Posted: April 16th, 2009 | Author: Stacy | Filed under: Beer Reviews, Craft Brew, Pale Ale, Specialty, What's that in your fridge? | Tags: coriander, ginger, Pale Ale | 1 Comment »
Since I’m still on the lookout for good ales brewed with ginger, I had to grab a bottle of Laughing Buddha’s Ginger Pale Ale. It’s brewed with ginger and coriander, so be ready for it to taste a little like a grand cru. The aroma is strongly of savory ginger, some spice, and a hint of malt. It pours clear and the color of copper-tinted honey. It’s not over-carbonated, and has a medium bubbly mouthfeel much like you’d expect from a pale ale. The ginger flavor is definitely present, both up front and in the finish, but isn’t astringent.
This is actually an ideal beer for a warm spring day – full enough to take the chill off you when the wind blows, but light and crisp to compliment the warmth of the sun on your face. I could see it pairing nicely with sushi, or even udon. Something that doesn’t have strong spices that would overwhelm the ginger notes.
It reminds me a lot of the experimental ginger hefeweizen I brewed a couple of months ago, only more carbonated. I hope that my brew gets a bit more bubbly!
Also, it turns out that Laughing Buddha had to change its name to Trade Route Brewing due to a legal dispute. Since the brewery is in Seattle, I’ll have to check it out the next time I go north.
Posted: July 8th, 2008 | Author: Stacy | Filed under: Beer Reviews, Pale Ale, What's that in your fridge? | No Comments »
Finally, a pigskin I can enjoy!
I can’t imagine that anything from “Beer Valley” would be bad, so I bought a bottle of Beer Valley Brewing’s Pigskin Pale Ale
since it’s 90 degrees out and a refreshing beer sounded pretty good and I’d never seen this beer before. I have to admit that I was a little skeptical, since “pigskin” = football, and football = crappy beer in my experience. Maybe just I’m scarred from childhood Seahawks games full of adults spilling Budweiser on me.
Still, I like to support and Oregon brewery, and the price was right. I couldn’t help but notice that, in the bottle, the beer seemed a little uncharacteristically cloudy for a pale ale. On pouring, it looks more like a hazy amber or a kolsch – pale coppery and hazy. Funny, since the brewer’s site claims it’s a pale yellow beer. The head is minimal, but it does retain a little foam over time.
Fresh from the fridge, I notice the floral hops aroma first, but there’s little bitter hops aftertaste. As the beer warms, the floral character mellows and allows the malty flavor to come out. It has a nice velvety bubble to it that makes it rather easy to drink. We had spicy burritos for dinner and the Pigskin pale held up perfectly against the spice and the heat of the day.
I have to say that, surprisingly, this beer was exactly what I wanted today. It’s refreshing, malty but not sweet, hoppy but not bitter or overly floral, substantial without being heavy, and all-around a perfect fit for a summer day. I’ll definitely buy this again and look for it on tap.
Posted: February 27th, 2008 | Author: Stacy | Filed under: Beer Reviews, Craft Brew, Pale Ale, What's that in your fridge? | No Comments »
Who wouldn’t love a coppery beer like this?
I love Kona Brewing’s Pipeline Porter
, so when their Fire Rock Pale Ale
went on an excellent sale ($6.99!) I had to try it. Now, I don’t typically like pale ales. They’re often a bit over-hopped for my taste and leave a bitter flavor in my mouth or they’re a bit metallic in the finish.
Fire Rock Pale Ale has a lovely copper hue that’s best admired in a glass. These days, I’m trying to be really good about pouring all beer into a glass so I can appreciate the color and the aroma, rather than swigging it from a bottle and missing out on part of the beer experience. Seriously, my brush with a near-beerless life has changed my perspective on beer appreciation! This pale ale is clear, crisp, and the color of a delicious wildflower honey. Or, the color of hot lava!
The aroma is sweet and lightly floral, but not a hoppy floral. It’s more the sweetness of wildflower in spring than the herbal aroma of hops. On first tasting, I notice the fine carbonation, spritzy on the tongue. This is no beer soda. The up front flavors are of a pale malt and the tang of hops. Toward the back of my mouth, I taste the warmth of corn (which I know some people don’t like, but I rather enjoy), and rich toasted malt. There’s a lightly bitter hops finish, but just enough to keep the beer from tasting sweet. They’re using some Hood and Cascade hops in this beer, so I’ve got to appreciate the local connection.
What I love about this pale ale is that it’s got some backbone. It’s not wispy and thin, not bitter, but it’s full and lush without being heavy. It really can stand up to barbecue, scalloped potatoes, and lamb. But it also pairs nicely with salads and even Italian food. Versatile!
I also have to say that the Kona Brewing website is just lovely. I see so many horrible, ugly brewery websites, so it’s awesome to see a company that’s getting it right! The style of the site matches what I expect from a Hawaiian brewery, but has class and substance. They’ve clearly paid attention to the details and hired an agency that knows what it’s doing. The site delivers both a fun experience and the information I was seeking, which is distressingly rare for food-related sites. Huzzah for a great website!
This is the kind of beer that makes me think I should relocate to Hawaii for a time, just to try it out. Delicious beer, great weather, friendly people … what more could I want?