At one point, its name was synonymous with craft beer. It wasn’t unavailable in the Midwest for a while and therefore was that much more craved, pined over. Now, however, Fat Tire Amber Ale has made its way these thousand miles to grace every liquor store shelf and many bars’ menus. I felt as though it was time to review New Belgium’s flagship, the amber ale that put them on the map and made crazy fans from Chicago fly out west simply to have a few pints and bring back a sixer. I recently read an article in Entrepreneur magazine, an inspiring tale about a man’s love for beer and a woman’s knack for business and the brewery and movement that came from their passion for doing business differently and forming New Belgium Brewing Company in Fort Collins, CO. First brewed in the owner’s basement, Fat Tire has since made quite a stir in the beer community. Its an inspirational story and a halfway decent brew.

It poured a surprisingly clear, light copper, thin in nature with a few stray carbonation bubbles rising through the thin roof of the tan head. Usually complexity equals good for me. In this beer, however, the simple, refreshing flavors were simple and tasteful. While a bit of dirty laundry smell at first, that dissipated with the head and the most notable flavor was that of toasted bread. The brew is definitely sessionable, going down fairly smooth, light and easy. Sometimes the beer is made better by the situation and some beers are made better by their story. This is definitely one of the latter. Decent brew + great story = good brew.

ABV: 5.2%

Grade: B