by Marty Nopper, Tastemaker in Residence
Recently, my travels took me to Mobile, AL., for some high-level management meetings. During the trip, Hurricane Irma thought it best to remind Florida and the East coast, that nature can produce some of the most stunning carnage ever witnessed and potentially wreck-havoc like we have never seen. I pray all those in the country affected in Irma’s path are safely back with their loved ones and starting to rebuild their lives. Living on the East coast, we have had our share of power outages and lives lost.
During my delays, I found it necessary to catch up on some alcohol education and sneak a taste of one of New Belgium’s newest offerings. I know, I know…Marty, this is a canned, commercially available product from a ‘not really’ microbrewery. Say it ain’t so, my brother! Well, it is...I want to be an advocate for those who don’t normally get to espouse the more rare libations that I am fortunate enough to quaff so there has to be some trade off. Remember, I started this blog as the common man’s voice of unreason and poor taste. It’s all good, my brothers (and sisters!-I know who both of you are!). Anyway, someone get that shiny object away from me.
Sliding into a seat at the bar at LoDa Bier Garden on Dauphin Street (my favorite watering hole here), my eye glanced over the 102 drafts on tap. Yes, 102! The place is somewhat busy and it takes me a few minutes to get someone’s attention (by the way, they have about 6 delish burger creations that will enhance the flavor buzz you are about to experience!). A slightly tatted young lady came by to fix a brother up. Medium bodied, she poured a heavy head but it dissipated relatively quickly. This will be me tomorrow morning…back to the beer.
Voodoo Ranger IPA is a deliciously, lightly spiced elixir with a relatively low IBU (50), making it very pleasing to the palate for even the novice purveyor of draughts. My first, strangely cold swig was welcomed and had a slight sweetness that developed into an acceptable, IPA bitterness on the finish. Remember, too much hop make Marty Nopper slop. According to New Belgium, Voodoo has ‘Pine and citrus in the fore, the citrus is comprised of orange and grapefruit. Tropical fruit with lesser grassy and floral geraniol’…alright, I didn’t get the floral aspects of this so much and I certainly don’t know what the hell ‘geraniol’ means, but I know it’s a good brewski. Employing Nugget, Cascade, Simcoe, Chinook, Mosaic, and AmarilloIt's hops, this slightly malt and hop flavored creation is a nice change of pace from some of those unusually hoppy, trippy products (think Hoptical Illusion, Blue Point Brewing Co., NY) and doesn't really feel like you're drinking your dinner. I really dig the logo on the can, too...Skeleton’s with double military helmets...Cool. Though definitely not considered a session ale at 7%, dive in and see what this Fort Collins, CO., based brewery has crafted. You'll be glad you did! P.S. They also make an Imperial Voodoo at 9% and some flavored offerings (Mandarin, Passion Fruit and Atomic Pumpkin Ale, seasonal at 6.4%)…remember this last one when people start ringing your door bell and shouting at you while oddly dressed. Hint Hint.
As mentioned, New Belgium (NB) Brewing is a Fort Collins, CO., brewery that has recently opened up an east coast plant in Asheville, NC. NB produces about 30 different concoctions (you may know them by their flagship beer, Fat Tire) and encompasses the gamut of flavors. Founded in 1988, New Belgium Brewing is the fourth-largest brewer of craft beer in the nation and the eighth-largest brewery in the United States, selling their divine spirits in all 50 states (and D.C., too). Certainly, this bit of background will only heighten your alcohol experience and make you want to try more of what NB has to offer. Hope you enjoy this libation! I have been to Denver twice but never had the ability to get over to that part of the state. If anyone has been and took pictures, send ‘em my way.
Enjoy these suds and drink responsibly!