Dear PoP – Fat Tire Beer Coming to DC on Monday

“Dear PoP,

Just read that Fat Tire (and other New Belgium brews) the Fort Collins, CO beer phenomenon that swept through the South in the latter part of my tenure there is finally making up to the mid-atlantic. Starting next Monday, August 22nd, 17 distributors will now be putting out Fat Tire across the DMV. All except for the poor souls of Montgomery County. This is excellent news, because this beer is AWESOME. Old articles here, but the date is what’s important!”

BeerAdvocate reported:

“New Belgium Brewing is pleased to announce that it has signed contractual agreements with 17 distributors in the Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. areas. The freshly inked deals will broaden New Belgium distribution to 28 states and the District of Columbia when those territories officially open on August 22nd, 2011.”

79 Comment

  • Wow. I have to wait until Friday to get a below-average beer? Say it isn’t so. Other New Belgium products aren’t too bad, but Fat Tire is crap.

    • Totally agree. Perhaps the most overrated beer of all time.

    • Correction – not Friday, Monday.

    • Oh please. If this posting was about an identical beer being released under the DC Brau label, everyone would be lining up outside Meridian Pint the night before the release date.

      • A more apt comparison would be if a DC Brau beer sucked and people loved it because it was not widely available, not a situation where many people here on the board have had the beer in question and know it to be average at best. The DC Brau Pale Ale I had was decent enough (for a pale ale, a style I’m not overly fond of), and it doesn’t help to get better beer in DC by attacking the entities that are trying to do that.

        • I’m pointing out that the fanboy-ism that exists for Fat Tire exists for DC Brau as well. I’m glad DC Brau is around, but only because they are trying to make a decent brew, and not because they are solely DC based.

          So I think we’re in agreement here, unless I’m missing something.

  • Every time I go home to Colorado, I make my dad stock the fridge with Fat Tire. Glad i can finally drink it year round!

  • A sentimental beer for me, as although it’s certainly not an outstanding beer, it was the gateway for me to move towards good beer (well, once I started making enough to afford it. The wages of a fishing guide lends easier to buying cheap beer in bulk). I will be purchasing some.

  • Fat Tire is like Yuengling in it’s unwarranted cult following.

    • My friends in Ohio are ecstatic Yuengling finally announced they will be distributing there in the fall. I call this “out of market syndrome.” Just because you can’t get it here, it’s the world’s greatest delicacy.

      • Yuengling Premium (which you can’t get in DC) is alright, and Black & Tan is drinkable, but the Lager is worse than you-know-who.

      • I absolutely don’t understand the fascination with Yuengling. Honestly, I’d rather drink PBR. No really. And I’m not a hipster.

        • I denied being a hipster before it was cool.

          • How many hipsters does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

            It’s a really obscure number, you probably haven’t heard of it.

        • Three points about Yuengling. First, the Lager is only one of their beers (most common around here). Their porter is outstanding, but is hard to find in DC. The light lager is actually pretty good for a light (I’d put it on par with Sam Light). Second, the green bottles don’t do it any favors (light kills beer) — however, if you have it on tap from somewhere who actually cleans their taps lines, it is an extremely solid “I can drink this all day” domestic (that is what it is, a small distribution domestic.) Finally, another issue with the bottles is that there are actually 2 Yuengling breweries. The orginal one in PA and a “new” one in FL that arose out of extremely high demand. Although the same recipe, they do taste different (due to water differences, I suspect) with the PA version being much better. Most of the Yuengling bottles sold outside of PA are from FL.

    • yuengling gets a bad rap because it sometimes gets presented as a microbrew. take it at what it is, cheap-ass domestic swill from pottstown, pennsylvania. for the same price as miller lite in the grocery store, it’s not a bad beer.

    • Agreed – average beer with a cult following. I do like New Belgium’s Ranger IPA and some of the other offerings.

  • Bell’s Amber is way better than Fat Tire

    • It is. And Bell’s Two Hearted is way better than Bell’s Amber.

