May 11th, 2009 beckel
As I have a six-pack of their beer to go through so I thought I should try their most popular over the bar brew next. So here we are with Tommyknocker’s Pick Axe Pale Ale, lets see how it goes (bottled March 17, 2009). The beer pours a very attractive bright hazy orange color that is moderately translucent and appears a darker red (almost burgundy) when away from light. Head is white and about two and a half fingers that last for a few minutes leaving a nice light lacing around the glass. Aroma is full of sweet citrus that is somewhat fruity like candied orange, cherry, apple and even melon as well as some slightly bitter pine like hops and just a whiff of alcohol. If it weren’t for the bitter finish from the first sip I would be inclined to suggest that this beer tastes a bit like candy. Initial flavor is largely of citrus hops, particularly orange with a bit of sweet maltiness presumably from pale malt and a nicely bitter hop finish to balance the flavors. I appreciate how this Pale Ale seems to incorporate more hops than many do but frankly the citrus is a little more dominate than I would prefer and though I enjoy how the malt is used to balance the flavors present as opposed to the star of the show it sometimes it seems a bit flat. The body is this beer is light and the mouthfeel is very clean making this an unquestionably drinkable beer. With a 6.2 % ABV this beer isn’t going to hurt anyone and would be a great stepping stone into hoppier and more flavorful beers than your average Pale Ale. If you enjoy citrus hop flavors and are looking for a Pale Ale that has something a little different to offer this is really a quite good choice. With its drinkablilty it really is no surprise it is a local favorite. Give it a shot and ride your bike.
April 11th, 2009 beckel
Today I have another beer that my kind roommate brought to me, a Pale Ale from Two Brothers Brewing Company. The Bitter End pours an rich translucent amber hue that appears red with less direct light but changes to an orange hue when brought to light. Head is about two fingers and very white in color lasting a few minutes and leaving a small amount of lacing on the glass. Smells of rich somewhat sweet malts with hints of date or cherry and just a little bit of bitterness. Beer Advocate suggests that this beer is an English Bitter and after taking my first sip I am inclined to agree. Tastes strongly of malted barley and an interesting pitted fruit flavor wrapped up by some floral flavors and a nice bitter finish from the hops. The mouthfeel is this beer is relatively smooth if you don’t mind a bit of bitterness and the body is reasonably light. With a 5.2% ABV I would say this is a quality session beer and though it is not quite my style of choice it is a tasty brew that I could easily drink many of, particularly out on the grill as the flavors of this beer would go delightfully with some smoked ribs. If you like the profiles of English Bitters but want a more American approach this is a grand choice. Further if you are a fan of Pale Ales but looking for some more unique malt flavors and a bit more bitterness you won’t be disappointed. Give it a shot and ride your bike.
August 12th, 2008 beckel
Gotta clear out the fridge so here’s to another Tyranena Ale. This time around we have the Stone Tepee Pale Ale coming in at 5.75% ABV. This beer pours a very nice filtered looking copper color that fades from light reds to golden yellows in the light. Head is a good inch and change and fades rather quickly but is a bit more firm than the Three Beaches. Aroma is largely of lightly caramelized malt but slight hop bitterness is notable on the nose. This is a pretty good pale ale, a nice hop bitterness hits the tongue first, then some nice citrus rounded off by some malty sweetness. This is a very drinkable beer with a relatively light mouthfeel. I often find many pale ales boring but this one is rather creative, nothing too complex but certainly full of flavor. Probably wouldn’t buy it often but it’s definitely a beer that anyone can enjoy and down a number easily. If you like a pale ale with some citrus and not too much bitterness but still want a flavorful beer this is a good choice. Give it a shot and ride your bike.
July 21st, 2008 beckel
I have always been curious about the many organic beers popping up as of late and Peak Organic out of Portland, Maine seems to be a prime example of the trend. I have heard some positive things about their beers, so when filling up a mixed six pack I thought I would try the two varieties the store had on hand. This pale ale pours a nice copper color with some red hues and a nice full head. The plentiful head fades rather rapidly. Smells of roasted and perhaps carmelized malts, more like an amber than a pale ale, very pungent. The flavor encompasses a lot of roasted malt and some bitterness in the aftertaste which makes the 5.05% ABV barely notable. Mouthfeel is rather light. As I drink more of this beer I continue to be surprised by its flavor, some more pale malts are detectable but the roasted malt flavor is most prevalent. Overall a very different beer than I was expecting based on its pale ale label but it is also not a bad beer. More of a roasted malty beer but I suppose it is rather pale. I think this is definitely a good beer but I’m not sure how often I would purchase it because of all of the other grand beers out there. If your into the organic concept and want to support a good cause, or just like a roasted malty pale (or amber) beer this one might catch your fancy. I am very curious to see what their amber tastes like now. Give it a shot and ride your bike.
