dude, here's my gig with new belgium brewing company. thus far, in all my experience with new belgium, they have never made a bad beer. everything they make is good on some level. this means that new belgium is a "safe brewery": your money and your tongue are always safe in their hands. however, new belgium has never made a beer that knocked me over. sure, the 2 BELOW fits like warm caramel mittens in the deep nights of winter. sure, MOTHERSHIP WIT explodes with bananas and coriander and lemon drops and orange peels a la bottle swirl. and, sure, while we're at it, a 1554 tucks in neatly with cardigan sweaters and long brainy reads. still, none of these beers bowl me over in a post-orgasmic afterglow. new belgium is a safe brewery. they make good beer. yet, their products remain second tier at best. new belgium beers are like rice krispy treats served at a southern banquet of yellow bodied rum cake and coconut creme pies: they're what you go to when every other tray is empty.
i found MIGHTY ARROW at the one grocery store in bryan, texas with the nappiest beer selection in town. the HEB in bryan might run more boulevard products than anyone else, but you can't get a single bomber of stone or miller high life to save your life. that stinks. and then, suddenly, they have this MIGHTY ARROW. i saw it last week. purchased it on sunday. it was all gone in my fridge by monday afternoon. i simply could not keep this stuff off my gullet.
MIGHTY ARROW is a pale ale, you see. not an IPA. it does not claim to be an IPA, nor does it function like an IPA. instead, MIGHTY ARROW redefines the goals and purposes of the pale ale. MIGHTY ARROW is the new mission statement for pale ales, the revived potency in the neutered tom cat.
at first glance, the beer looks solid. shards of blazing yellow light fracture through the ale's brightly rusted orange hue, allowing a small illuminated white cap to simmer on top of the glass. the aroma speaks citrus fruit, bitter and tart, perhaps a tinge of copper but not too much. this is a fruity beer. a puckering beer. a kiss the boys and make them cry beer. (i'm not gay. not that there's anything wrong with that.) the initial sip screamed copper, roasted pennies and thick biscuity breadlike aftertaste; however, second and third sips flushed out the fruit, the citrus, the floral patterns in the front of the beer, washed on the edges and back of the tongue by the coppery acidic slip. this ale might be a bit more british than some folks (sir scott) would prefer. there was that dull accent of heavy yeast weighing down the back half of the flavors here, but my palate has changed in the past few years: i might be taking quite fondly to the british ales from time to time. not too much - all things in moderation, particularly malts and yeast. the one thing i most fancied in this beer was the way the flavor heightened with subsequent draws, which is precisely why i went through three on sunday and three on monday and tuesday left me pining. bullocks.
new belgium has completely outdone themselves with MIGHTY ARROW. this is an ale to savor, to enjoy, to sip slowly and repeatedly and to not regret when the pack is empty. such a sign means only one thing: buy more!
overall: 9 pinball wizards out of 10.