I’d Tap That: Drinkability major factor when it comes to VooDoo Ranger
Glassware: The refreshing hops and semi-sweet malts provide a great drinking experience. These characteristics are only enhanced when the aroma can be fully experienced. The Speigelau IPA glass is the first choice with this IPA but a snifter, nonic pint, or willi becher pub glass will also work wonders.
Description: VooDoo Ranger pours a clear and light golden amber hue with a bright white head that leaves a hefty lacing on the glass. The aroma is filled with notes of tropical and citrus hops with semi-sweet caramel malts. The hop bitterness comes across as sweet but is still showcases a strong selection of hops with bitterness intact. The taste is a hit of tropical and citrus hops up front with notes of papaya, mango, grapefruit and oranges and a backing grassy-hop bitterness.
The smooth caramel malts rush in and leave behind a long, dry and delightfully bitter finish. The medium body and moderate carbonation give VooDoo Ranger a smooth mouthfeel and aids in the easy drinking quality of this beer. VooDoo Ranger is a well-balanced IPA that is focused on drinkability instead of being a hop bomb. This quality makes it an IPA for all craft beer fans to enjoy, even those just getting into craft beer.
Food pairing: The semi-aggressive hops and wonderfully sweet malts make VooDoo Ranger a great choice for pairing with a large selection of dishes. This is a great beer for any backyard cookout. It goes especially well with roasted pork smothered in barbecue sauce. VooDoo Ranger is fantastic with hamburgers piled high with toppings and barbecue chicken as well. The natural sweetness in both the meats and sauce will be enhanced by the malt, and the hops provide a wonderful backing citrus flavor.
Another great pairing with VooDoo Ranger is salmon: A particularly delicious preparation of the dish is lemon-poached salmon as this will enhance both the malts and bring the citrus hops front and center. Dessert is also a viable option, and VooDoo Ranger goes especially well with carrot cake with cream cheese icing; the carbonation is still hefty enough to scrub the palate clean in between bites. This is definitely a beer to experiment with and can find itself at home with nearly any dish.
The Final Word: New Belgium has built a strong following by brewing well-balanced yet flavorful beers, and this skill is on full display with VooDoo Ranger. The IPA style is undoubtedly the most popular among craft beer drinkers. However, it is still a style that breweries can, at times, struggle to find the perfect balance with, and New Belgium has nailed it.
The malts and hops are in perfect harmony together and provide for an incredibly easy-drinking beer. New Belgium is one of the largest craft brewers in the country. Despite their size, though, they still put great effort into brewing enjoyable beers. If you are a craft beer lover but are still searching for that perfect gateway IPA, VooDoo Ranger may be the beer you have been looking for. And, of course, all hop lovers with love this beauty as well.
Derek Warren is a beer fanatic, avid homebrewer and beer historian. Derek can be heard weekly on the Beer Geeks Radio Hour at noon on Sundays on WILK 103.1 FM with past episodes available on iTunes.
Brewer: New Belgium Brewing
Beer: VooDoo Ranger
Style: American IPA