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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2009 * Archive through August 24, 2009 * Interesting Fat Tire observation. < Previous Next >

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Anyone tried a Schlitz lately?Vance Barnes14 07-09-09  08:26 pm
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Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 6665
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 74.83.191.159
Posted on Thursday, June 25, 2009 - 08:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yesterday, while attending the TTB Expo in Covington,KY, I happened upon someone from New Belgium Brewing. In casual conversation, I mentioned that we get a lot of requests for "something like Fat Tire." I had only had bottled samples and can't get by an oxidized flavor. On our vacation out West, I had a lot of Fat Tire on draft and it was fine. I bought a six pack in Las Vegas. It was oxidized.

The person from New Belgium said that they are now canning Fat Tire, "can conditioning" it and it is now distributed in Indiana. Our camp is a couple of miles inside the Indiana border, so on my way out there, I stopped in Harrison, Ohio, walked across State Line Road to West Harrison, Indiana and bought a 12 pack - the most commercial beer I have bought in years. It is just fine.

He contends that the "can conditioning" scavenges the O2. It could not be done with the bottled product due to warehouse space limitations.

Still, I don't understand the "bready" flavor you hear about.
 

Chumley
Senior Member
Username: Chumley

Post Number: 5856
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 63.118.227.254
Posted on Thursday, June 25, 2009 - 08:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I don't find Fat Tire to be bready, either. More like caramelly.

New Belgium's beers always seem to be way better on tap. I don't care that much for their Abbey ale, but on tap it is fantastic.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 10494
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.141.103.148
Posted on Thursday, June 25, 2009 - 09:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've not noticed the bready taste or oxidation in Fat Tire. When I was in Iowa last summer (I'll be back there next month) it was just being introduced and on special at quite a few places. I agree that it's caramelly, however, a bit much for my own taste. But there are those who are fond of it, and even I found myself choosing it when it was the only alternative to megaswill.
 

Chumley
Senior Member
Username: Chumley

Post Number: 5858
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 63.118.227.254
Posted on Thursday, June 25, 2009 - 09:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Man....if I had to choose between a PBR or a Budweiser and a Fat Tire, I'd opt for megaswill. Fat Tire is too sweet for my taste buds (and I like doppelbocks!)
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 10495
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.141.103.148
Posted on Thursday, June 25, 2009 - 09:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Chumley, even PBR isn't available everywhere. I found a couple of "we've got both kinds....Bud and Bud Light" bars where for some odd reason (perhaps the distributor pressured them to try it) they also had Fat Tire.
 

Skotrat
Advanced Member
Username: Skotrat

Post Number: 917
Registered: 07-2007
Posted From: 173.9.91.69
Posted on Thursday, June 25, 2009 - 09:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Fat Tire is Terrible...

Just say No!
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 6666
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 74.83.191.159
Posted on Thursday, June 25, 2009 - 11:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have nothing against fresh Fat Tire, it just does not walk on water to me, like a lot of folks seem to think. Frankly I worry that they are actually raving about the flavor I perceive as oxidized. It might be a bit like "I like Heineken." Different problem, same sort of misconception.
 

Graham Cox
Senior Member
Username: T2driver

Post Number: 2217
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 72.15.96.251
Posted on Friday, June 26, 2009 - 12:47 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I had a bomber of Fat Tire just the other day bought at a supermarket near Atlanta. (My wife bought it for me as a Father's Day present - it's the thought that counts ;) I would concur that it is not so much "bready" as toasty and caramelly, as if a fairly high percentage of mid-lovibond caramel malt was used. I found it to be an imminently drinkable beer, but not one of any particular distinction. Very tasty, just not really anything special - kind of a middle-of-the-road amber, not even necessarily a good example of an American Amber (which having heard Peter Bouckhaert speak, was never his goal, I'm quite sure.) I suppose it could be classified as a sort of "macro-micro", so to speak.
 

dhacker
Senior Member
Username: Dhacker

Post Number: 1699
Registered: 11-2002
Posted From: 98.66.42.16
Posted on Friday, June 26, 2009 - 01:51 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've never considered Fat Tire terrible. My wife actually likes it. (and I can use that to my advantage)

Among the three offerings that New Belgium has in the stores around here . . 1554, Mighty Arrow, and Fat Tire, FT ranks the lowest to my palate, yet I can still drink it with ease.
 

Jeff Rankert
Junior Member
Username: Hopfenundmalz

Post Number: 78
Registered: 06-2008
Posted From: 76.122.184.255
Posted on Friday, June 26, 2009 - 12:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

At the 2003 NHC in Chicago, Peter Brouckhaert had a slide in his talk with a horse as the background. He stated that the inspiration for Fat Tire has a horse on the label, Palm. If you have had Palm, you will know why most on this board are not so excited.
 

