I’m not a “get hammered in the airport” kind of guy, nor am I someone who enjoys drinking on airplanes. I think I had a tiny bottle of Beefeater on a plane once in my twenties, and that was it. Something about being in motion on a plane while you’ve got a buzz-on going – totally unappealing. Anyway, that’s my time to read my backed-up magazine and non-fiction book collection, and I simply don't know how to "multitask" – you know, drinking and reading. The two don’t work well together for me. All that said, I had about 90 minutes to kill in Denver’s airport a couple of weeks ago, and I started getting excited about finding some locals-only beer to try, maybe something from GREAT DIVIDE, FORT COLLINS or some weird NEW BELGIUM thing. Airport brewpubs are the rage these days, and I’ll admit to having some very enjoyable GORDON BIERSCH moments in LA’s airport the past couple years.
I wasn’t exactly ready to go all-out for that beer, though, and settled on a NEW BELGIUM 2 BELOW winter ale at some nameless airport pub, one not operated by New Belgium themselves. We’ve had 2 BELOW before and liked it, so let’s see how it is this year. It fares well. The yeast profile in this one gives it a nice light spice and good solid malty taste, despite it being a somewhat thin, yellow/orange ale. That “Christmas taste” we love so much here is present in the aftertaste, and it’s nice. My notes also say “hops are present”. Well, that’s good to know. 2 BELOW is akin to what I’d imagine a “Belgian amber” might taste like, with a little less (but not too much less) character than that might imply. I’d happily drink one of these again. 7/10.