New Belgium Brewing introduces Seattle to its first regular, full time IPA. Release parties include a free Mudhoney concert.
Educated beer enthusiasts don’t need to be told that New Belgium is one of America’s great craft breweries. The ubiquity of Fat Tire Amber Ale sometimes causes beer aficionados to scratch their heads, but only under-informed craft beer drinkers judge New Belgium by that omnipresent potation alone. As a “left coaster” with an enormous appetite for IBUs, I have always found New Belgium’s game to have just one glaring weakness: their sizable regular lineup does not include an IPA or some other hop-heavy offering. That is about to change.
New Belgium’s Ranger IPA made its debut last August at the Boise Beer Fest; however, here in Washington it will be introduced on February 1st when Brouwer’s Cafe will host a release party.
The only other release party we’ve heard about will take place at Neumos on February 8th, when Mudhoney will play a free show to celebrate the launch of Ranger IPA. Yes, Neumos – the live music joint on Capitol Hill. Yes, Mudhoney – the legendary Seattle grunge rock gurus. New Belgium isn’t being shy about this one. Doors open at 9:00 p.m. All you have to do is get a pint of New Belgium 1554 at the Moe Bar and you’ll get a ticket to the show. For those unfamiliar with the lay of the land at Neumos, there is a separate room where the live music happens. Get into the building, go to the bar and buy a pint of 1554 and they will give you a ticket that gets you into the show. It’s safe to assume that they’ll have the Ranger IPA on tap as well.
New Belgium will offer Ranger IPA in both kegs and bottles. The hop profile includes Simcoe, Cascade and Chinook hops. It weighs in at 7% ABV and 60 IBUs. As we understand it, New Belgium refers to their sales people as rangers. The sales staff has long wished for an IPA, so naming it Ranger IPA seemed appropriate.
If you know any other release events, or if you’ve tried Ranger IPA, please leave a comment and tell us what you know.