Friday, November 16, 2007

New Belgium Brewing: 2° Below Ale

Let's cut straight to the point: 2° Below is Fat Tire as a "Winter Warmer".
Most micro breweries release a seasonal Winter style Ale which keeps you warm in the winter (hence the name) by creating a beer with an increased alcohol % and adding some hearty malts to match the strong flavors of the holidays. With the holidays fast approaching 2° Below deserves a post.
2° below is technically not a classic winter warmer (its actually an ESB and it tastes like New Belgium's amber ale). I honestly wouldn't be surprised if New Belgium took their Fat Tire recipe and dry hopped it in the later stages of the brewing process to raise the alcohol % from 5.2 to 6.6. They probably don't do this but the alcohol content is the only difference between 2° Below and Fat Tire. You still get the biscuity nutty unique taste of Fat Tire with every sip of this ale. The color is an amber brown opposed to the traditional winter warmer black-brown coloring. Either way it fits the winter bill and is marketed properly. After two '2°s' you'll be sufficiently buzzing due to the higher alcohol content.

I make this post because Fat Tire is a beloved beer. If you love Fat Tire (as I do) and tend to switch to Winter Warmers in the cold months, please, please go get 2° Below. If you want, drink it in your lockdown pint glass for added nostalgia (see left). However, I also make this post because as a haus member, I know some of you have burned out from the epic first lock down. In that case, don't buy this beer. It will remind you of the glory of that night.

Now, there were still a series of CA beers that I wanted to review before switching out of this great state. But since I love Fat Tire and I want to send a warning to the haters, I had to flag this Colorado brew. Cheers (or not)

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