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Is It a Redesign Or a New Beer? Fat Tire Asks ‘Why Not Both?’


Beer has seen higher occasions, however drinkers are consumed with arduous seltzers and RTD cocktails. What’s extra, big beer is losing market share as spirits proceed to dominate. And let’s not even get began on low and no-alcohol choices amid peak Dry January narratives.

Colorado craft brewer New Belgium already has a winner in Voodoo IPA, however their as soon as stately flagship beer Fat Tire Ale has fallen out of favor. According to Good Beer Hunting, the Colorado brewer has seen a nationwide 52% lower in chain retail, and when shit begins going south, it’s usually time to retool.

Though the beer went underneath a refresh in 2019, the brewery enlisted Austin-based studio LAND to assist redesign Fat Tire Ale. But what’s notable about this specific makeover is that it’s for a completely new beer or, if we’re being beneficiant, a tweaked recipe that’s lighter, crisper, and clocking in at a decrease ABV of 5%.

Gone is the cut up pink and blue can with a centralized button that includes their core asset and trademark bicycle. Now, it is a white can and bottle starring an arched emblem that appears like a woman scout badge for constructing a DIY fixed-gear bike. A chonky wordmark ushers within the new, er, redesigned beer with a hippied-out bicycle in entrance of a mountain peak and a pink sundown. 

While one may assume that is to have a good time their Colorado roots, it’s half of a bigger plan from the brewery. The redesign was additionally spurred by attempting to get the eye of a brand new technology of craft beer drinkers, notably these alarmed in regards to the local weather disaster. Back in 2021, the brewery launched the local weather change-inspired beer Torched Earth, a what-if beer of the long run brewed with millet and dandelions that style quite a bit like the fireplace and brimstone people will get if we do nothing a few warming planet. Now, vital can actual property is dedicated to callouts like “alternatively powered” and “low impression.” On the circumstances, they point out that the brewery is carbon impartial (and was one of many first breweries in the US to distribute a carbon impartial beer).

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Also, I prefer it! But I’m undecided it’s honest to name this a correct “redesign,” because it’s a brand new beer taking over the identify of a flagship providing from a flailing however beloved Colorado brewery. I do not even know if there is a comparable case examine from the beer world, however what do I do know? Instead of an amber ale, it seems such as you’re now getting a lighter pale wheat.

So, is it a brand new beer? A redesign? For now, we’ll chalk it as much as a brand new period for a 32-year-old brewery attempting to get its groove again.


Images courtesy of New Belgium Brewing.

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