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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2008 * Archive through March 01, 2008 * Fat Tire yeast < Previous Next >

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Randy Ricchi
Junior Member
Username: Bigr

Post Number: 47
Registered: 08-2006
Posted From:
Posted on Tuesday, February 05, 2008 - 01:31 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I just brewed a CACA (Classic American Cream Ale) using the Fat Tire ale yeast. I bought this yeast with the intention of using it to make Vienna style ales, because to me, that is what Fat Tire ale tastes like. I was puzzled to read on this forum that people think Fat Tire is a belgian style amber ale. To me, there is no belgian character whatsoever in the ale. I thought it was quite clean and I thought the yeast allowed the malt character to come through nicely.
Anywho, I got the yeast after just brewing two batches in a row of Vienna style ale using Wyeast 1007, so I didn't want to brew another of the same style right away, hence the CACA. The beer is at full kraeusen right now, and all I'm getting is hops in the nose. Doesn't seem to have any ale fruitiness at all. I guess this will be more like a CAP than a CACA.
The point of this post is that I was just perusing the Northern Brewer catalog and reading their descriptions of their extract kits, and they mention the Phat tire kit as being belgian like, and more fruity than an English ale.
Are people just assuming that Fat tire is belgian like because New Belgium specializes in Belgian style ales? Seems that way to me.

Bill Pierce
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 8462
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From:
Posted on Tuesday, February 05, 2008 - 01:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

At one time Fat Tire had more Belgian phenolic notes. New Belgium founder Jeff Lebesch was once a homebrewer who returned from a European trip with an interest in Belgian beers. He concocted Fat Tire in his kitchen. Originally it shared the same yeast as his "Abbey Ale." He's never revealed the source of the yeast, but there is speculation it was from a bottle of Chimay.

The commercial version became popular with Lebesch's mountain biking friends and eventually with skiers. Over the years it took on less "Belgian" character (it's widely believed they changed the yeast strain) until today you are correct that it is more of a lightly hopped amber ale with a caramel finish.

Most serious craft beer lovers are at best neutral about Fat Tire, but they acknowledge that it has become the cash cow that allows New Belgium to brew far more interesting specialty beers.

Paul Edwards
Senior Member
Username: Pedwards

Post Number: 1528
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From:
Posted on Tuesday, February 05, 2008 - 01:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My LHBS owner told me that some "knowledgeable" people think the current Fat Tire strain is the same as Wyeast 1056.

I'm not sure I agree, but the first time I had Fat Tire was back when Jeff was still brewing it in his basement, then again when he'd moved to a 7 bbl system, then once more when they moved to a 30 bbl system. The original was much tastier and had a lot more character than what they were brewing on the 30 bbl system

Whether the original strain as Chimay, I don't know, but the "Belgian" character that was once evident in Fat Tire is long gone.

The Gimp
Username: Gimp

Post Number: 129
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From:
Posted on Tuesday, February 05, 2008 - 02:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I first had Fat Tire in 1987 on a business trip to Ft Collins. It was a different beer then. Some of us still associate the name with the old beer. I would guess Chimay as a good likelyhood for the yeast source for the original beer.

Now days it is a dumbed down mass marketed micro.

I last had it around 1998 and it wasn't the same beer by then.

1056 would not have produced the beer I had in 1987. It has insufficient ester production, wrong profile completely.

I havn't had a Fat Tire in near 10 years so I don't know what they make today. Consensus is it is not what it used to be.