Although labled a brown ale, the overall style is known as a Flanders Red Ale. They are typically brews that range from red to brown in color. The style often uses a Lactobacillus yeast strain producing a high lactic acid and giving a sour taste, also sometime a Tannic acid producing that lip puckering feeling. Often aged for long periods in oak barrels, aged batches are sometimes mixed with younger ones to balance them out.
Produced by New Belgium Brewing Co, as part of their Lips of Faith line. Starting off in 1989, they have made great strides since then. I’ll let them tell their story: ” As our aspiring young home brewer rides his mountain bike with “fat tires” through European villages famous for beer, New Belgium Brewing Company was but a glimmer in his eye. Or basement. For Jeff Lebesch would return to Fort Collins with a handful of ingredients and an imagination full of recipes. And then there was beer. Jeff’s first two basement-brewed creations? A brown dubbel with earthy undertones named Abbey and a remarkably well-balanced amber he named Fat Tire. To say the rest was history would be to overlook his wife’s involvement. Kim Jordan was New Belgium’s first bottler, sales rep, distributor, marketer and financial planner.” There is much more, but also unique for them is their addition of employee ownership to all employees upon completing one year of employment.
Appearance was a candy apple copper, deep. Minimal carbonation, but produces a light and long lasting Lacing on the glass. Hold it up to the light and I swear it looks like neon sunset shining through.
Aroma had raspberries come to mind, but tart ones at that. Definite malt smell with a faint spice aroma. It smells like tart raspberry soda that got into a fight with some malt. A nice woody flavor creeps in amongst all that sour malt giving it a nice balance.
The malt hits you right away, but soon after that, a sticky tart, sour flavor comes out, almost like a pack of apple sour patch kids mixed it up with the hops and malt on playground after school. Didn’t notice the spice as much, but a slight caramel malt was definitely present, reminding me this was based on a brown ale.
Overall: fantastic. I’ve had Lost Abbey’s Cable Car Wich is a fantastic sour and this is close. Lower in ABV though, about 6%, and went well with my sweet potatoe fries.