Sunday, April 11, 2010

New Belgium Ranger

New Belgium is the third largest microbrewer behind Sam Adams and Sierra Nevada. Unlike those "giant" micros, New Belgium does not have lower 48 distribution including Ohio. However, we have managed to try nine of their beers. Mike's sister-in-law's older brother works for New Belgium and Mike was able to walk away with some free cases at his brother's wedding. So when Oz was in Chicago a week ago, he noticed New Belgium's first non-Belgian style beer that they've ever produced, Ranger. New Belgium's Ranger is a 6.5% ABV American-style India Pale Ale

When poured, this beer smells of citrus, grapefruit and hops. When Ranger hits the pallete you are reminded of an American Pale Ale with a bit more bite than most APAs. It has a medium finish and the hops linger on the tongue like you'd expect from a good IPA. This beer has more of a bitter hop flavor than most regular IPA's and therefor we don't suggest this as a transitionary beer for a beginner into the style.

New Belgium's Ranger is what a pale ale should taste like. We might be a bit biased since we normally like a bit more bight when we drink an IPA as we are used to drinking their imperial counterparts in the 7.5-11% range. This brew is incredibly solid for what it is and if sitting on our the shelf of a local grocery, it'd battle our wallet with our local favorite, Commodore Perry by Great Lakes.

Oz Scale: 7.4
Mike Scale: 7.2