Belgium’s Best: The Story of Fat Tire and Beyond

Belgium’s Best: The Story of Fat Tire and Beyond

Belgium has long been known as one of the world’s premier beer destinations. The country has been producing top-quality beers for centuries, and its brewers are renowned for their expertise and craftsmanship. One of the most famous of these breweries is New Belgium Brewing Company, and one of its most popular beers is the Fat Tire Amber Ale. In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into the story of this iconic beer and explore some of the other top beer options Belgium has to offer.

The Birth of Fat Tire

The story of Fat Tire begins in 1989 when New Belgium Brewing Company was founded by Jeff Lebesch and Kim Jordan. Lebesch, a homebrewer, and Jordan, a social worker, set out to create a Belgian-style beer that would appeal to American consumers. After traveling to Belgium and experimenting with a variety of recipes, Lebesch came up with the recipe for Fat Tire Amber Ale.

The name “Fat Tire” comes from Lebesch’s experience riding his mountain bike through the Belgian countryside, where the local farmers would sometimes refer to his bike as having “fat tires.” The name stuck, and the beer quickly gained a following in the United States.

The Taste of Fat Tire

So, what makes Fat Tire so special? For starters, it’s brewed with a unique blend of malted barley, hops, and water. The beer has a smooth, malty flavor with a touch of sweetness and a subtle hoppy finish. It’s a medium-bodied beer that’s easy to drink and pairs well with a variety of foods. Many beer enthusiasts appreciate the beer’s complex flavor profile, which is a result of the unique blend of ingredients and the Belgian-inspired brewing techniques used by New Belgium.

Other Top Beers from Belgium

While Fat Tire is undoubtedly one of the most well-known beers from Belgium, there are many other great options to explore. Here are just a few:

1. Duvel
Duvel is a classic Belgian strong pale ale that’s been brewed since 1871. The beer has a bright, golden color and a complex flavor profile with notes of fruit, spice, and yeast. It’s a strong beer with an ABV of 8.5%, so it’s best enjoyed in small quantities.

2. Westvleteren 12
Westvleteren 12 is considered by many to be the world’s best beer. It’s a Trappist ale that’s brewed by the monks of the Saint Sixtus Abbey in Belgium. The beer has a rich, dark color and a complex flavor profile with notes of dark fruit, caramel, and spice. It’s a rare beer that can be difficult to find, but it’s definitely worth seeking out.

3. Chimay Blue
Chimay Blue is another Belgian Trappist ale that’s been brewed since 1948. The beer has a dark brown color and a rich, complex flavor with notes of fruit, spice, and caramel. It’s a full-bodied beer that’s best enjoyed in a chalice-style glass to fully appreciate its aroma and flavor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What’s the best way to store beer?
A: Beer should be stored in a cool, dark place, ideally at a temperature between 40 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s best to avoid storing beer in a location that’s prone to temperature fluctuations, such as a garage or basement.

Q: How long does beer last?
A: The shelf life of beer varies depending on the beer style and how it’s stored. Generally, most beers can be safely stored for 6-12 months, although some stronger beers can be stored for several years.

Q: What’s the proper way to serve beer?
A: Beer should be served at the appropriate temperature for the style of beer. Generally, lighter beers should be served colder, while darker and stronger beers should be served warmer. It’s also important to pour the beer into a clean glass and avoid creating too much foam.

The Bottom Line

Belgium is a beer lover’s paradise, and Fat Tire is just one of the many great options to explore. Whether you’re a fan of Belgian strong ales, Trappist beers, or anything in between, there’s sure to be a beer that’s right for you. So, raise a glass to Belgium’s brewing legacy and enjoy a cold one today!

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