Posts Tagged pale ale
So, for San Diego Beer Week Day 6 (took it easy with a Ballast Point Pumpkin Ale on Day 5), I ventured back to KnB for their celebration of all things local brewing. They have changed things around a bit since new management took over a few months ago. They expanded the bar and classed it up a little, replacing the dank window into the side of the kitchen it used to be, which I fully supported, and replacing it with full-wall shelving and some fancy tile on the wall (to the right of the bottles in the picture above. Tonight they featured a new startup brewery called 32 North Brewing Company. According to the rep attending tonight’s event, these guys are a real small brewery in Mira Mesa who just started up a few months ago. Their thing is keeping things interesting, both in life and in brewing. The lineup they had at KnB tonight was definitely different, if lacking a little pizzaz. Yeah- I said it. It is probably the only time you will see that word here, but I think it describes the experience accurately. Read on to find out if you agree.
I started with what you might imagine as a heavier beer, but it turned out to be fairly light. 32 North’s Peanut Butter Crunch was a combination (read: mixing, meaning they actually mixed it at the bar) of their Peanut Butter Cup Porter and their Fly By Night Milk Stout. Sounds heavy, right? It ended up being very mild and fairly light. It poured black, with minimal white head that did not last long. There were practically no aromas coming from the glass. I could only smell faint malty sweetness. It tasted very light, with only a slight taste of roasted malts up top and some sweetness. There was very little carbonation and only meager bitterness. Some rich chocolate flavor did come through on the finish, with a hint of peanut butter after. Overall, a very mild and underwhelming beer. I would rate this beer:
Next up, I wanted something with some taste behind it, as KnB had only stouts and porters on offer from 32 North. Given the experience I just had, this didn’t give me much hope for any other dark offerings. Instead, I opted for the Pennant Pale Ale. This one poured a cloudy gold color, with foamy, thin head. It smelled hoppy and surprisingly floral for a pale ale that was not from India (har har…). It tasted light, with a slight sour tinge, followed by the flowers from the hops. Light carbonation did little to distinguish it from its fairly monotone flavor profile. It did have a pretty hoppy aftertaste, which is again surprising, as this one comes in at only 38 IBU.
I also would rate this beer:
Well, not really, but it sounded kind of snazzy. This is a new one for me, as I hadn’t really seen them in stores before. This brew is from Twisted Manzanita Ales, a brewery located in “beautiful” Santee, CA, in eastern San Diego county. These guys do can their beer, but I still prefer bottles, despite the purported advantages of canning. I’m always up for trying something new, so let’s get to it.
The Prospect Pale Ale poured a rich golden color with quite heavy carbonation and very thin head that didn’t really stick around long. It is billed as being “citrusy,” though I found it had strictly floral aromas and literally nothing else. The taste was definitely floral up front, with the bubbles adding a refreshing quality to the whole experience. A bit surprising was the somewhat thick mouthfeel for such a “sessionable” beer. It finished very clean with the ever-present floral notes. There was a somewhat unpleasant stickiness after the swallow, followed by a mysterious sourness.
Some of the characteristics were a bit odd. Overall, I would rate this beer:
Even though it’s only available between January and April, I was able to get my hands on this lovely concoction. Another from Ninkasi, Mosaic is an ale made with a single type of hop. In this case, that happens to be the mosaic hop. Primarily used for aroma, this little goody is said to impart “a complex array of tropical fruit, citrus, berry, herbal, earthy and pine characteristics.” (www.hopunion.com, 2014). But we’ll get to the smelly bit later. First, the pour.
As you can see, it pours the deep clear golden color of a pale ale, with bright white, loose foam at the top. Not much activity in the way of carbonation in this one. The aromas coming from this beer were a bit fruity and there was a hint of pine. I also detected a bit of fresh-cut grass in there, as well. I entered into the tasting with a bit of trepidation. Anyone who has read this blog knows hops and I are rarely on good terms. I must say, though, that I am becoming better able to stomach the good old fashioned IPA a bit more than I used to, so the tide may be turning for me.
On the first sip, I caught the fruit flavors coming through– mostly grapefruit, some orange-like flavors, and maybe a little lemon for good measure. Then came the herbal pine taste. This was not unpleasant and a little surprising. It is always good to keep things interesting. The smooth maltiness this beer offers helped tone that down to a pleasant mildness that followed. That same pine taste did creep through in the aftertaste, though it faded a bit to a pretty mellow finish.
I was pleasantly surprised by this and was left with an overall warm feeling from this beer.
I would rate this beer: