A while back Dave wanted me to review Fat Tire. Being a typical disgruntled employee I told him to stick it and went on reviewing, and in this case, drinking what I wanted. Today I went to the beer aisle and as any of my longtime followers (both of you) know, we are supposed to select a new beer we’ve never tried before in order to expand our beer enjoying pleasure. Today I decided to compromise. New Belgium Brewing Company out of Fort Collins, Colorado puts out several beers other than Fat Tire. This seemed like the perfect way to satisfy my slave driving boss who makes me drink beer. Today’s beer selection from New Belgium Brewing is Hoptober Golden Ale.
Appearance: Comes in a dark bottle with a picture of a bunch of perhaps naked people dancing around a bonfire… interesting. When poured into the suggested tulip glass, it appeared as a light golden ale with a thin white head that was short lived.
Smell: The smell was subtle but with a base of hops that along with the name of the beer made me brace for a punch. Beyond the hop aroma was a backdrop of citrus.
Taste: Different than I was expecting. With a name like Hoptober and a smell of hops, I figured I would be in store for a typical American IPA like experience. The taste was much more subtle than the smell and the power of the classic high hop ale never appeared. Rather than a strong willed “kick you in the butt” ale, I found myself drinking a classic American style beer with a bit of boldness added to it. The only presence of hops that really sticks to you is a light lingering after taste.
Alcohol level: 6% by volume
Cost and Availability: New Belgium Brewing Company is widely distributed and can be found just about anywhere. This six pack of bottles cost me 10 bucks! This may just be because I walked to the near by liquor store that always jacks up the prices but that seemed a bit high.
Final Thought: I would classify Hoptober Golden Ale as a balanced beer. It has the smooth easy drinking of a domestic light but at the same time offers a different taste that may appeal to both the casual beer drinker and snob alike. To put it simply, you can bust this one out at your tailgate and get credit for imagination beyond the generic light while offering a beer that will be drinkable for even those with delicate taste buds. As far as the tailgate goes, this beer goes down fairly light allowing for more than one or two on a hot day. It offers a light enough flavor to go along with any tailgate foods being offered. Thanks again for the time and remember that the only thing better than a good new beer is a great designated driver.