18
Feb
10

beer review: new belgium ranger (ipa)

I was pretty whiny last week; I’m sorry.  There is no excuse.  I sort of used this blog to whine, instead of inflicting it (myself) on my friends and family.  In addition to nobody actually having to deal with it (me), blog form also eliminated my annoying hacking and germs.  The option to Alt-F4 or x-out a whiner is pretty awesome.  But!  Today is about beer.  Beer > Whining

I like beer; beer is great.  I’m a big fan of craft beer.  It’s part of my contribution to America: I’m buying American so Americans work and I’m supporting small(er) businesses.  Sometimes I support Canada too, but that’s good neighbor policy and the route Alaskan Ale travels.  (Juneau where they brew Alaskan Ale? OR Juneau, where they brew Alaskan Ale.  This might only be funny when spoken or it might even not actually be funny…)

I recently had the opportunity to attend a New Belgium Brewery tasting.  New Belgium is in my top five breweries.  While I am not exactly* a fancy beer connoisseur, I am learning what I like, why I like it, and how to articulate that. 

New Belgium recently released an IPA, Ranger.  It is pretty good.  It’s a bit hoppier and sharper than I normally drink, but the taste didn’t linger in the negative (to me) way that some IPAs do and within its sharpness, it was still pretty rounded.  The first thing I noticed was the citrus, which is grapefruity.  I like grapefruit as a citrus in beer.  It always makes me think of summer, which is when I’d prefer to drink this one.  It’s a lot sharper than Three Floyd’s Gumballhead, which I recently tried and also was struck by its notes of grapefruit.  Struck like a hammer; they were that subtle.  Ranger also has a bit of pine in it, which reminds me of why I like New Belgium so much: in addition to enjoying their products, they have high standards of social and environmental responsibility.  If beers had personalities, this one would be outdoorsy, open, and slightly caustic, but in a fun way.  The “right kind of asshole” hiking buddy, if you would. 

I haven’t tried it on tap yet, but my general experience with New Belgium is that their beer tastes better out of a bottle.  I also enjoy holding a bottle of beer.  Finally, it did not hurt that I pretty much took home a goody bag from the tasting.  Sometimes I am easily won over, but this is a beer worth trying. 

*By which I mean “not at all”

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