      • Not really a fair comparison for more than one reason…

        • Whether one beer is “better” than another isn’t exactly a quantifiable measure. It’s more about personal preference.

          And back to the original topic: Meh. There are so many far better beers from Colorado that we don’t get.

  • Fat Tire is a decent enough amber. But I’m far more excited about Three Stars and Chocolate City’s new offerings.

    • I’m excited about Three Stars too. I hope they are able to add to the momentum that’s building in the DC craft beer industry. DC has a long way to go to compete with the real beer towns like San Diego, Portland, and Denver, but I like the steps that are being taken.

      • austindc

        Agreed. I like Fat Tire just fine, but some of the DC area upstarts are pretty sweet (not to mention our established guys in the region). I really enjoyed my visit to Port City Brewery, and I look forward to visiting DC Brau in a couple of weeks. It’s exciting to see so much activity here locally!

    • +1000. Here’s to hoping they’re better than the over-hyped mediocrity that is DC Brau.

  • Agree with most of the posters above. Fat Tire was a big deal 7-8 years ago, but the craft beer movement has exploded since then and it’s no longer such an amazing or unique item.

  • Can someone explain to me the difference between a “craft” beer and a “microbrew”?

    It appears to me they are the same thing and someone just decided to swank-ify the name from microbrew to craft to make it more marketble.

    • Here, I Wikipedia’d that for you.

      Craft brewer is a term coined by the American Brewers Association; it gives a definition of “small, independent and traditional”, with small defined as an “annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less”, and beer produced by a craft brewer being termed “craft beer”.[29] The Brewers Association further groups craft brewers as microbrewery: annual production less than 15,000 barrels; brewpub: sells 25% or more of its beer on site; regional craft brewery: at least 50% of its volume is all malt beers.[30] Of the 1,759 breweries in America, only 43 are not defined as craft brewers, and 100 not defined as either a micro or brewpub.[31]

    • austindc

      Sure thing. Microbreweries are typically also craft breweries. The term is related to their volume. The Brewer’s Association defines microbreweries like-a so:
      “A brewery that produces less than 15,000 barrels (17,600 hectoliters) of beer per year with 75% or more of its beer sold off site.”

      Craft brewing relates to how the beer is made, but also has to do with volume and who owns the company.

      I wouldn’t worry about the vocab. Just drink whatever the hell you like.

  • Proud of the brewery and their success.

  • ledroittiger

    I think craft just means limited production, but whether a brewery is a microbrewery or a nanobrewery depends on their actual annual barrel output.

  • who are the 17 distributors?

  • What was that other great beer out of Colorado some years ago? The one that had the whole country crazed, and people actually smuggling it east? Oh yeah – Coors!

  • claire

    Got to try Fat Tire (along with Hoptober, Trippel, and Ranger IPA) on the beer cruise on Friday and it’s a rather tasty drinkable amber ale. Sure, not my favorite, but I’ll probably be getting it once it’s available in DC. What I’m really excited about (and was unfortunately not available for tasting on the beer cruise) is their two Lips of Faith series sours that they’ll be releasing in the area – Kick (sour cranberry pumpkin ale!) and Clutch (sour stout). I had La Folie from the Lips of Faith series when I was in California and it was really really good. So, for anyone into sour beers, keep your eyes open!

  • I am never mad about another micro beer to choose from. Wish some of Avery’s beers were easier to find.

  • Thank you all for more-or-less confirming the suspicions that came with my curiosity. I’ve heard everyone loves this stuff, but HOWWW much different/”better” is it going to be than my other favorites? It is, afterall, beer.

  • I for one wish Narragansett would come down a little further. I’m always ready for Gansett time.

    And more Abita. Turbodog is delicious.

    • Virginia Market on U and 18th almost always has a couple types of Abita available. Also a fan of Turbodog.

    • Abita is all over the place in DC…and yes, Turbodog is delicious. Jockamo (sp?) IPA is good as well, and I like their Amber as a nice summer beer.

