn't had before. It was Belgian-style. And lo, this beer was deemed Fat Tire. The beer was godlike. The show rocked hard, too. It was an emotional experience, with the hops and malts and intense flavors mixing with the emotional and intense music. And thus, a passion for Fat Tire was born. This 'Fat Tire' was not available locally, so the boys dreamed of once again having such a beer. Years passed, and future trips to St. Louis proved fruitful in drinking more of this lovely, sweet nectar of brews. Friends would, upon special request, import these beers via long, arduous roadtrips. And the beer was still good. The stuff of dreams, even.
Then, it was discovered that this beer was not Belgian at all, but it was produced in Colorado by New Belgium Breweries. And said brew wasn't alone. There were other beers in the family. Other friends (some well-entrenched in beer-lore and knowledge - talking about you John) mentioned other types of New Belgium beers that dwarfed the mighty Fat Tire. And that these beers may be distributed to the farther Midwest next year or so, but that wasn't soon enough. It was agreed that the Radiohead concert was a good excuse to seek out more beer, and hopefully not empty the bank account too deeply.
And so it was, this past week, that my beautiful Cori and I located a late-night grocer (Schnuck's is the best!) in St. Louis and loaded up a cartful of New Belgium products. And they were on sale! $7.49 a 6-pack! Actually, it was almost embarrassing - $80 on beer, with no other groceries or household supplies to mask the evident alcoholicism. But it had to be done. Wow. Such a variety of new beers to experience and enjoy, and yet others still never seen. Indeed, the future looks bright, from this angle.
I have now tried maybe 4 or 5 types of New Belgium beers, which are created at the first wind-powered brewery in the US, and by a company that is environmentally-conscious and renewable-resource-minded. But the bottom line is, the beers are damned good! Complex and refreshing, the Abbey Belgian-style ale is a solid choice, being a Belgian Trappist style, with actual Belgian yeast strains and a crisp, malty presence. Fat Tire is a good choice for the beginner, being relatively light but with a nice floral bouquet. Trippel is yummy and rich, while others I've yet to taste will be remarked upon here later. Suffice to say, New Belgium is a superb brewery making some waves with folks like us at Goatsden HQ. If you're located in one of the more Western-oriented US states, you are fortunate to have access to these fine beers. And if you travel that way, be sure to find some for yourself. Especially as I may not share mine! Hah!