Kevin Kowalczyk
Advanced Member
Username: Itsfunbrewingbeer

Post Number: 648
Registered: 10-2007
Posted From: 67.167.200.236
Posted on Friday, June 26, 2009 - 01:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I think it's just a very bland ale. Something like I would expect a mega brewer to produce. I haven't had the Budweiser Ale, but I would imagine it to be something similar to Fat Tire.
 

Chumley
Senior Member
Username: Chumley

Post Number: 5861
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 63.118.227.254
Posted on Friday, June 26, 2009 - 08:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Budweiser Ale has more hop character than Fat Tire.
 

Skotrat
Advanced Member
Username: Skotrat

Post Number: 918
Registered: 07-2007
Posted From: 173.9.91.69
Posted on Friday, June 26, 2009 - 09:09 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I agree with Chumley...

However, both beers give me a headache
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 6667
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 74.83.191.159
Posted on Friday, June 26, 2009 - 09:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I will bet that Fat Tire has more body than Bud Ale.
 

PaulK
Advanced Member
Username: Paulk

Post Number: 829
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 68.63.203.31
Posted on Saturday, June 27, 2009 - 05:12 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Fat Tire, and many beers from New Belgium have a distinct bready, biscuit malt flavor. It's unmistakable and seems to be a common malt in many of their beers.

While bottle conditioning will scavenge a portion of O2 from packaged beer, studies I've seen say it only scavenges 20-30% of the O2 so it is not a cure-all.
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 6668
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 74.83.191.159
Posted on Saturday, June 27, 2009 - 01:18 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have reached and reached for the bready flavor and come up with nothing. The bottled product seems oxidized to me while what I have had on draft and canned is fine, but no bread.

Whatever they are doing with the canned product, can conditioning most likely, seems to have eliminated the oxidized flavor at least in the sample I had. I was impressed that the fellow from the brewery pointed out that this would be the case even before I knew that they canned their beer.

If I might be allowed to go into deep speculation, I have seen this sort of thing before. The Oldenburg Brewery had wonderful beers on draft, but all their bottled product was oxidized. While I think that HSA is frequently overstated, I don't dismiss it either. Oldenburg's mash tun had a propeller that spent the entire 90 minute mash sucking air down deep into the mash. I believe that this set up the precursers to oxidation that did not come into play until the beer was bottled. They guy from New Belgium said that they too had a propeller in their mash tun, but could not say whether or not it sucked or lifted the mash.
 

tim roth
Advanced Member
Username: Hopdude

Post Number: 740
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 173.22.56.157
Posted on Monday, June 29, 2009 - 12:26 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The first time I had Fat Tire (about 7 years ago) was in Nebraska and it was on draught. I felt so lucky to find this beer I had heard lots of good things about.
I was seriously bummed after a few gulps.
It's just nothing special.
I do like their Sunset Wheat beer though.
cheers,tim
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 6669
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 74.83.191.159
Posted on Monday, June 29, 2009 - 02:52 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"Nothing special" is exactly how I feel about FT. Nothing wrong with it either. It is just good beer and there is nothing wrong with that.
 

Hedgie Bartol
Member
Username: Hedgieb

Post Number: 240
Registered: 04-2004
Posted From: 24.172.137.66
Posted on Monday, June 29, 2009 - 11:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have found the same... Not anything worth writing home about. I do taste a very "biscuit" flavor myself which I find unattractive.
 

Josh Johnson
Member
Username: Msujdog

Post Number: 154
Registered: 07-2003
Posted From: 99.48.200.192
Posted on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 - 01:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

When I traveled west a few years ago, I was at a party where they had Fat Tire and Alaskan Amber. After trying one of each, I drank nothing but the Alaskan for the rest of the vacation.
 

Tex Brewer
Intermediate Member
Username: Texbrewer

Post Number: 439
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 216.203.59.252
Posted on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 - 05:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Josh, I agree. They are both relatively mild ambers, but Alaskan has a very pleasant flavor. FT is just rather bland.

I use beers like this as "gateway beers" for people I am trying to convert, or get into drinking good beer at all (some people, mostly women, say they just don't like beer). They are inoffensive, have some character, a bit sweet, easy to drink, but nothing agressive. For myself, I am not normally interested in such beers and want the real craft beers that have a whole lot of character, like many other Colorado brews, almost any San Diego brew, and of course Dogfish Head.

Dan, your Heineken comparison is right on. I used to think the Heine skunk aroma was a sign of good beer (long, long ago, and far, far away). I had one on the plane the other day and could not drink it. I'll take water over that, thank you.
 

