Billy’s Sports Grill brings home New Belgium brews!

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson

The wildly popular Fat Tire is here in Birmingham! Both Billy’s Sports Grill locations, English Village and Overton, have these brews on tap and by the bottle. And at Billy’s English Village you can take it—or any other of their home draft beers—home in 32, 64, or 128 ounce bottles.

New Belgium Brewing offers serious brews for year round and seasonal sipping with whimsical names and labels. Their story began in 1989, when electrical engineer and home brewer, Jeff Lebesch rode his mountain bike with "fat tires" through European villages famous for beer. He returned to Fort Collins and created two beers including “Fat Tire.” Soon thereafter his wife, Kim Jordan—a social worker at the time—engaged her artist-neighbor, Anne Fitch as the label artist. And the first Belgian-style beers brewed in the United States were officially for sale. Jordan was also New Belgium's first bottler, sales rep, distributor, marketer and financial planner. And today Jordan is the CEO. Belgian Brewmaster, Peter Bouckaert is in charge of the brewing. The company is the third largest craft brewer in the U.S. with a second brewery in Asheville, North Carolina. Beyond beer New Belgium is also respected for its employee ownership, open book management, and its environmental policies.  

Billy’s selection of New Belgium Brewing Company brews also includes Ranger IPA, Spring Blonde, and Snapshot. Fat Tire Amber Ale is medium in body with an effervescent mouthfeel. This beer offers notes of biscuit, caramel fennel and green apple, and balances toasty malt flavors with hoppy freshness. In addition to Billy’s, can also try Fat Tire locally at 26, Slice Stone Pizza and Brew, and The J. Clyde, among other restaurants and for sale at Piggly Wiggly. Ranger IPA is medium in body, has a light veil with notes of citrus and floral with a bitter finish.  Spring Blonde pairs well with warmer weather. It is medium in body, coppery gold in color with white foam and lacing. It offers notes of fresh bread, black pepper, cloves, caramel and a hint of fruit with a malty sweet flavor and bitter, dry finish. Snapshot is an unfiltered wheat beer. It is a hazy brew that is light to medium in body, pale straw in color, has a rich, snappy tartness and notes of lemon and floral with a large foamy top.  

Published, B-Metro magazine, March 1, 2014, Sip column, Favorite