Fat Tire Belgian Style Ale | New Belgium Brewing

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Fat Tire Belgian Style AleFat Tire Belgian Style Ale
8,941 Ratings
Fat Tire Belgian Style AleFat Tire Belgian Style Ale

Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
After a trip to Europe, New Belgium’s co-founder returned to Colorado from Belgium with a handful of ingredients and an idea. Two years later, Fat Tire – named in honor of his inspired bike ride across the Belgian countryside – pedaled its way into the hearts of beer drinkers. Now considered an iconic centerpiece of the craft beer movement, Fat Tire represents the American spirit of craft brewing ingenuity and an irresistible imagination that reminds us all to rediscover our playful side.

Fat Tire’s unique flavor profile originates from the late 1930s, when local Belgian breweries aimed to satisfy the tastes of visiting British soldiers. English floral hops, subtle malt sweetness and spicy, fruity notes from Belgian yeast made for a balanced yet magical combination. These same characteristics are at the heart of Fat Tire. Classified as an Ameri-Belgo style ale by the revered Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup competitions, Fat Tire blends a fine malt presence, fresh herbal hop balance and a touch of fruity yeast to offer drinkers everywhere a timeless craft beer experience with a rare blend of balance and complexity.

Added by kbub6f on 10-07-2000

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 8,941 |  Reviews: 2,086
Photo of Imstillthegman
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper with a finger of off-white head that diminishes rather quickly but leaves nice lacing. The smell reminds me of a sweet bread, faint floral scent in the background. Taste is mainly biscuity malt with a hint of the hops in the middle. Smooth, easy drinking brew.
Thanks to Zorro for this bomber.

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Photo of zjungleist
3.98/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006 Chicago Inaugural bottling.

Appears redish-amber in color with a decent white head. To start, the beer had this real funky taste and smell, sort of sour and sulphurish, but it blew off after a few minutes. Aside from that nearly tragic problem, it smelled generally malty and a bit yeasty. The taste is bready, with a slight tangy hop middle, and some yeasty flavors in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel was a shade above medium. Drinkability was high. Overall a decent brew.

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Photo of NEhophead
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best before date clearly printed.

Dull golden copper in color. A dense, white foam that lingers around the glass' sides with dimpled lace with decent strength.

A moderate toasted, biscuit malt aroma. Astringent, perfumey floral hop aspect. Earthy, slightly sweetened wheat and grain.

Sweetened caramel, lightly burnt toffee; active, doughy yeast giving a biscuity flavor. Noble, rounded rustic floral hops that doesn't exactly balance the toasted maltiness, but it tries. Caramel and sweet toffee in the aftertaste.

Medium bodied; mellow and sweet on the palate. Not completely balanced, but not intrusive.

A pretty boring beer. Too sweet on my palate to consider having another.

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Photo of sweethome
3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bottle labeled as 2006 Chcago Inagural to mark the entry to the Second City market.

Pours a light golden color. Nice, fairly white head. Nose is of biscuit malt, sweet, a hint of yeast.

Nice mouthfeel - smooth and easy drinking. Starts out with the bicuit malts, followed with a fine hop balancing. Provides just enough hops to not offend those making the switch from macros, but satisfy a craft beer fan. A nutty flavor rolls in late. The finish is bit...bland and unfulfilled...

A fine session beer. I like what this beer repesents...it is a quality beer with a solid flavor profile, a decent hopping level. It invites people in who have been toned down to taste of US macros and slowly wins you over to flavor.

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Photo of mooseisloose
3.2/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this in Reno on tap while my wife bowled in the nationals. Served in a pint glass. Light bronze color with good lacing. Hoppy taste with a good malt base. Heavier than expected, almost robust. I'm not a big fan of amber ales but this one is a pleasure to drink, altough it wouldn't be my first choice with other ales or stouts available.

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Photo of ultralarry2006
3.38/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz.bottle. Leaves about one finger of foamy head that recedes into a scant surface skim. Does leaves a nice lacing. Is a clear coppery red hue.

Aroma - odor is a very sour dough, bready malt. It's very fungal (like wild mushrooms ) and reminds me of the odor of moist and rotting grass clippings from the lawnmower sitting in an open lawn-and-leaf bag. It's hard to tell what to expect from the aroma - it seems really sour -like it could be bad, or maybe its actually good, like cheese that smells bad, but tastes good. Also, hint, just barely, of grassy and herbally hops.

