Fat Tire Ale

Review Date 8/14/2023 By John Staradumsky


What’s this, Bruguru, you guru of brew, you? You’re only NOW reviewing Fat Tire Ale from Colorado’s New Belgium Brewing Company? One of the most ubiquitous and well-known of all craft beers? Take the guru out of your brew right now!

Fear not, dear reader. It’s not as bad as all that. I have indeed opined on the classic New Belgium Fat Tire Amber Ale, over 20 years ago. To this day, I can still remember going into a liquor store in Texas and emerging, a large grin on my face, with a six-pack to take back home to Rome, Georgia. I had heard much of this beer, but had never been able to find it. Now I had, and I was delighted.

As soon as I returned home, I chilled my bottles and resolved to drink one the next night I was to drink beer. That night came, and I was…underwhelmed. I had been warned of this by the beer geek community. Still, though, I did enjoy the beer, and I penned my review for Epinions.com, it being a few years before I even thought of establishing what was to become guruofbrew.com.

As the years went by, things changed. Fat Tire Amber Ale eventually became available here in Georgia. New Belgium built a brewery in nearby Asheville, North Carolina. And now, Fat Tire itself has changed, which is why I am here today. New Belgium, has removed the soft caramel maltiness of Fat Tire Amber (my favorite part of the beer) and made it into a less than exhilarating golden/blonde ale.

To which I have to ask: why? Why did you do this, New Belgium? Could you not have left the classic Fat Tire alone, and simply introduced a companion beer called Fat Tire Blonde Ale/Golden Ale/Whatever? There is precedent for this, after all, as you launched Fat Tire Belgian White six or seven years ago, though I think that is no longer a thing. To be fair, too, you’re not the only one tinkering with a classic. Samuel Adams has “refreshed” their flagship Boston Lager after all.

New Belgium says of the new Fat Tire:

Fat Tire's unique flavor profile originates from 1930s Belgium. During this era, small breweries began offering easy-drinking beer crafted with signature Belgian yeast in order to satisfy the tastes of visiting British soldiers. Today, Fat Tire blends a subtle malt presence with a slightly fruity hop profile and crisp finish, to create a bright and balanced beer that drinks easy, anywhere.

It is made with the following ingredients:

YEAST House Ale Yeast

HOPS Triumph, HBC-522, Barbe Rouge

MALT Pale, C-80, Munich, Raw Barley

The new New Belgium Fat Tire Ale has an alcohol content of 5.2% by volume with 15 IBUs. I paid $2.49 for a 19,2 ounce can at Total Wine, and they sell it in six-packs for $9.99 or, best deal yet, $16.99 for a 12-pack. My can is stamped as canned on 07 May 23, I assume at the Asheville, NC brewery.

New Belgium Fat Tire Ale (NEW) pours to a pale golden color with a thick creamy head of foam and a nose of, well, not much at all. Taking a sip, the beer is light in body, slightly malty, but only slightly. It has a crisp finish that helps make it drinkable, and it is a fair example of a golden/blonde ale-but not an exceptional one. I prefer the original to this beer, and though I might drink it again, I would not go out of my way to do so.

Glad I tried it?  T

Would I rebuy it??


*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.

(B)=Bottled, Canned