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Fat Tire on the East Coast, specifically NYC...

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On the Fat Tire website it says its not being shipped to the east coast. I read in another post that its been spotted in a bodega in the East Village.

So, my question is has anybody seen it on the east coast?

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  1. I haven't seen it. I once heard that they limit their distribution to places that can keep it refrigerated throughout delivery and storage....

    1. You won't find Fat Tire on the East Coast. Chicago is their latest market and that's the farthest east to which they distribute. And, it's only "Chicago" not the 'burbs. Availability has nothing to do with refrigerated trucks, it's their methodical plan for expansion. Before they make a move into any market, they meticulously research the area and plan what type of increased brewing will be necessary to adequately supply the market. They are so committed to quality that they want to be certain that the quality won't suffer with increased production. They also interview many distributors to find the one that fits not only their business plan but also their corporate culture model. Expanding as a craft brewer is much more complicated than just shipping beer! It's a real science.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Mutt

        Just curious, where did you get this info?

        1. re: Darren72

          I'm in the industry and have worked with (NOT FOR) New Belgium for many years.

          1. re: Mutt

            Have you noticed a change in Fat Tire? I remember drinking it in the 1990s, before it was that well known outside of Colorado, and it was one of the best beers I'd ever tasted. Then around the late '90s they started distributing it more widely, and it just didn't taste the same after that. Still good, but nowhere near as unique as I recalled it.

            Come to think of it, I noticed the same thing with Samuel Smith's Pale Ale in the 1980s ... great, unique but hard to find beer that then became more widely available but not nearly as good.

            Then again, maybe its just me. Given your years of working in the industry, curious whether you noticed the same thing, specifically with respect to Fat Tire.

            1. re: djh

              I can't say that I've noticed any really significant change. One thing to keep in mind about craft beers is that hops are a crop and the same hops variety can have slightly different flavors and characteristic from year to year. Perhaps the hops of the early '90s that they used was more intense. I really don't know. Craft Brewers, not necessarily New Belgium, seem to constantly work on their beers so there can be some subtle differences from year to year. I actually prefer New Belgium's 1554 and Blue Paddle more than Fat Tire. Just my taste.

            2. re: Mutt

              Thanks.

              For what it's worth, some friends of mine in Chicago were very disappointed when they first tried it locally. They had drunk it in St. Louis earlier, but found the stuff served in Chicago lacking. Don't remember why.

        2. Interesting. The refrigeration issue was the given explanation as to why they distribute beer
          in Texas but not right across the border in Oklahoma. Oklahoma doesn't allow "strong" beer to be refrigerated for sale, while Texas does. That's probably half of the issue....