A Hop-Bomb For Fall

7% ABV | 50 IBU'S

As one of the oldest and largest craft breweries in the country, New Belgium has earned a reputation for making really high-quality beers in really innovative ways. But they’re still known around these parts mostly for their flagship beer – Fat Tire. For years people would buy it out of state and bring it home to share with friends. In my brief stint as The World’s Worst Bartender, I can’t tell you how many dozens of people would come in asking for it only to be told it wasn’t available in Mississippi. I guess every generation has something like that.  

But New Belgium is way more than just Fat Tire. These days, the beer of theirs that I drink the most is Voodoo Ranger IPA. You know, there was a time in Mississippi, not that long ago, that you simply could not legally buy and/or drink an Indian Pale Ale. Our antiquated laws simply forbade that type of beer.  I can recall the first time I ever tried one – I hated it! It took a while to get past the idea that beer wasn’t supposed to just be pale, yellow and fizzy.  That it could have, well, flavor. And lots of it. Thankfully these days we have plenty of them out there.  

Voodoo Ranger clocks in at 7 percent alcohol, which is middle of the road for IPAs, but more than typical light lagers. That higher alcohol is a result of the fact that in order to make an IPA, you use a lot of hops. And in order to balance that extra hop bitterness, you need to use a lot more grain, which provides the sweetness in beer. And more grain means more fermentable sugar – which means the end result has more alcohol.  Fortunately, the beer carries it perfectly.  Fruity aromas practically burst in your mouth, and there’s that classic tropical flavor that comes from the big hop additions in an IPA.  

For those who want even more hoppy goodness, New Belgium offers an Imperial version of Voodoo Ranger. It’s everything that makes Voodoo Ranger great – just more of it. More grain, more hops, and yes, more alcohol. You can also find the “Juicy Haze” version of Voodoo Ranger around these parts and I think it’s a new favorite of mine. Imagine the already delicious Voodoo Ranger, but fruitier.  

I’m just glad that we can get all these wonderful IPAs locally these days. No more midnight bootleg trips (allegedly) for me. Voodoo Ranger is already in my fridge.  


Butch Bailey is a 15-year resident of the Pine Belt. He is a forester with two degrees from Mississippi State. Husband to Toni, father to Liam, and founder of Raise Your Pints.Promotional consideration for the Signature Sips is provided by Stokes Distributing, by which Voodoo Ranger is exclusively distributed.