Taste - well... it is kind of as promised as by aroma. It is grassy, doughy, bready, sour malty. Slight, very slight, taste of hops ( I may have even imagined it, it was so slight. ). Aftertaste of weakly brewed tea, with some lemon (see, there's the hops afterall ). This is not unlike Irish Red Ale, which I do like quite a bit. It has its own unique taste though, being dominated by this sour, wild fungal, grassy, doughy thing, but I like it. And the tea-like aftertaste helps resolve it into a recognizeably red ale ( Irish, or otherwise ). The thing I like about red ales is that they are not really sweet at all, rather they are somewhat tannic, and I find that to be refreshing ( like I find tea to be refreshing ), and this one is fact, even somewhat sour, and of course, mildly tannic.

Mouthfeel - Less than full, not quite thin, but tending towards that. In spite of lack of assertive hop flavor, there is a very nice hop oil mouth slickness from this ale. This doesn't leave you dry, but there is a sort of tannic feeling ( i.e. tea-like, first in the aftertaste, and now the mouthfeel ). Low carbonation.

Drinkabilty - this goes down very easy. I could put away two of these 22 oz.'ers in no time flat, and possibly a third (especially since the abv is like 5.3 % ). But, much as I like the taste of this, it is on the balance, fairly meek,and I would tire of this, and would want something bigger and bolder to go on with through the rest of the night (or sitting, or session, or whatever ).

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Photo of beerinator
3.41/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle with the special "Chicago Inaugural" label.

Appearance: Very clear golden copper colored beer. Whisps of off-white head with quickly dissipating retention.

Aroma: Smells heavily of copper flavored caramel. There may be a faint lingering of fruit mixed in. Virtually no notes of hops here.

Taste: Fat Tire seems fairly easy to drink, but it doesn't offer much challenge to the palate. The finish leaves the tongue with a slight sweetness. The hopping level here is just enough to leave a faint memory of bitterness.

Notes: This is obviously a gateway beer, and hopefully it brings the masses one step closer to becoming full fledged supporters of microbreweries. Drink it if you haven't had it, but unless it's really hot out, you might not find yourself looking for another try. There are a lot of more exciting and flavorful entries in the Amber category.

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Photo of Mitchel
3.55/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Fat Tire pours a golden amber with a white head and patchy lacing. It smells warmly fruity with a hint of malt in the nose with toasted undertones.

It is a medium bodies beer with a big malty palate. Modest hops seem to be very balanced. Tastes like breads and toasted malts with some nice grain to it. There is lots going on here, but a little yeasty for me.

This is a very drinkable beer. It has plenty going on. Lots to look for and definitely worth a look see.

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Photo of ReebShorts
3.78/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light Amber appearance, thin head, but sticking around. Pleanty of visibly carbonation bubbles.

Aroma is Biscuity, malts, and some fruits (maybe apple and cherry?)

Good mild flavor, and easy smooth drinker here. I Could pound back several of these easily. I'd imagine this would be a good beer to try for someone just starting the journey into craft beers.

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Photo of cheers2beers
2.53/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Has a amber colored liquid with a slightly off white head.Not much laceing left behind but you can find lots of beading on the inside.

Smell: Has a woody/nutty aroma with some sort of over ripe fruit(perhaps oranges and grapefruit) A light malt character with no detection of hops or alcohol.

Taste: The flavors are much like the nose,subtle sweet and light malts,a little bready,the fruits seem to play a better role in flavor but its not enough to make me go crazy about this beer,period.Vague alcohol hints in the finish.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is thin to medium bodied with low carbonation. Has a watery flow. Not much to get excited about here either.

Drinkability: I have had this beer before, it's easy find here in Texas.It's in almost every bar on draft but isn't much better. Just a good cheap,keep the buzz rolling,kinda beer.


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Photo of goochpunch
3.56/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear hazel/amber with a suitable head that lasts throughout the whole glass with some raised lacing present. In the nose, I get toasty malt and mild floral hops. The flavor is of cocoa-dusted honey biscuits with a floral finish. Very well balanced. Carbonation is moderate, but could use more of a viscous body for to support the flavors. As drinkable now as it was a few years back. A great stand-by beer.

