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New Belgium Draught Beer Launch Party at IOTA

by ARLnow.com September 21, 2011 at 1:08 pm 3,833 39 Comments

Beer lovers will gather at IOTA Club and Cafe (2832 Wilson Blvd) in Clarendon tonight for the official Arlington launch of draught beers from New Belgium Brewing of Fort Collins, Colo.

The launch party, which is being held from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m., will feature brewery representatives and five New Belgium beer varieties on tap. Among the planned draught offerings: the brewery’s popular Fat Tire Amber Ale, the Hoptober Golden Ale, 1554 Enlightened Black Ale, Ranger Indian Pale Ale and Clutch Dark Sour Ale. Numerous New Belgium bottled varieties will also be offered.

Up until very recently, New Belgium beers were not available in the D.C. area. Tonight’s event will celebrate the arrival of New Belgium to D.C. and Arlington. Admission is free, but attendees must be 21 or over.

New Belgium fans will be able to buy beer for consumption on or off premises. Draught beer can be brought home in IOTA’s “Clarendon Growlers,” which are available for purchase.

In addition to the launch party, IOTA is hosting a number of musical performances tonight, including blues-rocker Jason Ager and the usual Wednesday open mic night.

  • WestoverAndOver

    Fat Tire is the most overrated beer on the planet.

    • MC 703

      I think the hype was driven by the limited distribution. I first had it in Tucson a few years ago and while it’s not the greatest beer in the whole wide world, I am very glad that it is now available in DC.

      • WestoverAndOver

        I think your theory about what drives the hype is spot on and respect your choice to enjoy it at home now. My issue is that the hype does not line up with the taste of the beer. Yuengling Lager is another beer which falls into this category, in my opinion. I drank a ton of Yuengling Lager in college in PA and really don’t understand the hype. I think it is nostalgia. I avoid it like the plague now.

        • CW

          I do think it’s funny that some people consider Yuengling to be an upscale beer, given that it’s been the swill of the Pennsylvania working man for generations. That said, I think it’s still a pretty darn versatile beer. There are very few beers I can drink on just about any occasion – Yuengling is one of them. It’s neutral enough to go with anything, but has at least some flavor to it.

          • Lou

            I have never heard anyone hype Yuengling as anything other than a minor upgrade from Bud. Nothing wrong with that, it is a good all-day-drinker.

          • CW

            It’s mostly in the younger circles to whom Yuengling is a newer thing and where they don’t know its history. It wasn’t really distributed outside of PA even 10 years ago.

          • part of the younger circles…

            In fairness to “us” in said circles… I don’t know that any of my friends have ever gone to a bar and been like “oh man, you have to try a Yuengling” like it’s anything special… BUT typically it’s not terribly expensive, it doesn’t taste like dirty water (like most cheaper beers), and it seems to be something that is generally pleasing to people who like different types of beer or don’t have a wide taste palette for beer (girls who only drink “light” beer because they don’t like the taste of others and guys who drink “real” beer can usually agree on Yuengling).

            Although most of my friends are satisfied with Yuengling or have it stocked in their fridge as a cheap beverage to offer guests (while we’re paying Arlington rents on entry-level salaries) does not mean it’s some “craze” amoung us. It’s just practical.

            And this one is less general because I’ve never tested my friend’s Yuengling trivia knowledge, but the folks I’m closest to are aware that it’s definitely “local” and even in other parts of VA at or south of Richmond it can be hard to find… though we don’t search for it, we settle on something else we like and can afford. 😉

            Not mad, just fairly defending the younger circles. haha!

          • drax

            It’s like PBR – it’s ironic.

            And “upscale” is a word more suited to style than taste. Any beer that tastes good is good, and any that tastes bad is bad.

        • MC 703

          For a light beer the Yuengling Light has more taste than the standard domestic light beer.

          The Yuengling Black and Tan is a great value. Malty and robust. And 3 or 4 dollars cheaper per six-pack than any other black and tan on the shelf.

          I’m kinda Yuengling Lagered out.