Marc Rehfuss
Member
Username: Marc_rehfuss

Post Number: 105
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 199.133.215.107
Posted on Wednesday, July 01, 2009 - 05:18 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Isn't Alaskan Amber actually an altbier? At least Alaskan calls it that. I don't know whether it is actually cold conditioned or not. AA is starkly different than Fat Tire to my tastes, the latter being middling in overall character and primarily driven by caramel malt, the former much drier, having a more minerally and dark toast note, IIRC.

Fat Tire was never meant to be a showstopper-- it is exactly what it needs to be, which is an innocuous gateway to finer microbrews. It's a fallback beer for me if there's nothing better on tap (e.g. at airport bars). Even more important it is New Belgium's "cash cow" that allows them to brew more interesting, flavorful and expensive to produce beers.
 

Tex Brewer
Intermediate Member
Username: Texbrewer

Post Number: 442
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 216.203.59.252
Posted on Thursday, July 02, 2009 - 05:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Marc, that's well said. Amen to your second paragraph.

I don't know what style Alaskan says their amber is, I was just comparing the two "amber" beers, and find Alaskan's much better, like you. It's been a long time, but I don't recall it being dry or dark toasty, but just vaguely sweet and very smooth--well made.
 

Michael
Advanced Member
Username: Hoppop

Post Number: 979
Registered: 03-2002
Posted From: 24.74.164.235
Posted on Friday, July 03, 2009 - 12:33 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I was recently in the "remote" hub of the Denver airport....(I love commuter jets)....the food selection was...ehhh....(Einstein Bagles?) But, I did find a bar....and, there was Fat Tire. In this particular instance, it was the best beer I have had....in this particular instance.

Marc is right on...take it for what it is worth....kind of like Boston Lager, but allowing NB to do more exciting things. On that day in Denver, Fat Tire was as great a beer as I have had.... after having been driven to the airport by a trainee cab driver, having United tell me that "although you checked in online, your seat is not available in the system", AND battling with TSA on why a tube of toothpaste was still in my carry-on....ehhh....

Yep, Fat Tire tasted good to me as I watched the other travelers suck down an Einstein Bagel and overpriced "energy drink." (For the record, I tasted biscuit in the Fat Tire quaff, but that could have been a subliminal que from the Cinnabon next door).

Cheers
 

David Root
New Member
Username: David_r

Post Number: 22
Registered: 12-2007
Posted From: 66.67.152.22
Posted on Friday, July 03, 2009 - 10:20 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I found a good recipe for Fat Tire, It looks pretty sweet, but my girlfriend says she loves it. I have never had it. Yesterday I was at the brew store and asked for it so I could try a can or bottle. They didn't have it, but knew what I was talking about, the guy I asked even said he had seen a recipe for it on his calendar.

Girlfriend likes sweeter beers, so I would gladly brew it and find out for my self what its supposed to taste like. Probably only do a 5 gal all grain batch instead of my usual 10.

David
 

Miker
Advanced Member
Username: Miker

Post Number: 696
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 207.200.116.8
Posted on Thursday, July 09, 2009 - 02:15 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Whenever I see the Fat Tire posts I have to put in my same 2 cents.

When Fat Tire first came out I lived in Fort Collins where its produced and this is what I remember: Fat Tire was bottle conditioned (or at least there was yeast in the bottom of the bottle) and the label claimed it was dry hopped. Both of these practices have been long since been eliminated - for the worse in my opinion. I used to like it, but can hardly drink it anymore.
 

Hedgie Bartol
Member
Username: Hedgieb

Post Number: 246
Registered: 04-2004
Posted From: 75.181.136.29
Posted on Thursday, July 09, 2009 - 08:30 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Michael, sounds like we fly in the same circles! Isn't it a glamorous jet-set lifestyle! I will say that when I find the occasional airport with a micro brew in it, I pray that my flights are delayed! Like Minneapolis with the Rock Bottom there and God Bless Portland, OR!
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 10514
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.141.103.148
Posted on Thursday, July 09, 2009 - 08:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I first tried Fat Tire rather early on (about 1993), when a friend moved back to the Midwest from Colorado. You're right, Miker, it had some character then. If I remember correctly, there were slight Belgian phenolics from the yeast, although it still had a predominance of sweetness from a lot of crystal malt.
 

Chumley
Senior Member
Username: Chumley

Post Number: 5883
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 63.118.227.254
Posted on Thursday, July 09, 2009 - 08:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I spend quite a bit of time at the New Belgium tavern at the Denver airport, mostly because the flights to Montana always seem to leave out of gate B95.... I am always annoyed at them for their lousy tap selection....I usually end up ordering a bottle of trippel or abbey ale.