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Photo of JayTheFinn
3.67/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I enjoyed this one more than I thought I would. I guess all the hype made me want to not like it, but I do. Relatively nice and smooth for it's kind. Light fruity taste combines nicely with a subtle malt. Quite drinkable.

The pedestal my friends have put it on I think is a little too high. Everyone seems to like this one and it's good, but not the best thing out there. In general New Belgium does good, solid beers. Definitely above average.

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Photo of zeff80
3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled or on tap it pours a dark amber color, slight head. There is a malty smell with some biscuity notes. Good caramel malty flavor with a touch of hop bitterness. It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light to medium-bodied beer. It is so drinkable. It's not hard to have several at one sitting.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into pint glass.
Dark amber color, a bit hazy. Small foamy head. A good look to it.
Smell had a bit of everything it seemed. Biscuit, hops, roasted malt, flower, raisin.
Taste was odd. Heavy on the malt, almost too heavy like they wanted to make a dark beer; complexity vanished.
Leaves a bit of film on the palate.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
3.78/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle purchased from LaBodega, in Riverside, CA for $??? (maybe $2.39) in March 2006 after a long absence from this area.

Poursa light-medium orange-amber with decent carbonation which creates a nice frothy head. A quick aroma of light sweet fruits and bready malts. Nothing complex, just nice and easy. Flavor is much the same way, quite enjoyable, but hard to describe in detail. A kiss of hops at the end keep this from being a complete malt bomb.

Well constructed and quite enjoyable- simple, but sometimes that's just what the doctor ordered.

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Photo of Crosling
2.06/5  rDev -42.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

After tasting this stuff for the first time in 2 or 3 years, it really did remind me of Devil’s Advocate. Fat tire isn’t quite as terrible as the DA, but it’s still pretty disgusting. Medium gold in color. Bland, tough and husky aroma with hints of biscuits and caramel in the nose. I really don’t understand how people can say Fat Tire is balanced. It tastes of grain husk. Did it get significantly less hoppy over the years?

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Photo of BradBLR
3.63/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

When I first poured this beer, I liked the nice amber color. I was however disappointed in the head. There really wasn't one.

The aroma was nice, a nice crisp malty smell. A little weak, but not bad.

The taste was good, crisp with a nice malty flavor, followed by a balance hop taste. This beer felt a little thin for my preference, but it was ok. A nice drinking beer when it's all that avaible. Local super markets are carrying this so it's easy to get and it's definatly worth a try.

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Photo of brewcrew76
2.41/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22 oz Spring 2006 Chicago Inaugural bottle
Best before June 9 2006

A - A transparent/clear light amber/copper with a thin off white head. A very pale/watery looking beer.

S - Hint of biscuit and malt, wet cardboard or maybe even old vegetables, mild sour/vomit smell.

T - Earthy biscuit, slight yeasty taste, slightly nutty. All the flavors just taste off for some reason. I also get some wet cardboard or old vegetables again.

M - Thin to medium and dry. Aftertaste feels like when you are at the dentist and they take the cotton out of your mouth.

D - The different aspects of this beer to not mesh together very well and I think I would pass if offered another. I purchased a bottle for my wife because she was curious about all the hype surrounding its arrival in Chicago and I ended up having to finish the bottle for her she disliked it so much. Hopefully this will open the door to other NB beers in Chicago.

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Photo of mghotbi
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Clear amber color, one finger cream colored head with decent retention and lacing.

Smells of rising dough - very yeasty - like walking into a bakery - with little in the way of floral hop note. Smooth on the tongue - on the verge of being creamy. Predominance of biscuit malts and roasted nuts with just a trace of hops; minimal alcohol warmth. Long bready finish. Very slight sourness characteristic of Belgian yeast.

Very drinkable. Flavorful but never overwhelming.Overall very unique. I've become quite partial to the biscuit malt and nutty flavor of this beer when I tire of some of the hoppier amber ales out there. Too biscuity and sweet to have all the time, though.

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Photo of dreadnatty08
3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light amber with ample, soapy head, good retention. Aromas are like nothing else I've smelled. Smells like wet hay/grass, biscuits. Medium carbonation. Has some flavors I can't quite describe. It's certainly malty with just a little hop balance. Overall, I feel like this is the perfect everyday beer, pairs great with some pizza or other light fare. Not my favorite NB brew, but certainly has its place.

