As if the eight days of beer-overload that were D.C. Beer Week wasn’t enough, there’s another beer holiday today as Fat Tire, the popular ale from Colorado’s New Belgium Brewery, officially makes its debut in D.C., Maryland and Virginia, along with a half-dozen other New Belgium beers.
Now, you’re not going to see Fat Tire on tap at your favorite tavern yet -- the beers will only be available in 22-ounce bomber bottles at first, with six-packs arriving in a month or two, and drafts later this year, according to Premium Distributors, who are New Belgium’s representatives in the D.C. market.
New Belgium will have its beers -- including Ranger IPA, the seasonal Hoptober (an ale, not an Oktoberfest-style beer), Trippel, the new pumpkin-and-cranberry Kick and the sour Clutch, which is named after the Maryland metal band -- in many stores today, ranging from Whole Foods on P Street to D’Vine’s in Columbia Heights and the Westover Market in Arlington.
Naturally, some local bars are taking advantage of the arrival to throw a party. ChurchKey and the Alexandria branch of Rustico will have seven New Belgium beers available for tasting in both 4-ounce “taster” pours and full 22-ounce bottles. (ChurchKey opens at 4 p.m.; tasting gets underway in Alexandria at 6.)
You’ll have to wait a few days to try New Belgium beers at R.F.D. Washington — its shipment arrives on Wednesday — but they’re making it worth your while, with 22-ounce bottles selling for $7 from 3 p.m. until close.
Both Meridian Pint and Pizzeria Paradiso plan to start selling a selection of New Belgium products tomorrow, but Fat Tire fans might not find their favorite at Paradiso: Beer manager Greg Jasgur says he’s “not really into Fat Tire,” but he’ll definitely have the Ranger IPA.
(One last note, in the interest of fairness: the Black Squirrel has been selling New Belgium products, including Fat Tire, for most of the summer. The beers are available in North Carolina, so the owners have been ferrying bottles from the Tar Heel state to their Adams Morgan bar.)