Brew Review: New Belgium Ranger IPA

11 Apr

Brew:  Ranger IPA

Brewed by: New Belgium Brewing Co. (Fort Collins, CO)

Style: India Pale Ale (6.5% ABV)

New Belgium’s “Explore” series peaked many people’s interest. This is probably due in large part to the widespread success of their Fat Tire flagship.  The Ranger almost gets it right.  It looks like a solid India Pale Ale in the glass with a bright and clear appearance.  It has the pleasant, hoppy nose that has become par for the IPA course.

The taste – dare I say the most important part of a beer? – is this brew’s downfall.  It has solid bitterness, but is hollow, leaving the tasty tang searching for something substantial to grab a hold of.   There is no sweetness from the hops that you can find in something like Surly Furious.  Good news: solid hop content. Bad news: that’s about all it has.

Ranger is a refreshing brew – something you could definitely take pleasure in on the patio while grilling – but I think you might be able to enjoy any beer outside while you’re grilling. It’s pretty hard not to.
It reminds me of the equally subpar Rush River Double Bubble. Where that one had a flavor that was uncomfortable this one didn’t really have the substance to take it to the next level.  Best case scenario, Ranger is something that bros just starting to appreciate the nectar of the gods might want to test their training wheels on.

Final Grade: C+

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