Booze Review

From the stools, booths and chairs of Santa Monica, Bobby Bodell and Michael Roach review the best catalysts for inebriation that this town has to offer. This week their selection was...

Fat Tire Amber Ale

Made in Colorado in a completely sustainable brewery powered by wind and solar energy, Fat Tire is the flagship beer of the recently wildly popular New Belgium Brewing Company. From a classy label to an incredibly smooth and easy taste and texture, it is no wonder that this brew has exploded into the aisles of stores and menus of bars as far east as Tennessee, and as far west as California.

Named after the bike that New Belgium founder Jeff Lebesch rode around Belgium while learning about the art of brewing, this beer is truly the result of many years of the company's hard work. Lebesch learned about a myriad of Belgian styles and traditions in brewing beer on his famous ride, encouraging the liberating style that allowed him to be as creative as possible with a company that is anything but normal.

When looked at narrowly Fat Tire is an amber ale with a light chocolate taste, which is common in many of New Belgium's brews. But the important thing that makes Fat Tire so universal is the balance between heavy and light that make the ale drinkable for almost everyone. What makes Fat Tire so widely enjoyed is its incredible balance; it's not really heavy, but it is by no means light. If you're thirsty for more than something like a light lager but don't feel like committing to a heavy stout, Fat Tire is the perfect path to choose.

The flavors, much like the consistency, also boast balance as the most notable concept of this beer. While it does contain some hops, it is nowhere near the "in your face hops" flavor that many pale and India pale ales today sell their product on. Paired well with the bitter finish are the chocolate-forward flavors and nose that seem to be a common recurring theme in many of New Belgium's brews, such as the 2? Below winter ale that they put out some time ago, and the Mighty Arrow pale ale (which does contain a large bouquet of hops-dominated flavor) put out this spring.

Because of its extremely versatile texture and flavor, Fat Tire is a brew that can be paired with nearly any meal, save Mexican and Oriental cuisine. This is probably because of the Old-World European roots that mentored its creator through Belgium and other parts of Europe mixed with its purely American design and ingredients. Fat Tire could even be considered a dessert drink due to the fact that it contains a delicious malty sweetness.

Fat Tire deserves nothing less than a four out of five bottle rating. It's popular for a reason, and that reason is not "drinkability."