Wednesday, May 27, 2009
TBG Drinks: Mighty Arrow
Brewed By: New Belgium Brewing
Brewed In: Fort Collins, Colorado
Type: American Pale Ale
What They Say: "Pale Ale provides lots of pleasurable sniffs from Amarillo and Cascade hops with a fetching honey malt base. This is our brewed tribute to 'Arrow', Kim's Aussie/Border Collie mix who ran (literally) New Belgium for 12 years. When she wasn't patrolling the brewery grounds, she was famous for her office visits: She never met a tummy rub she didn't like. Atta girl Arrow."
Website: I covered New Belgium's website in a previous review. I stand behind my four-month-old snark.
Why I Picked It: New Belgium makes Fat Tire beer and OMG I'm like Fat Tire's biggest fan. New Belgium is the brewing equivalent of 1999-2001 Nate Dogg. Back then, I could listen to ol' Nathaniel read from the phone book. He could do no wrong. Neither can New Belgium – uh, for the most part.
Presentation (5): That's actually quite the poignant little label. The literal "arrow" imagery around the "entrance" is engaging, as are the earthy colors used around the edge. Is it enough for me to overlook the implied, rampant health code violations involving a dog running around a brewery? Sure, why not? 5
Originality (5): As usual, we turn to Google. "Pale ale" gets 2.2 million hits, while the narrower "American Pale Ale" checks in with 209,000. My unofficial research indicates this might be previously traveled beer territory. 1
Body (10): The attractive light-copper color poured with a surprising finger-and-a-half head and more lacing than the usual New Belgium brew. There's a moderate amount of carbonation here, which is even more pronounced with Mighty Arrow's generally thin mouthfeel. 7
Taste (10): The ever-present – but, never invasive – bitterness blends well with flavors of overripe citrus and spice. Perhaps a little too hoppy for some; there are definitely some hints of caramel and dried fruits that are quickly tamped down. This one's all kinds of refreshing and an ideal choice for our oppressive 80 degree, 30% humidity San Diego summers. 8
Efficiency (10): Even the casual, occasional beer drinker could quaff three or four of these in the blink of an eye. The relatively low ABV won't sneak up on anyone, unless we're talking about those oversized happy hour pours, though. It'll take some time to do some real damage with this one. 6
Versatility (10): Mighty Arrow is an exceptionally social beer that borrows characteristics from both the "light" and "strong" sides of the fence. Only the most established drinking lightweight or obnoxious beer snob would turn their nose at this. And, if you're looking for a surprisingly phenomenal food pairing, try it with Mrs. Bootleg's fresh tomato mozzarella and basil salad. We'll save you a plate. 9
Grade: 36 (out of 50) – Really good beer.
The above format has been lifted with permission from That Beer Snob Guy.