      • Oh and I also wish Narragansett would come down here…my friends from MA talk about tall boys of it all the time.

    • Wide Abita offerings at Acadiana on 9th and NY. Hit their happy hour for $4 mugs.

  • Thank you sir. I will check them out.

    • The Red Palace on H St always sticks a couple Abita beers, and so does Little Miss Whiskey’s.

      Off of H St, you can find it at Vinoteca, Acre 121 and a number of other spots.

  • here’s what i learned from this thread:
    beer is good.
    other beer is better.

    and whatever you like, someone somewhere will be a dick about it.

  • Beer is proof that god loves us and wants us to be happy.

    Until you read this blog.

    I think you guys are the reason I don’t go to bars any more. Because I honestly don’t give a damn what kind of beer I’m drinking when I’m at one.

    It isn’t wine. Leave beer alone. It doesn’t need you around anyhow.

    • Have fun drinking a 30 rack of Bud by yourself then, I’ll be at the bar.

      “It isn’t wine.”

      It isn’t wine, but it can be just as complex and gratifying to try and appreciate the multitude of flavors and styles that different breweries bring to the table with their beers.

      The explosion and growth of craft beer sales and breweries would indicate otherwise – that beer drinkers do want something different, and what it doesn’t need around is another ignorant drinker throwing back the usual swill. As you demonstrate, there are plenty of those already.

  • Yup, all the hype around Fat Tire is unfounded because how can it possibly be true that so many people around the country actually enjoy this beer. Can’t be true! The hipster haters must be right about this one. They are always right, aren’t they?

  • I will not rest until I can get my favorite beer widely available in DC: Schmidt pull top can.

    MmmmmMmmm what a fine brew Schmidt was. One simple pull and that tab was on the ground and the beer was flowing freely.

    Don’t hand me none of that fancy Pigs Eye Landmark swill, I only have liver function available for my beloved Schmidt. And don’t even try to pass on that eastside swill of Hamms. Only 2 good things about Hamms were the awesome commercials, and that is wasn’t as crappy as the Beast.

    Fat Tire isn’t bad. Isn’t fabulous, but it’s drinkable.

  • Oh please, anyone who bashes yuengling reveals what a faux-snob they are. Yuengling tastes good. Its nothing outstanding, but it tastes good and its 100x better than any thign within 10% of its price range.

    People who bash yuengling are the same people who bash good table wines. They dont get what its function is.

    • Anon said it right about Yuengling.

      As for Fat Tire the poster who had it right was SF “Fat Tire was a big deal 7-8 years ago, but the craft beer movement has exploded since then and it’s no longer such an amazing or unique item.”
      I will by plenty of it because I like good beer (and Fat Tire is good not great) and because I respect their wind-powered brewery, the bike logo/moniker, and it’s place in the overall craft beer movement.

      Now from a personal nostalgic beer standpoint if I could only get Boulevard Wheat and Pale Ale (granted the Smokestack series they’ve released since I left college is WAY better) from Kansas City (along with Arthur Bryant’s BBQ), I’d be a happy man and beer drinker.

  • Growing up in Colorado this was my favorite beer. So excited that its finally coming out my way!

  • Wait a second there Schmidt boy. Ain’t nothing like nursing a warm chest (30 pack to the uninitiated) of Hamms pitchside in Stearns County, MN on a crisp fall day. I will, however, say that Schmidts is a much better beer back with a gnarly shot of rye.

    Is Odell’s avaiable here yet? Thought it was coming. The IPA is great – hopped out like a Californian, but good malt balance too.

    Totally agree on Pliny. Only had the Elder in a bomber (about 6 of ’em in that sitting), yes it is the gold standard.

  • Going to school out in CO, allowed me to enjoy tons of great micro/craft brews. Happy to see New Belgium start distributing in the area, Fat Tire is not my favorite beer of NB, but still enjoy it. Big fan of the brewery, and I can’t wait to pick up their 1554 black ale, killer beer.

    Now all I need is Sweetwater Brewery to start distributing up here.

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