When one thinks of New Belgium Brewing Company it’s usually because of Fat Tire. While I enjoy Fat Tire, I don’t find it to be the best beer on the market (at least as far as Amber ales go). However, I do enjoy New Belgium’s seasonal offerings. I was a little disappointed with Hoptober, but 2 Below makes up for that. For me 2 Below, is that winter ale you could continuously stock your fridge with all winter as a great go to beer. Agreed. It doesn’t have the complex flavors that many other winter ales have but it is complex enough to keep you interested. Disagreed. I think it’s more complex and subtle, but that’s just my opinion. Plus once you’ve had several you know what it tastes like and know what to expect so it is a very reliable beer. Doesn’t that apply to any consistently brewed beer?
The body color is a coppery looking amber hue with an off white head. The aroma is florally, slightly spicy (from the hops), and semi sweet. The taste is semi sweet and a hint of floral and a bitter finish. The mouth feel is slightly dry, warming, and yet crisp. A light New Belgium brew. It’s like if you made a light Fat Tire and added some of the hops from Ranger (the floral and spicy parts, not the citrus ones). They are chinook (piney, grapefruit), simcoe (piney), and cascade (floral, citrus). This is a good all around winter ale. The crispness is like a cold day, but the warming sensation is a pleasant way to end that and is like warming yourself next to a fire on that cold day.
It hasn’t quite hit 2 below here, but there have been a few days close (probably near 4 degrees over night). Hopefully we won’t see those temperatures, but most likely they are on the way. If it happens anytime soon at least I have some great beer to help me through it. In case you happen to pick up some 2 Below here is a fun little link to the New Belgium blog about the proper way to pour 2 Below. The next beer up will be a combination of liquor and beer (well more like bourbon aged, but the taste is there).