Birthdays evolve as you grow older. In the beginning, birthdays are about you. Look at you, kid, you made it to eight years old. Quite an accomplishment for something so small, dumb and useless. Here’s a bike and some cake. Birthdays mostly stay that way until after your 21st. This is precisely when no one cares about you anymore, but it’s OK because you can buy beer. This is what we call the circle of life.
After that milestone, birthdays, if celebrated at all, become more about the people you know — a reason for everyone to get back together and reconnect. This is how New Belgium is celebrating its 25th birthday (that’s like 50 in brewing years) — by working with all of its friends to reimagine Fat Tire.
The result is New Belgium’s Fat Tire & Friends Collabeeration mixed pack, which is starting to hit store shelves. The pack features five of the nation’s best craft breweries, including:
• Allagash Brewing Company (Portland, ME) — Fat Funk Ale features a De Dolle house Belgian yeast strain, which adds pear, banana and spice to Fat Tire’s malty goodness. Expect notes of stone fruit, sweet tart and peppercorn.
• Avery Brewing (Boulder, Colo.) — Fat Wild Ale focuses on a fruit-forward hop bill featuring Huell Melons and a dose of brett evoking notes of apricot and pineapple.
• Firestone Walker (Paso Robles, CA) — Fat Hoppy Ale focuses on what Firestone Walker does best – big beautiful hop forward ales. Fat Hoppy has a light malty sweetness initially, with a subtle bitterness in the middle that lingers ever-so-slightly.
• Hopworks Urban Brewery (Portland, OR) — Fat Sour Apple Ale starts out with a snap of tartness, courtesy of Lactobacillus and apple juice, then gets balanced with Fat Tire-inspired malty sweetness and slight herbal bitterness.
• Rhinegeist Brewery (Cincinnati, OH) — Fat Pale Ale focuses on two components: Rhinegeist Brewers’ malt interpretation of Fat Tire married with the fruity, wild, almost wine like character of Fiction. Together they offer up a slightly bready, biscuity and slightly toast malt backbone combined with fruity Southern Hemisphere hops and abundant fruity esters from the strain of Belgian yeast that Rhinegeist used.
But forget just getting together on birthdays — New Belgium keeps the collab party going all year round. The brewery’s Lips of Faith series is always churning out something new and interesting. Here is what’s coming up:
De Koninck Flowering Citrus Ale
De Koninck Flowering Citrus Ale is another New Belgium Lips of Faith collaboration beer available now. This collaboration with Antwerp, Belgium’s historic De Koninck Brewery, offers a pop of key lime and lemons. The fragrance of hibiscus, rose petals and strawberry-tinged Mistral hops make it the ideal beer for soaking in summer days.
De Koninck Flowering Citrus Ale is 7.4 percent ABV, 30 IBUs and is available in four-packs and on draft.
The 2016 Tart Lychee also debuted in June and is part of New Belgium’s Lips of Faith lineup. The beer is brewed with exotic lychee fruit and cinnamon, then blended with sour Felix from the brewery’s wood cellar for a citrusy, tropical sip that attacks with an invigorating tart bite.
Tart Lychee is 7.5 percent ABV and 12 IBUs.