Posts tagged “Pale Ale

Brew Review: Yellowtail Pale Ale

Ballast Point Yellowtail Pale Ale, Big Bottle at 5% ABV

Yet another beer from the West Coast (sorry, this one was in the works before I said more DC beer reviews on the way). This one, Squirrel brought for me on her first trip to D.C. after going by Whole Foods and asking them what were the best beers they had that I would not be able to find in D.C. That employee definitely knows their stuff because this beer is amazing.

The Ballast Point brewery is located down in San Diego and raked in a number of awards including “Small Brewery Champion” and three gold medals at the 2010 World Beer Cup. While the Yellowtail Pale Ale wasn’t one of the gold medal winners, it definitely represents the brewery well.

The beer poured a goldish orange with normal carbonation and a small cream head. As I drank it, the beer left lace down the side.  The beer smells on the citrus side but is nowhere near over-powering — in fact, I may have inadvertently snorted a little bit of it. Purely accident, okay? BACK OFF! I don’t have a beer problem…

The Pale tasted awesome, simply awesome. There was a time in my life when this beer might have been wasted on me, but now I can appreciate a brilliant, well-balanced brew that  leads of with a nice bit of fruitiness/sweetness and ends with a slight touch of bitter hops.

Taste: Good, solid Pale taste. Good citrus and bitterness with a dry finish. It’s not overly hoppy and mellows out as you drink.

Body: good carbonation that emphasizes the hoppy bite when it is first poured. The really nice thing about this beer is that it has the lighter body associated with Pale Ales, which makes it seem perfect for summer drinking sessions.

Drink it.

5% San Diego


Brew Review: New Belgium Mighty Arrow Pale Ale

New Belgium's Mighty Arrow Pale Ale stood no chance against the crappiness of my Droid's camera.

It is becoming a somewhat common theme for me to either review Texas beers or ones that I find on my travels. This one, I found out at a great wine, liquor, and beer store called BevMo. Last time I was in California, Squirrel took me to this place, and I have to admit that I felt like a kid in a candy store.  Seriously, this place is like an adult Toys R Us and reminded me of Specs in Texas, only with beer that I hadn’t seen back at home.  If you have a chance to make it to one of these stores, do it.

Anyways, back to the beer. The New Belgium Mighty Arrow is a pale ale and was named Kim’s (co-founder) dog.  It is made with Cascade, Amarillo and Golding Hops.  I have recently been on a pale ale kick because I really enjoy the little bit of sweetness that comes with the crispness.

Must say it does look pretty good off the pour – a gold color with just a hint of orange and obvious carbonation. It has more bubbles than most beers but not as much as the heavily carbonated brews. The head comes in as nice white/cream but a bit closer to the white side and about 2 cm thick and has lasting power. I haven’t taken a sip out of the beer yet and the head is still like the beer was just poured.

With a whiff, I get a little bit of the sweetness that I expect from a pale ale and the hint of citrus that reminds me that the beer should finish crisp.

The taste is not as sweet as I had expected, but that is not a bad thing at all. The balance of this beer is pretty fantastic. The beer is has a bready, malty finish which is thicker and sweeter than I expected. Those final tastes also help to emphasize the overall body of the beer — a full body with a creamy feel.

It’s a good tasting beer; not my favorite pale ale or one that I will go out of my way to get, but it is a different beer to try when available.

It’s good.

— shintern1909

P.S. Unless I hear a lot of requests otherwise, I will try to get back to area brews next week. It doesn’t really help DC beer drinkers to hear about beers they can’t get.

Brew Review: Port City Essential Pale Ale

Port City Essential Pale Ale; Poured from a growler

Yes, a couple of weeks ago, a few of us went down to Port City to check out the facilities and all their beers.  On that trip, I purchased a growler of their IPA (One that I find to be fantastic with a great balance of hops and malts. Thankfully Port City has gone for taste and finesse over joining in the hop dick measuring contest that is as annoying as Gillette and Schick trying to out blade each other’s razors). This time, I was taking a fellow Texas Longhorn grad down there along with Tonzi’s and Pyzocha’s growlers. Since they wanted the IPA and Wit, I decided to go with the other favorite from the first trip, the Essential Pale Ale. While I still think the IPA is a more meticulously made beer, the Essential Pale Ale is good in its own right, especially when compared to the overly hopped DC Brau Public Ale.*

I poured the reviewed pint two days after it was put into the growler. It pours a lovely gold-orange color with a white head. Currently, there is very little carbonation but that’s due to the age in growler. The beer has a nice floral sweet smell to it, and the sweetness comes through on the taste. You don’t get a lot of bitterness from this pale ale. The body is what one would expect (light-average) and it finishes nice and cleanly.

I’ll still first look for the Monumental IPA (seriously, I think it’s my favorite IPA out there), but I won’t be disappointed with the Essential Pale Ale.

— Shintern

* Hats off to them for opening up a brewery in DC and being at the forefront of the District’s market, but I just haven’t been really impressed by their beer. That said, be sure to try the DC Brau Public Ale, especially if you like hops, because I’ve heard people rave about it. It  just proves everyone has different tastes. I love Shiner Bock, my father’s beer was Miller Lite, and his father drank only Pearl — to each their own.