I wish they kept a tap of the abbey going.....that stuff on tap is most excellent!

What Dan is saying is not all that far-fetched to me....I don't think New Belgium's beers are that good bottled....but when on tap, they are pretty dang good.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 10516
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.141.103.148
Posted on Thursday, July 09, 2009 - 08:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I had a layover at the Denver airport just last Saturday. Unfortunately there was no NB tavern at our concourse (I believe we left from Gate A28).
 

Hophead
Senior Member
Username: Hophead

Post Number: 2841
Registered: 03-2002
Posted From: 167.4.1.41
Posted on Friday, July 10, 2009 - 12:22 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Fat Tire's like Boston Lager??

Sacrilege. Take it back...

Not to bring up an old dead horse, but I am still of the belief that the early fat tire was far better than the recent fat tire. Tasted more malty than "crystally", to me.
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 6684
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 74.83.191.159
Posted on Friday, July 10, 2009 - 02:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Try it in the canned form. I was really surprised at its freshness compared to the bottled beer I had experienced in the past.
 

Shane Mock
New Member
Username: Zlatypivo

Post Number: 11
Registered: 11-2008
Posted From: 69.245.219.81
Posted on Thursday, August 20, 2009 - 01:51 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I was at New Belgium earlier this year, and sampled bottled Fat Tire side-by-side with the canned conditioned brew. I found the canned Fat Tire to be fuller and richer tasting, a bit more bread-like than the big biscuit/toasted malt flavor the bottled version has. During the tour they explained that the canned beer is charged with a bit of fresh yeast and wort (obviously!).

I agree that the beer does not have any dry-hop character at all, it's all malt (18 IBU's) to me with a touch of bitterness that almost balances it.

During the 2-day tour I saw the German-made Steinecker Merlin brew system in full operation, and yes there is a rotating propeller in the mash tun that never rests. The wort is boiled for 45 min thanks to the Merlin system, which was very cool to see.

I am looking forward to New Belgium's fall seasonal, Hoptober, that is brewed with 4 malts (pale, crystal, rye and oat I believe) and 5 hop varieties for a 40+ IBU offering. Their spring seasonal, Mighty Arrow Pale Ale, is a fantastic draft beer, wonderful hop aroma/flavor and full body.
 

Miker
Advanced Member
Username: Miker

Post Number: 697
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 207.200.116.8
Posted on Thursday, August 20, 2009 - 03:22 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Have to agree on the Mighty Arrow. Very good. They had it on tap at the Folks Festival in Lyons, Co. Almost didn't try it since the first pourer (volunteer, I must add) described it as a light pale ale. When I asked if it was hoppy, he said, "No." I asked if it was milder than Fat Tire and he replied, "Yes", so I passed. Later, I asked for a sample and found it to be crisp, quite hoppy and very well balanced. Drank Mighty Arrow for the rest of the festival.

BTW, Gillian Welch and her partner, Dave Rawlings were fantastic.
 

tim roth
Advanced Member
Username: Hopdude

Post Number: 747
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 173.22.56.157
Posted on Thursday, August 20, 2009 - 03:29 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Miker-
You saw Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings? And there was New Belgium beer?
I'm not worthy! I'm not worthy!!!!!!!
Dang!
cheers,tim
 

dhacker
Senior Member
Username: Dhacker

Post Number: 1773
Registered: 11-2002
Posted From: 74.177.61.50
Posted on Thursday, August 20, 2009 - 11:14 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

During the 2-day tour I saw the German-made Steinecker Merlin brew system in full operation, and yes there is a rotating propeller in the mash tun that never rests.

I can't believe they stole my design!
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 6754
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 74.83.191.159
Posted on Thursday, August 20, 2009 - 02:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Was the propeller pulling the mash down into the middle of the tun or lifting up at the center?
 

Kevin Kowalczyk
Advanced Member
Username: Itsfunbrewingbeer

Post Number: 720
Registered: 10-2007
Posted From: 209.252.39.59
Posted on Thursday, August 20, 2009 - 03:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

hack, you should have patented it.
 

Paul Erbe
Senior Member
Username: Perbe

Post Number: 1334
Registered: 05-2001
Posted From: 64.233.251.195
Posted on Thursday, August 20, 2009 - 09:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have my propeller on RTFN!
 

David Root
Junior Member
Username: David_r

Post Number: 33
Registered: 12-2007
Posted From: 66.67.152.22
Posted on Thursday, August 20, 2009 - 09:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have never had fat tire, but my girlfriend has, so I made a batch. Nothing to compare it to. I goofed a little, instead of toasting 4 lbs of malt, I toasted 4kg.

I can't say how it is, I just kegged it last week.

This thread started it :-)

David :-)