New Belgium Ranger
Sometimes when I get tired and hungry, I get crabby. Sometimes, you have “one of those days,” and it’s during times like these where it’s a little easier to make me less patient than I normally am. Take the raggedness that was today, and add a grumpy man yelling at me for putting too much sand on the shuffleboard table (which I did no such thing), who also happened to be in a terrible need for a good, hot, long shower. I was less than pleased. Granted, he was a nice enough fellow (once he started winning), but he was still enough to irk me in my less than perfect state.
Now, when there is little respite from this dilemma, there are a few options. One of which, and the one I chose, was to pick an equally unhappy beer. I didn’t want a beer to cheer me up. I didn’t want a beer to make me happy. I wanted a beer that shared in my bitter experience. I went with the New Belgium Ranger India Pale Ale.
IPAs are bitter. More bitter than some of the bitterest beer you can find, even more hoppy and bitter than the darkest of dark beers, yet they look innocent and smooth. It’s all a big hoax.
The Ranger has a nice transparent reddish brown color and a cheerful, white head. It smells very hoppy, but it isn’t overpowering or very strong. It smells like hops, and that’s about it. With one sip, however, comes the bite. The bitterness of the beer is pretty powerful, but underneath it lies tones of clovers, earth, and spices, although it takes a few drinks to get used to the strength.
And sometimes when you are having a long, rough day, you need a little bitterness to join in your struggle, but the lighter undertones give you hope for the next sip, just like there’s another sunrise. If you are feeling up for a challenge if you are a new beer drinker or want to spice up your beer pallet, check out the Ranger, as it is a surprising smooth and interesting IPA.