East Coast distribution of New Belgium Brewery beers has been long awaited by fans. The Colorado beers will start appearing in Virginia soon, but they've been distributed in North Carolina for a couple of years. I found them to be quite ubiquitous during our recent trip to the Outer Banks. During dinner at the Lucky 12 Tavern in Nags Head, I tried New Belgium Ranger IPA for the first time.
The beer pours a dark amber-orange color with a think white head. The aroma is strong citrus hops, giving a hint of the flavor to come. Sharp, grapefruit citrus goodness dominates the flavor. The bitter flavor lingers as the predominate flavor even though there is some caramel sweetness in the malt that gives a bit of balance. I found this to be a very flavorful beer, one that should prove popular once it hits Virginia shelves and taps. I look forward to that time.
I paired my beer with a tasty fried oyster sandwich. The hoppy IPA worked well with the oysters and the included spicy remoulade sauce.
Lucky 12 Tavern boasts 13 beers on tap and 90 bottled selections. The beer list was well-rounded and featured many craft brews. Colleen even managed to find one of her favorites, Allagash White on draft. We vowed we'd come back again on our next visit to the Outer Banks and explore the beer, and food, menu further.