I’ve had several Fat Tires lately and frankly they have tasted a little off. Come to think of it, the 1554 Belgian Black Ale and Tripple Belgian Style Ale, also from New Belgium Brewery, have tasted funny as well.
Don’t get me wrong. I think New Belgium is a great brewery. They are one of the big dogs in the craft beer movement that is sweeping the nation and a pioneer in green brewing practices. I have called 1554 my favorite beer, in fact, until recently. Either my palette has changed, which is entirely possible given the fact that I have been trying expand my beer horizons by sampling a lot of different beers lately, or New Belgium’s beer has changed.
I talked to a guy not long ago that offered an explanation for the change in Fat Tire’s flavor. He’s one of those guys that can tell you what hops were used in a beer by the taste and smell. He is a certified beer judge with an educated palette who has contacts in the beer industry, though not at New Belgium. In other words, when it comes to beer, he knows what he’s talking about. His theory about the change in Fat Tire is that, because of the popularity of its flagship beer, New Belgium is basically brewing beyond its capacity. In order to meet the demand for its beer, the boil time has been shortened which has led to an increase in Dimethyl Sulfide in the beer.
So what do you think? Have New Belgium’s brews changed lately or is it just me?
Update: Please see New Belgium’s response kin the comments.