      • GreaterClarendon

        I’ve been buying the 22 oz bottles of Fat Tire at Safeway for the last 2 weeks — I’ve got to say the flavor is very disappointing – it is almost there, but not quite Hoppy enough for my tastes. Give me a Raging Bitch, Lagunitas IPA, Dogfish Head or aged Sam Adams Imperial White over Fat Tire any time..

        • South Arlington

          Fat Tire isn’t meant to be too hoppy, it’s meant to be malty. Give the Ranger IPA a try.

          • arlcyclist

            I had their Hoptober yesterday and found the hoppiness to be lacking when compared to something like a Raging Bitch. Still happy to see Fat Tire on the shelves and on draught.

          • FrenchyB

            Good call – Ranger ain’t lacking in hops.

        • MB

          You’ll enjoy the Ranger, then. Check it out.

  • MC 703

    Man too bad I have softball otherwise I would be there.

  • ArlGirl

    They (New Belgium) have a lot of other beers too which aren’t too shabby. (Try their Hoptober) … but seems a bit late for a Launch Party since we’ve been able to buy it at the Giant and Westover Market since August….

    • CW

      Haven’t they already had a dozen or so launch parties in the area? There was one a 3, with a pig roast, like 3 or 4 weeks ago…

    • WestoverAndOver

      My comment was strictly related to Fat Tire, and yes, I do plan to give NB’s other beers a fair shake. At Westover Market!!!

      • ArlGirl

        Best. Beer. Selection. Ever. 🙂

    • Beeeeeer

      They launched bottled only last month. Draft distribution just this week. Yay! I love the stuff. Especially the sour Ales (the Kick – especially). Ranger is a damn fine IPA too. Fat Tire is great for what it is – an easy drinking Belgian style amber. not supposed to blow your socks off with hops and alcohol.

      • Aaron

        Thank you for the clarification!! I bought a case of Ranger for my personal hurricane preparedness kit just before Irene “hit” us in August and can’t wait for the next excuse to come along soon 🙂

  • MC 703

    Since I can’t make the Iota party, does this mean I am authorized to pick up a sixer of Hoptober on my way home and pair it with the new Modern Family?

    • ArlGirl

      If you can find a sixer … I think they still only come in the 22-oz single bottles … so I suppose you could get six of those and have quite an eventful evening at home.

      • Larchmont

        You can buy a sixer of growlers as it now comes in draft, and 22-oz bottles – hence Iota’s launch party.

      • MC 703

        And quite an uneventful day on my couch tomorrow.

  • I’ll stick to my Iron City.

    • MC 703

      Had it at PSU when visiting friends but have not seen it down here.

      Ever find it down this way?

      • South Arlington

        If you stick a glass into Four Mile Run, it should come out pretty close to how Iron City beer tastes.

      • Try Total Beverage…or Total Wine now I guess. I bought some at the Chantilly store once. I know someone who regularly brings cases back from PA so I get my fix.

        • V Dizzle

          Had some IC for the first time at a Pirates game this season… Really? It tasted like I threw up Coors lite… not that I’ve tasted that before.

  • YTK

    Are they giving out Free samples????

  • Burger

    I’ve seen almost all the other NB’s products but haven’t seen
    the 1554 Enlightened Black Ale – very close to a BIPA’s and are probably some of the best beers out there. Stone’s Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA might be the best beer out there.

    • Aaron

      Heavy Seas Black Cannon is a lot easier to find around here than SSR and is almost as good.

      • Burger

        Thanks for the info. I’ll have to try it.

    • BlueSkies

      Agreed! I love the 1554 – have been drinking it on trips to Colorado for years. Tried the Kick and Clutch last night at ChurchKey’s launch party and liked those, too. Their Sunshine Wheat (not here yet) is also great. Bottom line – New Belgium is more than just Fat Tire!

  • charlie

    fat tire is pretty darn good.
    you can get pints of it at some Safeway stores.
    chill really good.
    oh wait, any beer is good then.
    thank you IOTA.
    If i didn’t have a test to study for, i’d be there.

  • Cyrus


  • Tyrone to the Maxx

    They need to start selling Labatt Blue in larger quantities


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