Everything you need to know about the most iconic beers in history from grocery staples to cult favorites. This time: New Belgium's Voodoo Ranger, a series of IPAs that have gained huge popularity in a relatively short amount of time.
Since 2017, Voodoo Ranger has been an employee of New Belgium Brewing. Just kidding. Voodoo Ranger's not really a person, and we're pretty sure its over 67,500 Instagram followers and 13,500-plus Twitter followers know that, too. So what exactly is Voodoo Ranger, and why does it have as big of a following as a social media influencer? This is what you should know about one of the most popular range of IPAs in the beer world.
What is Voodoo Ranger?
Voodoo Ranger is not a single beer, rather it's a collection of IPAs. New Belgium, the brewery behind Voodoo Ranger, originally had a beer called Ranger IPA. Dave Knospe, New Belgium's senior brand manager, says that Ranger "had run its course in the market," and its answer was the release of Voodoo Ranger to reenter the IPA category. The series was first released in 2017, and the original Voodoo Ranger lineup included two beers: Voodoo Ranger IPA and Voodoo Ranger Imperial IPA, with Voodoo Ranger Juicy Haze IPA coming out a year later. Since then, the Voodoo Ranger lineup has included around 20 IPAs.
Who makes Voodoo Ranger?
New Belgium, which has locations in Colorado and North Carolina, is the brewery behind the Voodoo Ranger beers. In 1991, co-founders Kim Jordan and Jeff Lebesch started New Belgium following a 1988 bicycling trip throughout Belgium. One of the first beers that the brewery made was Fat Tire, an amber ale that has since become the brewery's flagship beer.
Where can you buy Voodoo Ranger?
You can find Voodoo Ranger almost anywhere throughout the US because New Belgium has nationwide distribution. However, because Voodoo Ranger isn't just one beer, you'll have to use the brewery's beer finder to see if a specific offering is available anywhere near you. New Belgium even has distribution outside the states, with beers going out to Canada, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Sweden and Norway.
Why is Voodoo Ranger so popular?
The beer inside every can of Voodoo Ranger is, without a doubt, delicious, which contributes to every can's popularity. But there's something else about the beers that has less to do with what the beer tastes and more about what's on the outside. Adorned on every can and bottle of Voodoo Ranger is its namesake mascot, the Voodoo Ranger. It's a well-dressed skeleton that Knospe describes as a "sarcastic and mysterious character." Voodoo Ranger truly has its own personality because of its social media profiles. "Our spokescreature is mischievous and funny but has an unapologetically adult tone that resonates really well with our fans," Knospe says. And it's on these platforms that fans of the beer can get the latest news on Voodoo Ranger offerings and even memes from the skeleton itself.
Not only can fans keep up to date with Voodoo Ranger — they can also vote on what the next IPA will be. As part of New Belgium's Vote Voodoo event, people voted on which IPA would see the light of day as part of the brewery's Rotating IPA series. In 2020 (itself a tumultuous election year), fans were able to have a less-serious election in choosing between the Agent 77 IPA and Captain Dynamite IPA to be a part of the Rotating IPA. It's engagement like Vote Voodoo that makes Voodoo Ranger feel less like a beer brand and more like a beer friend.