Review: New Belgium Fat Tire Amber Ale (Canada)

Last year New Belgium Brewing and Steam Whistle Brewing announced that the production of New Belgium's Fat Tire was to move to Steam Whistle's facilities for the Canadian market. When I found out the news, I was pretty depressed but also excited - Depressed as I felt like this meant I wouldn't be seeing anything seasonal by New Belgium ever again, excited as it means that the batches of New Belgium heading to my local LCs were likely only weeks old rather than having a "best before" date of a few weeks from now. After a year, I do miss the seasonals by NB but there's so many breweries out there now days that I don't really notice it anymore. I may plan on doing a comparison review of the Canadian vs US Fat Tire but my bottle of American Fat Tire is quite old now.

Fat Tire is an easy-drinking Amber Ale brewed with pure spring water, malted barley, hops and yeast. 5.2% ABV / 22 IBU

Appearance: Mostly-clear Amber Ale with a liberal amount of carbonation in the body. The head is approximately a finger and half's thickness of light beige foam that diminishes only a tad over the course of ten minutes. The head leaves behind a light amount of lacing on the glass.

Aroma: Yeah, this is what I'd call an Amber Ale. It's sweet with caramel coming out on top, a bit of an earthy yet floral hoppiness to it, a bit of clove and a tad of nuttiness.

Taste: Quite a sweet-forward Amber Ale with a very sweet caramel presence to it. The beer is very approachable with a light earthiness from the hops, a bit for a floral hop presence as well, a tad bit of nuttiness, and a toasted grain presence to it. Quite smooth and has a hint of an apple and bready aftertaste at the end.

Overall Thoughts: The thing about import beer is that a lot of people buy it because it's from somewhere else, somewhere the beer drinker has never been so many of them feel like it's taking a vacation without having to leave your home. Many people were upset when Alexander Keith's moved production from Nova Scotia to BC, and when many breweries started brewing beers like Sapporo (or Coors Banquet (Original)) domestically rather than importing it from another country. With this though, while I haven't had this beer often since it's now brewed by Steam Whistle, it honestly tastes exactly like how I remember - the beer is sweet, a solid Amber Ale and very approachable. This is an underrated kind of beer that doesn't get much love from the craft beer scene because it doesn't have anything that's overly anything, but there's nothing wrong with creating a solid beer that's 100% according to style.

I still remember one of the first New Belgium beers I ever had, Heavenly Feijoa Tripel, a beer that was a collaboration with Montreal's Dieu du Ciel!

I do miss Fat Tire's old school design but labels must change with time..

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