Showing posts with label Pale Ale. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pale Ale. Show all posts

Mar 8, 2018

Ellison Brewery's Dawn Street Pale Ale

With IPA's being the big dog in the beer world, it's sibling, the standard pale ale, has been neglected and, in some circles, even shunned these days (for example, it was a sad day for us here at Smashin' Transistors when we heard that Founders was going to be no longer be making their dry hopped pale ale as it was one of our favorites and always paired finely with whatever was for dinner.)

Now, I'm not talking smack about IPA's or anything. I dig plenty myself but still, there's nothing like a solid and tasty pale ale. They're flavorful with citrus, pine and maybe even bread and honey nuances but not an overtly sticky hop bomb. They're crisp and refreshing but not some lightweight old guy beer either. And, as I already mentioned, a finely made will compliment but never overshadow any food it is served with.

It seems the grain and yeast thaumaturges at Lansing, Michigan's Ellison Brewery were thinking the same thing when they envisioned Dawn Street Pale Ale. Colored beaming tangerine in color and a sporting a dense and rocky head, we're already off to a great start when this brew is poured into a glass. Eyes closed and giving it a sniff, one may think they have a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice in their hand. Aroma of mango, peach, honey and toast made from homemade bread are noticeable on the nose too.

On first sip, there's a bit of caramel and sweetness. Then a variety of the aforementioned citrus comes into play. The other fruits follow that. The complexities of it all intermingle, giving each one a distinction but being subtle about it. Towards the end, it brings the toast and honey thing out that was noticed in the scent before closing with a slight bitter that then fades into a clean and dry flavor.

That beer booms with all kinds of character and is very memorable. It's not obtrusive about though s whether it's steak, chicken, fish or whatever you may choose for a main course at suppertime or just simply hanging out and knocking back a few brews, this one will not disappoint.
Taste a brighter shade of pale at Ellison Brewing and Spirits.

May 10, 2013

Odd Side Ale Citra Pale Ale

     Out of Grand Haven, Odd Side Ales is another of those Michigan breweries that has had those lucky enough to try their beers singing all kinds of praises. Like all raves of beers from the Mitten State-Yes, there is a bit of bravado and Michigan pride going but, like all Michigan beers that get such hype, what's in the bottle backs it up.
     Pours hazy golden in color. A one finger head is fizzy, melts moderately and leaves a snow drift looking haze behind. The scent smells like a tropical fruit salad. Very crisp & bright and booming with grapefruit, pineapple and mango.  
     Those scents carries through in the flavor as tangy orange peels, drops of lemon and pineapple juice come out all over the citra hops on top of the first few sips. "Quite juicy" is the simplest way I can put it actually as far as a first impression goes. A lighter malt provides a background of cheesecake crust and honey that accent the citrus top end quite well. The ending is slightly oily so it hangs around for a little bit but also keeps it from being super-sticky and giving the sides of the mouth and back of the throat the impression that it has been chewing on grapefruit peels for the last hour. The very end is clean giving the beer a sessionable quality and allowing it to go well with a backyard barbeque or something to hit the spot after mowing the lawn. Some might say I am going out on a limb for saying this but it is one of the most perfect pale ales I have not tried before in a few years.
     From what I have been told Odd Side is bottling select beers in limited qualities, featuring a different one every couple of months. Last time I was in the store I picked this up at it was the getting down to the last case. Needless to say I picked up the rest that was there and keeping my fingers crossed this will see a regular bottling schedule eventually because I could see it becoming a go to brew for many times to come.
http://www.oddsideales.com/

May 11, 2012

Bear Republic XP Pale Ale

     Now it seems that the warm weather is gonna hang around for a bit here in Michigan it's time to start indulging again into lighter, crisper and refreshing beers. No, this does not mean that Smashin' Transistors is gonna start sipping Miller 64 (2.8 abv? Really? Why doesn't one just drink San Pellegrino with a shot of regular Listerine instead?) or some other nonsense though so don't fret.
     This bottle of pale ale from California brewery Bear Republic has been in my fridge for about a week. After a day of hard work of job hunting (Argh, don't even get me started on that what seems to be a handful of empty promises in this area that I have no other choice but to stay in for the time being) it got eyed up, taken to the porch and poured in a glass.
     Slightly hazy rich copper in color with a burst of bubbles rising to the top. Modest half finger eggshell white head that melts fairly fast, leaving a moderate amount of lacing behind. Looks nice. The malt aromas seem pretty predominant with a caramel notes on the nose. That is accented with the scents of freshly bread and a mix of fruits like strawberry and pineapple. Smells good.
     Unfortunately though the flavors don't quite meet the sight and smell presentation. There's bit of malt, a touch of hops but nothing stands out. It just tastes mushed together, lacking anything that gives it any distinction or levels of complexities. Reminds me a bit of a Bass Ale without the gazillion years of history behind it or it's slight bite.
     I really like some of the other beers Bear Republic makes but this one is bland and completely "Meh." It bums me out a little too as my brew budget is almost completely nil due to my current financial situation and I was really looking to this. It's not a drain dumper but nothing I imagine trying again.
http://www.bearrepublic.com/

Feb 9, 2010

Cucapá Chupacabras Pale Ale

Jokes started almost immediately between my friend Josh and when I mentioned I had one of these in the fridge.
"Mexico's award winning craft brewery? You mean the same Mexico who's usual beer notoriety is that of every Young Country & Jimmy Buffet fan favorite Corona?" Then rolling our eyes while saying "Oh Boy, this is sure gonna be special."
It's fun to doubt, talk smack and be pleasantly surprised. We were ready to give the beer a fair shake though cuz you never know.
The color is cloudy and dark almost brown amber. Despite a couple of cracks of how you're never suppose to drink the water in Mexico it looked to be pretty hearty as far as a pale ale is concerned. Wasn't much of a head to speak of and what was there didn't stick for very long but we gave it a pass because, well, some beers just are like that. No big deal ya know.
Our joking started to change from jokes to what we were afraid was going to become a reality. There was absolutely no nose from this beer either. I thought it was just me at first but Josh was giving me the same look. "What the hell" we both said at the same time sniffing the brew again and swirling it around in the glass thinking it need to be agitated a little to bring any aromas forth. "Nope! Still nothing" was both our consensus.
Maybe all the apparent ravings about it come from the flavor we both hoped. No such luck. Not much of anything there and what there was was metallic. Completely bland. We kept thinking it was something akin to a first time home brewer attempting to make like a Labatt Blue Pilsener-style lager but realized half way through it was a pretty lame idea so threw some lawn clipping from the back yard in it to give it some flavor. Yep, as the beer breathes a little bit of flavor comes out but it isn't those of hops or malt-it honestly taste like lawn clippings.
I've drank some pretty bad tasting beers through the years and even now have some higher end raved about brews that I haven't been to crazy about but it's rare that I dump them out half way through due to whatever it is that turns me off. Neither Josh or I got even halfway through our glasses of this before tossing them down the drain. As we all know Chupacabra is the legendary Mexican goat sucker. Now I want to know what is spanish for a really sucky beer? Who are the people raving about this anyway? Young Country & Jimmy Buffet fans? What a waste of time and money trying this was.
http://www.cucapa.com/