30 July 2007

Windmill-Powered Beer | New Belgium Roundtable @ Mike & Gina's

While our review of New Belgium Brewery beers didn't have us jumping out of our chairs in amazement over the ales that we tried, I would be remiss if I didn't give New Belgium a lot of credit for its business practices. The company is completely employee-owned. What's more, New Belgium places a heavy emphasis on being environmentally-friendly in all that it does. Quite a business model that is.

Still, we sampled some decent beers at this roundtable. On with the review...

1554. I agree with Mike and Gina that this was the best New Belgium beer we sampled. I found that this black ale really agreed with me, with its dry, slightly chocolaty flavor. For a darker beer, it has an amazingly light mouthfeel. Very, very drinkable. Not quite as good as Brugge Brasserie's The Black, but a completely reasonable substitute. 3.75 mugs.

Fat Tire.
Better than it tasted in our initial review (in which it was universally panned), but still not an outstanding beer. The nutty notes in Fat Tire's flavor are unique, but just are not my thing. Nonetheless, I'm willing to cut Fat Tire a little slack due to its devoted following west of the Mississippi. 2.5 mugs.

This mahogany-colored dubbel is best described as a banana explosion. The nose, the taste--all banana, banana, and more banana. I like bananas, but you know the old saying about too much of a good thing. 2.5 mugs.

A blond-hued trippel with apple and plum notes in the nose. Crisp, hoppy, with a medium mouthfeel. The highest octaine of the beers that we tasted at 7.8% ABV. A fine sipping ale. 3.5 mugs.

I join my colleagues in thanking Jason Burk for joining us. He provided a great perspective to the review and contributed to our ever-expanding beer knowledge.

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