Tag Archives: new belgium

Common Ales: New Belgium Fat Tire

Why is it so damn hard to do these beers right?

There is something off in the nose and that’s what I notice first. The beer has got some malt to it but there’s more that isn’t readily apparent. It’s not until I sip the beer that things really start to go awry. Fat Tire tastes thin, watery and there’s a slightly vegetal element on the finish.

I wasn’t expecting that at all. For an amber ale to taste thin is very strange. The nose improves as I drink; the malt characteristic becoming more toasty and prevalent as the beer warms up. Still: it’s thin and I’m put off by that. Water that has a beer flavor is not as good as beer that has a water flavor.

7pm Transition Point

This is a real novelty: tonight, Bailey’s is not my final destination. I’m off to catch the glories of Andrew WK because…well it’s been a long time since I’ve seen live music and he puts on a hell of a show.

So I’m a short timer tonight, which is  the opposite of how I was able to approach last week.

My first beer is, sadly, a mistake.

New Belgium Cocoa MoleDon’t get me wrong, it’s super interesting: nose of apples and cinnamon, but the beer is New Belgium’s Cocoa Mole, which has a chile infusion to it. And despite the fact that I have gotten a very small glass, the spiciness of this beer is just wrecking my tongue. There’s a tiny glimmer of chocolate between the nose and the burning but it’s not nearly what it needs to be.

A friend suggests Ft George’s Spank Stout next. I say ‘OK’ and then he kindly gets me a taster.

It smells like wet cardboard and tastes worse. PLUS it has spicy burninating. What the fuck is going on here? Jesus. His Noodliness is punishing me for…something, I am certain. These are not beers I can get behind. If peppers and chiles are the future of beer, count me the hell out!

Seriously. Beer is meant to counteract spicy flavors. I have spoken.

This months begins my birthday  month; accordingly I will be more self indulgent during my Monday posts than I usually am. Don’t worry, come April, all will be well and I won’t be getting all up in my headspace during the other days when I post, I just want to give people a little lead in: I may get a little weird. Or more intense, anyway, than usual. As a bonus, next week Fuz will join me, so that’s pretty much a guarantee of good times on my end.

I’ll do my best to make it good times for you, too.

The Local: Scoreboard

scoreboard tavernI walk into the Scoreboard as Butler misses a half-court shot to lose to Duke, 59-61. Must’ve been a hell of a game.

When I started The Local, I knew there would be occasional drawbacks to walking to get my beer but that was OK. I’m a long time walker and occasionally miss the snowy climate of my childhood. The weather is not an excuse to skip walking, in my opinion. I have coats, hats, gloves with special textures to grip with.

But goddamn is it cold out. I don’t care about the rain but the wind eats into my bones. My ears burn in the chill. For some reason this weather in January would be acceptable but now it feels worse, more dominating somehow.

So I have come to the Sc0reboard, my body complaining the whole way, to blog.

The beer selection isn’t special but I do have some nice choices; Pyramid, Lagunitas, Serra Nevada, Red Hook and a couple New Belgians, of which I’ve chosen the Ranger IPA. I don’t think I’m going to surprise anyone by telling people that NB’s IPA is a NW style IPA toned down just a bit to make it more accessible to a wiser audience. Don’t get me wrong; it’s a hoppy IPA and isn’t shy about it but  there’s a drinkable quality there, sweet in the middle fizzy at the end that might just broaden Ranger’s appeal.

Half the pub is very dark; where people gathered to watch television the bar is lit well enough but the area for playing pool is more foreboding, lit only by the crenellations of windows and neon signs. I want to wander about there, of course.

It’s dive bar month for me; I chose the Scoreboard not just because it wasn’t along walk in this weather but also because, due to a payroll mishap at my new job, I’m going to be a bit short this month. Not fearfully so but short nonetheless and so now is as good an excuse as I’ll ever have to go to the dark, cheap, formerly known as unbreathable bars in my area. I doubt I’ll discover anything new; on the other hand, it’s been far too long since I’ve been to the Vern so I have something to look forward to.

As for the bar I’m in…well, I like it. But I have to confess it’s cold out, so I have a long walk home, (even if it’s a short one) I slept all of four hours last night so I’m more weary than I ought to be and I have beer to bottle. Which means a long night, even if a short one was hoped for. My extrospection is not nearly as awesome as my introspection right now. I don’t blame the bar; I like it here. I blame myself. But the thing about a good bar is; you know you’ll be back.