Edit: Though I'm not going to change my score for FT, I will concede this beer has grown on me considerably and has become a constant beer in my fridge that is perfect for just about any occasion, probably my favorite from NB now despite my thoughts a month ago.

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Photo of kgotcher
4.37/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First off I have a serious bias for this beer. It is one of my all time favorite and I have probably drunk more of this particular beer than any other in my entire life. Honestly this is the beer that got me interested in real beer so many years back, back when it was a Colorado exclusive beer and I couldn't find it on every corner store across America. Now it is a definately favorite for watching a hockey game (go Avs), or bringing along to a party or for post mt biking session.

Pours deep copper to amber color with nice dense one finger white head and some nice sticky lacings.

Aroma is unmistakable, huge buscuit malt aroma with a fruity aroma like strawberries. Taste is also massively biscuit malt and grainy with just a bit of hops for balance. Some fruity sweetness is detectable but that malty flavor just dominates everything. Mouthfeel is refreshing in spite of the strong grainy malt flavor, Light to medium body goes down very easy and smooth with just a bit of grainy dryness in the end. Nice malty aftertaste is a great bonus.

I know this beer is somewhat shallow and it's major attribute seems to be it's drinkability but man, what other beer with this much malty flavor is so darn drinkable? Also this beer does not truly fit the amber ale style guidelines and is so unique compared to the many amber ales that are available. It is really in a catagory by itself.

This is one of the finest session beers in the world if you ask me. Highly enjoyable any season for any reason, tons of flavor and easy to find. Enjoy one soon and often.

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Photo of scottoale
3.21/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Fat Tire, fat bomber with a best before: 05MAY06, pours a rather nice amber rich liquid with a bubbley off-white, finger and a half of head. Good carbonation, mild lacing.

First smell is a bit off, smells a bit sour and has a sweaty sock aroma, not very appealing.

A bit reluctant to taste it because of the smell...hmmm, tastes ok. Another sip, ok, tastes better yet with a roasty malt twang. Fairly yummy malt flavor with a mellow, smooth finish. Hard to describe as the hops don't stand out and seems a bit watery to me.

Mouthfeel is ok, a very light body and a bit weak in alcohol make it quite drinkable, but IMO, very uneventful. I've had this before and don't remember it tasting quite like this, bad bottle perhaps?

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Photo of RJLarse
3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a six pack of Fat Tire to taste and review. I poured this beer in to a pint glass.

Pours a pale amber color and is a clear. A thin off-white head forms on the surface of the beer, and dissipates to a thin ring, which produces minimal lacing on the glass.

The smell is faint a little malty and earthy.

The taste is also fairly malty, with roasted grain flavors.

Mouth feel is light, and very smooth.

This is a very drinkable beer, with appealing aromas and flavors. The flavors are very well balanced. Fat Tire is a nice substitute for American macros, far better flavored and far more full bodied. I wouldn’t mind having several of these in a session. I will certainly drink Fat Tire again.

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Photo of mattcrill
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks go HardTarget for the chance to sample a classic here...
Label states a suggested serving temperature (45 deg F), ABV, and best before 16DEC05. Enjoyed on 25FEB06.

Appearance: Light orange (dare I say amber??) crystal clear pour with a white head the quickly fades to a ring around the circumference of the glass.

Smell: Light toasty notes, wheat bread, a touch of yeast.

Taste: A light nuttiness, carmel, a touch of wheat bread, some honey-like sweetness near the finish, a touch of yeast at the end.

Mouthfeel: light-bodied and a touch overcarbonated but appropriate.

Drinkability: Immensely quaffable. Nothing off or offensive here. I can see why this would be a good cross-over beer. Glad I could try this classic brew.

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Photo of cameraman
3/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A reddish/coppper color with an off white head that disapates very quickly. The scent of malt comes through with atouch spiciness at the end. The taste is very mellow, very much like the smell, the sweetness of the malt and then the spicy hop flavor at the end. In the mouth it feels slightly watery, but has some weight to at the end. This beer is very middle of the road, amost a politically correct beer. It tries very hard not to offend with any strong taste, which may describe its popularity, not to adventureous for people trying a craft beer. This could be a very good starter beer for people.

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Fat Tire Belgian Style Ale from New Belgium Brewing
Beer rating: 3.6 out of 5 with 8,941 ratings