It is becoming a somewhat common theme for me to either review Texas beers or ones that I find on my travels. This one, I found out at a great wine, liquor, and beer store called BevMo. Last time I was in California, Squirrel took me to this place, and I have to admit that I felt like a kid in a candy store. Seriously, this place is like an adult Toys R Us and reminded me of Specs in Texas, only with beer that I hadn’t seen back at home. If you have a chance to make it to one of these stores, do it.
Anyways, back to the beer. The New Belgium Mighty Arrow is a pale ale and was named Kim’s (co-founder) dog. It is made with Cascade, Amarillo and Golding Hops. I have recently been on a pale ale kick because I really enjoy the little bit of sweetness that comes with the crispness.
Must say it does look pretty good off the pour – a gold color with just a hint of orange and obvious carbonation. It has more bubbles than most beers but not as much as the heavily carbonated brews. The head comes in as nice white/cream but a bit closer to the white side and about 2 cm thick and has lasting power. I haven’t taken a sip out of the beer yet and the head is still like the beer was just poured.
With a whiff, I get a little bit of the sweetness that I expect from a pale ale and the hint of citrus that reminds me that the beer should finish crisp.
The taste is not as sweet as I had expected, but that is not a bad thing at all. The balance of this beer is pretty fantastic. The beer is has a bready, malty finish which is thicker and sweeter than I expected. Those final tastes also help to emphasize the overall body of the beer — a full body with a creamy feel.
It’s a good tasting beer; not my favorite pale ale or one that I will go out of my way to get, but it is a different beer to try when available.
P.S. Unless I hear a lot of requests otherwise, I will try to get back to area brews next week. It doesn’t really help DC beer drinkers to hear about beers they can’t get.
New Belgium is one of those breweries that feels more like a myth than reality to me. The tales that surround it made me excited to try Fat Tire when I was in San Francisco last fall yet I left unimpressed after a few pints. I knew the Black Squirrel had gotten in a lot of their brews recently and when my friend said we should try out Lips Of Faith le Fleur Misseur I consented after a bit of hesitation.
I’d comment on how it looked when poured but the amazing smell of funk that arrived as it came out made me barely notice. With the aroma making me drool I quickly took a sip and was not disappointed. Brett completely dominates the taste about as much as any beer I’ve ever had, in a delightful way. For the amount of wild flavor it has, the beer was still smooth with minimal harshness in the mouthfeel department.
For anyone who loves the flavor of Brett this beer is a must try. Some people might say that it’s a one-note beer with minimal balance, but if that one note is absolutely awesome, what’s the problem?!
I began seeing the commercials for T.G.I. Friday’s touting the use of Magic Hat #9 in some of their meals and I was ready to rip on Magic Hat for selling out to a chain. Then I did some research and it is not Magic Hat selling out. It was something much different: T.G.I. Friday’s is making themselves a craft beer hotspot! Well, sort of. They still have many crappy macro beers, but they are increasing the number of craft beers they carry. Certain dishes will also be made with craft beer, including: a beer battered shrimp appetizer; entrees with steak, flounder, ribs and chicken either marinated or cooked with it; and a couple of beer-based desserts (adults only). While the selection varies by state, Friday’s will be serving some of the following beers: Harpoon IPA, Magic Hat #9, New Belgium Fat Tire, Goose Island Honkers Ale, Abita Amber, Alaskan IPA (Alaska only), Boulevard Wheat, and Uinta Cutthroat Ale (Utah only). It would be great if each restaurant carried all of the aforementioned brews, but having any exposure to mass markets is great for craft beer. Cheers to you T.G.I. Friday’s!
This one surprised me a bit. Considering it’s their winter beer, I was expecting it to be dark. However, it pours a clear golden bronze color.
The aroma is sweet and malty with a cinnamon-like spiciness and a slightly grassy scent. The flavor is spicy with a bit of caramel. There’s a floral hoppiness in the mix with a slightly bitter, lightly boozy finish.
Definitely not what I would expect from a winter beer, but still a good beer.
The 1554 is called the Enlightened Black Ale. Brewed with a lager yeast and a ton of dark malts, it’s an interesting combination. When poured, it’s a deep brown color, nearly black with a light, thin head. The aroma was malty sweet with caramel notes and a nice floral hop scent.
The flavor was fairly complex. Very malty with some molasses and caramel, even a little dried fruit. The finish was slightly bitter with a mild floral hop flavor.
Overall, a good beer.
On a recent trip back to Heaven on Earth (y’all probably call it Texas), I was able to stock up on beers that cannot be found in DC. Of course, half the beers I brought back were Shiner varieties, but I did manage to snag a few others, with New Belgium Trippel being one of those lucky few.
Over the past year, I’ve come to trust New Belgium even with beers that I normally do not care for, (I’m not a big wheat/white beer fan, so Mothership Wit was a bit of a stretch), so when I saw the Trippel for the first time, I figured I’d give it a whirl.
Spending the weekend in Fort Collins, CO, I had the good fortune of sampling a number of New Belgium beers. Though Fat Tire is a classic and their wheat beer is actually pretty good, the Ranger IPA was my personal favorite. It also seems quite well-regarded among Fort Collins locals, but I’m guessing this is at least in part due to the inevitably low bar on any college campus.