Tuesday, September 01, 2015

New Belgium's Fat Tire Get's Downsized


This fall your going to notice something different about New Belgium's flagship brand, Fat Tire. For the first time NB will be releasing a lower-alcohol version of its amber ale. The beer will be 4% ABV (3.2% ABW), meaning it can be sold in supermarkets and convenience stores in Colorado, Kansas and Utah, and eventually in Oklahoma.

Primarily the real reason for this move was to get it on draft in bars in Utah, which as we all know has strict limits on beer above 4% on draft. New Belgium spokesman Bryan Simpson says “We wanted to provide better access to our beer both on and off-premise in Utah,” he explained in an e-mail to Westword.com. Simpson also added that NB has concerns about how the Utah DABC stores their beer warm as well as the "considerable markup" associated with Utah's high alcohol beers. “We’ve actually made 3.2 percent versions of Fat Tire for festivals where that was required, so we know we can get a good flavor match,” Simpson says. “This helps open up some opportunities in states where 3.2 percent sales are happening.”

So what does this all mean for Utah? In a nutshell - you're going to get 4% Fat Tire packaged in cans - in Grocery stores and on tap in bars and restaurants. The state will no longer have "regular" Fat Tire (5.2%) in DABC stores, but other New Belgium beers that are currently for sale will continue to be sold there. This does not affect their other brands, just Fat Tire Amber Ale.

The label provided above is is the new "3.2" label you'll notice it doesn't list the alcohol by volume anywhere on it. What are your thought? Will this affect your consumption, increase it or are you indifferent?

Cheers!

Source: Westword.com

11 comments:

mike sargent said...

It will increase it. I haven't had a fat tire in years but if it is a draft at the local watering hole, I will put it into my rotation.

D-Dub said...

I do have a dog in the fight of course, but I hope bar owners remember there are a lot of great local draft beers available, and "out-of-state" isn't automatically better.

Unkel Dunkel said...

Always glad for more options.

Ed said...

I agree with Mike. Fat Tire is a good beer, but I have a hard time paying $1.95 for it - just on principle I guess. There will definitely be some whining from the "higher ABV always equals better beer" crowd, but I'm not sure they're buying a lot of Fat Tire anyway.

jpennel said...

I pretty much avoid the 4% stuff all together or at least as much as possible. I can't say I blame New Belgium for trying to expand their presence in the market though.

rob@microbusbrewery.org said...

The state legislature needs to pull their collective head out of their collective ass and do away with the 4% limit for draft beer. They allow wine on tap; there's no logical reason to limit beer just because it comes in a different container.

Matthew Benish said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matthew Benish said...

Those DABC stores are terrible. They do everything wrong to beer. And employees can be jerks too (ahem Foothill).

Wine on Tap? I never heard of this. But if that's true, why not beer??

robertjm said...

So what does that mean for the rest of us who live in states which don't have such laws? Will they still be shipping "regular" Flat Tire to us? Do they still list the alcohol on it, if they do?

I'd like to think that if I'm buying Flat Tire, I'm getting the original recipe that they've been shipping for years.

As for the alcohol conundrum? Honestly, it's overblown at times. I home brewed a "stout" several years ago which I had absolutely no idea what the alcohol was. But, after doing a rough calculation, it came out at an anemic 2.9%!! The body was perhaps a little thin for the style. But, the flavor was still there.

Mikey said...

@robertjm - Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, Oklahoma, and Utah all sell 3.2 beer. If you live in one of these states you will likely see this version where it's required by the state's individual laws.

robertjm said...

No @Mikey. I live in California. Will we still see the regular brew, or not.