July 20th, 2008 beckel
I have heard nothing but praise about beer from Anchor Brewing so i figured it was high time I gave some a try. Liberty Ale is an American pale ale out of San Fransisco, California clockig in at a pleasant 6% ABV. First brewed in 1975 to celebrate the bicentennial of the famous ride by Paul Revere. This lovely light orange beer has some intense carbonation, careful when pouring. Head is strong but also has some small champaign like bubbles. Smell is nice, somewhat pale but sweet citrus is also present.Tastes Mostly of lightly sweet pale malt, but there is also some nice bitterness. The balance is very nice and the yeast definitely helps makes this a good flavorful beer. Mouthfeel is pretty light. This is a darn good pale ale, flavors range from sweet to bitter to even a bit sour and balance out amazingly. A grand choice on a warm day or if you just prefer less hops but like a good beer with quality ingredients. I will definitely be picking up more Anchor beers. Give it a shot and ride your bike.
July 15th, 2008 beckel
Another great beer with gorgeous art work by Ralph Steadman from the Flying Dog Brewery. Their Classic Pale Ale pours a nice amber hue that presents orange and red colors depending on the light. Head is proper and fades somewhat slowly bearing a slightly off white color, the crystal malt likely aids in this.Â Aroma is smooth sweet and hoppy. The flavor of this beer definately has some pale aspects but it is filled with a lovely hop flavor that is barely bitter at all because of the sweet malt present. The sweet aroma adds delightfully to its overall taste of slightly bitter hops and smooth finish. Mouthfeel is light. This is what I feel an American Pale Ale should be, full flavored and packing a reasonable 5.5% ABV. If you like a pale ale but are looking for something more creative this is a grand choice. Likely an ideal beer to cook with if you would like some beer flavor, but not too much bitterness. Anyone who likes beer should try this one, even if it may be one of Flying Dogs simpler style ales, it is none the less one of their best. Give it a shot and ride your bike.
June 29th, 2008 beckel
For the past few days I have been attending my cousins lovely wedding in Shawnee, Kansas. While there we went to the nearby liquor store and I was pleasantly surprised by their selection. This beer chosen by my stepdad is brewed by North Coast Brewing from California; who in 1996 resurrected the Acme name originally from San Fransisco and continues to brew their Pale Ale and IPA in Fort Bragg, CA. This beer pours a deep hazy apricot color, certainly unfiltered. Smells of pale malt and quite a bit of citrus. Head is modest and white. Flavor is a bit sour but malty. Mouthfeel is light and refreshing. This is a decent drinkable beer, but a little simple and pale for my tastes. I wouldn’t discourage anyone from trying this beer, but it is a bit sour.Â If you like a citrus filled pale ale give it a shot and ride your bike.
June 15th, 2008 beckel
The Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest Fresh Hop Ale is part of Sierra Nevada’s Hemisphere series. It consists of 3 beers that doing creative things with fresh hops. This beer was brewed with fresh hops from New Zealand that were used about one week after being harvested. Pours a beautiful deep amber, it is filtered but still displays a very rich color. Good few inch head is quite light in color. Smells very strongly of hops, a bit bitter with a little hint of sweetness in the end. Not surprising considering its 66 IBU. Flavor is incredibly hop filled, especially for a pale ale and the taste will linger in your mouth for quite some time. It is rather bitter but the mouthfeel is smooth and the malt balances out the flavor decently. At 6.7% this beer is surprisingly nonalcoholic for the strong flavor it portrays, it is obvious the freshness of the hops really has an effect on this beer. I would encourage anyone who enjoys hops to try this beer if for nothing more than to experience the hop profile. It is probably one of the most complex pale ale’s I have ever been able try, though with its price tag I don’t think I would drink it regularly.