Denver brewery spoofs Fat Tire with its own Re-Tired Amber Ale


You won’t see many amber ales on menus at craft beer bars these days, and very few people are clamoring for the latest amber when they head to the liquor store.

But the lighter, malty style has been the backbone of the craft-beer industry – especially in Colorado – since the late ‘80s and early ‘90s when ambers were at the height of their popularity. So it was a somewhat undignified ending for one of the most famous ambers when Fort Collins-founded New Belgium Brewing revealed in January that its flagshipo Fat Tire would not longer look or taste the way it had since hitting the market in 1991 and inspiring a million knock-offs.

Related: 8 Colorado-made amber ales to feed your Fat Tire cravings

As a tribute to the Fat Tire, Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project in Denver released its own hoppy amber ale on Wednesday, pointedly called Re-Tired and featuring a similar bicycle on the label, along with the same colors and design elements of the New Belgium beer.

More than 30 years after New Belgium Brewing Co. debuted Fat Tire amber ale, the brewery’s flagship beer got a makeover. (Provided by New Belgium Brewing Co.)

“I grew up in the craft-era boom, going to CSU,” said Crooked Stave operations director Danny Oberle, who attended Colorado State University in Fort Collins with brewery founder Chad Yakobson. “If someone had a keg of Fat Tire at a college party, that was the good stuff.”

After the New Belgium announcement, several larger local breweries, including Dry Dock, Breckenridge and Left Hand, were quick to point out on social media that their longtime amber ales weren’t going anywhere. Crooked Stave hadn’t made an amber though, so Oberle and the staff began talking about brewing one as a small-batch release.

“We were brainstorming, talking about what is hot and what is not,” he said. When the subject of ambers came up, the sales team at the brewery’s sister company, Crooked Stave Artisans, said they felt like it was something they could successfully sell.

So the brewers went to work, crafting a recipe similar to Fat Tire, but not an exact replica.

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