Got your attention? Well, it's just for fun...mostly. It's all part of New Belgium's celebration of their 20th year of brewing, and an anticipation of their celebratory Super Cru, a 're-imagining' of Fat Tire. I got the press release today, and that headline was just too good to pass up. Here's the story.
New Belgium brewmaster Peter Bouckaert did say “I’ve always hated Fat Tire…” about the brewery's near-iconic Belgian-type pale ale, but he's talking about brewing it, not drinking it. “It’s the hardest beer for us to make,” he said. “The hop/malt balance required makes me pull out what little hair I have left… [but] the Belgian inspiration, the elegance – it’s worth every ounce of frustration.” (For the record? I enjoy drinking a fresh Fat Tire, but like Anchor Steam, it's really at it's best when snapping fresh. My favorite New Belgium beers are probably Blue Paddle Pilsner and 1554 Black.)
So, about that Super Cru...they're talking about a June release. What is the Super Cru? They don't know yet; it's "a riff on the classic Fat Tire that is still in development." Bouckaert spoke to that: “Do we go big and hoppy? Maybe sour? Add fruit? I do not know yet. It will be something memorable and probably it will make us crazy getting there.” So...completely bald by June.
Interesting to compare this to Victory's Headwaters Pale Ale anniversary beer. Super Cru sounds like a one-shot (although, to be fair, so did La Folie when it first came out, so you never know), and something ...a bit *extreme*, while Victory deliberately skirted that with Headwaters, choosing instead to make a beer perhaps more like Fat Tire, a popular, accessible, "shareable" beer that would become a regular year-round offering. Which is better? Does one have to be better? More beers, more choice: that's better.
And more 20th anniversaries for craft brewers: that's great! Congratulations to all at New Belgium, particularly to co-founders Kim Jordan and Jeff Lebesch, brewmaster Bouckaert, and to the current owners of the brewery: everyone who's worked there for at least a year, which is one of the completely awesome things about New Belgium...but only one of them. It's a pretty amazing company. Cheers!