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Beer Review #286 Wyld Extra Pale Ale

04-18-03As I have previously mentioned, Uinta Brewing Company is one of my favorite “new” breweries. They are one of the Top 50 Craft Breweries by volume, so I’m not alone in thinking that they make some quality beer. Today’s beer is a pale ale that comes in at just 4% ABV. A sessionable pale ale, wonderful.

Wyld Extra Pale Ale pours a very light orange color. It is slightly hazy and comes with a thin white head. The nose is packed with a strong hop aroma. There is a good amount of pine resin aroma along with a bit of citrus hops. This beer smells very aggressive for a pale ale and very hop forward. The hops are very clean and bright, which is something that I always like to see in a beer. I didn’t get much in the way of sweetness or malt character from the nose.

Unlike the nose, this beer has a nice malt taste up front. A very nice clean hop flavorĀ permeates the malt and gives a good does of pine flavor. Usually I shy away from straight pine in hops, but this pine is softer and more rounded. It’s not a “Christmas tree ale,” but it should how full the pine hop flavor can really be. The hops end on a bit of a grassy note. I’m not sure how this beer manages to combine clean hop flavor with grass, but it works.

I really dig this one. It is wonderfully balanced and tastes like a beer that is much bigger than it is. As I said, this beer is sessionable. Drinkable, check. Sessionable, check. Full of flavor, check. I really could enjoy this beer year round and regularly. I don’t often give beers the re-buy nod, but this one gets it. (more…)

Beer Review #274 New Albion Ale

02-28-02I have a true craft beer for review today. Perhaps THE craft beer, well the first modern one anyway. New Albion Brewing Company opened in 1976 and shutdown in 1982. It was just ahead of it’s time when it came to craft beer in America. Today’s version is brewed by the Boston Beer Company, but it uses the exact recipe from the original brewery. I love seeing things like this happen, it helps carry on a true legacy in our young craft brewing industry.

New Albion Ale pours a pale golden color. There is just a slight hint of some haze in there. A think white head goes along with everything and it eventually fades to just a ring around the edge of the glass. The nose has some slight pine/citrus hops along with a light malt sweetness. You can smell that this beer uses cascade hops. After some quick research I found that this beer only uses cascade hops and American 2-row for the malt. This is referred to as a SMASH beer as it uses a single malt and single hop.

The malt flavor is very light on this one. The cascade hops come in soon after the malt leaves but they are not the same cascade hops that we are used to by today’s standards. They are very mild and do not showcase the bitterness and flavor range that most are used to. They are slightly piney and citrusy but they are not strong at all. They are very muted to my taste and they actually are a bit more grassy then I remember.

This one comes in at 6.0% ABV. It’s a highly drinkable beer and a really cool throwback to what used to be/before I was born. I love seeing how craft beer has evolved over time and this beer really puts things perspective. This isn’t a killer beer by any means and the hopping rate isn’t enough by today’s standards, but its a hommage to the love of craft beer. (more…)

Beer Review #263 Secret Spot Winter Ale

01-22-03We had a nice bit of snow last night here in northern Delaware, and by nice I mean a coating. It’s been a pretty dry winter thus far and I’m not happy about it. Secret Spot Winter Ale boasts a snowboarder on the logo and screams snowy winter. Brewed by Evolution Craft Brewing Company this beer is going to get snow to me. The weather works that way right? No? Crap.

Secret Spot pours a nice orange copper color and has a thin white head. The nose has a slight bit of citrus hops. As I took a deeper breath of the beer I found a lot of malt notes. You have your typical malt flavors along with a subtle toasty and bready odor.

On the first taste I got a really nice malt flavor. There are some light caramels but mainly a standard malt backbone. The hops then come in an provide a really nice citrus flavor. The hops are very clean and don’t bite like traditional hops. They gently mix in with the malt and slowly make themselves more apparent. The transition is very smooth and enjoyable.

For a normal beer I really like this one. It’s drinkable and a bit different. The hop transition is so smooth that it added a new layer of intrigue for me. This beer does not say winter ale to me. It’s no robust in any way and it is not a stick to your ribs kind of beer. As a beer I like it, but as a winter beer it doesn’t measure up. Change up the release time of this one to the spring and I think you have a real winner. (more…)

Beer Review #247 Fall Summit Ale

I have finally gotten rid of my turkey hangover (to be clear, from food, not booze) and I am back to beer reviews. I asked if anyone was having anything special for Thanksgiving on Facebook, but I never answer the question myself. I had lot’s of homebrew along with today’s beer, Peak Organic Brewing Company’s Fall Summit Ale. I really enjoy POBC for their ability to capture a fresh, clean, and crisp hop nose.

Fall Summit Ale pours a nice orange amber color and has a full white head. It looks like a nice fall beer, the color matches the season. The nose has bunches of bright citrus hops. This beer doesn’t smell IPA hoppy, but the clarity shown by the hops is really nice. The hops really fill the nose and push everything else out of the way. In short, it’s wonderful.

There is a bit of malt up front which is followed by a good toasted, nutty malt flavor. The citrus hops do not stay at bay for long and flood in and wash out everything else. Unlike a lot of beers with a flood of hops, this is a nice transition and just leaves you wanting to take another sip.

I really liked this one. I wouldn’t consider it a fall beer as it doesn’t really have anything to do with season, but it is really enjoyable. Peak continues to live up to its name.

Beer Review #237 Responders Ale

16 Mile Brewing Company is becoming on of my favorite local breweries. Sure they don’t turn out the volume or variety of their neighbor Dogfish Head, but they do turn out quality, drinkable beers. The owner of 16 Mile, Chad Campbell recently did an interview with the guys from the Better Beer Authority, check it out here.

Responders Ale pours a clear golden straw color. It has a nice dense white head that does not quickly fade. The nose has a good helping of malt along with a complimentary citrus odor from the hops. There are also some hints of honey mixed in there.

A nice light malt flavors kicks this beer off and is followed by the additional malt notes of honey and bread. The hops come in at the end and provideĀ  a small kick. They scream citrus and do a nice job of balancing out the malt. I still think this beer is a bit malt forward, but there is nothing wrong with that.

This beer comes in at 4.1% so you can easily down a few of these. The beer was designed as a thank you to emergency responders. I really liked this one. It has a fresh quality that can only come from a locally brewed beer. I think this one fits in perfectly into the summer beer category. I wish that I would have tired this earlier so that I could have enjoyed more of them. (more…)