Category Archives: Pale Ales

Alesmith Brewing Co ‘Orange X’ American Pale Ale

Rating:

24296584_779020592282088_3593987641611259263_n“Orange X is a fresh new take on our classic extra Pale Ale. We combined the crisp, light balance and generous hop profile of X – Extra Pale Ale with the bright, juicy citrus character of oranges as a tasting room exclusive here in San Diego. The positive response was so overwhelming that we decided to trust in our fans by putting it into cans. Orange X for the people!”

Served in a shaker. It pours a somewhat hazy golden amber hue with a thumb of foamy and well retained head perched on top. It’s working a nice webbed lace as it subsides.
The aroma is incredibly juicy, very citrusy and summery. The fruity sweetness is certainly more artificial than fresh, reminds us of these blood orange-flavoured sparkling sodas we’re keen on. Kind of has this Fanta and Sunkist accent to it as well. Also getting hints of tang, citrus rind and a touch of pine. Nothing overly exciting happening there.
We’d have to say this orange soft drink flavour is displayed much better on the palate. Very sugary sweet and citrusy with a kind of tangy edge. Soft orange blossom florals coming through the middle with a somewhat biscuity malt developing late. A gentle citrus peel bitterness then rolls in to a tangy, piney and slightly peppery finish.
The texture is nice and light, sparkling and vibrant. Mild-moderate in weight with an approachable 24 IBU. Highly crush-able!
Not totally overwhelming but it’s a nice seesional pale ale on this warm late Spring arvo….would be even more sessional in Summer! It’s not a bad beer by any means it’s just lacking a bit of pizzazz. We’ve had better from Alesmith.

Two Hands Brewing ‘Piper XPA’

Rating:

imageTwo Heads is located on Piper Street Bathurst NSW. Nick lived on this street and won the first ever home brew competition – this hoppy beer sitting between a pale and a IPA is the result of his collab with this brewery.

Poured into a shaker glass we see an IPA looking colour – burnt orange which is hazy with some carbonation seen. Head disappears quickly leaving just a rim on the glass. Aroma is Devine. Nice caramel malts, with juicy pine and mandarin. There are tropical aromas of sweet mango, some passion fruit, and stone fruits like apricot and some peach. Very impressive. First sip is even better. Bitterness is very restrained on the palate and just glides down with minimal carbonation. More flavours of caramels, pine, peach, mandarin. It actually reminds us of a Balter IPA in a way. We notice 6.4% Alc vol and think wow. Hard to detect. The more we drink we just love the piney dry finish and the fruity, spicy, hoppy mild to moderate body that has a nice malty finish on the palate. Very smooth and easy to drink. There is some lacing on the glass. We feel this is certainly in the category of an IPA. Nice use of hops with a judicious bitterness. A touch more bitterness and this would easily rival the top shelf around. We like what we see here. Tasty drop.

Mornington Peninsula/Bucket Boys Extra Pale Ale

Rating:

imageThere is a bunch of rambling jibberish on the side of the can about X this and XX that. Basically from what we can gather it’s an obvious collaboration between the above, and this is a pale ale..with some extra.

Poured into a shaker glass we see a cloudy straw/dark yellow brew that’s teeming with carbonation. There is a nice big 15mm cloudy white head that retains beautifully and basically doesn’t budge. It almost looks over carbonated but we can’t see a date anywhere. Aromas of cereal malts, bready dough/yeast, light caramels, citrus like lemon and some pine. Faint tropical notes here also. The flavour is tasty. It’s smooth on the palate, with decent bitterness for a pale ale. Nic drying effect. Carbonation sizzles away on the tongue. We get more flavours of citrus, grape/wine like hops now coming through, with more doughy yeast, and some pine. Good length on the palate. Body is medium and very do-able. We note Alc vol of 5.6% and it certainly is much stronger than say a Balter XPA. We note plenty of lacing down the glass. We get right at the end a bit of spice on the tonsils. Overall this is a tasty drop. We get a mixture of classic pine/citrus and American style mild tropical hops mixed with almost sauvin hops. We take umbrage though with this XPA category. Where does it end? Is it simply a stronger brewed pale ale or a lighter IPA. Anyhoo, tasty and refreshing.

Bacchus Brewing Co ‘Mini Fruits’ NE Pale Ale

Rating:

22730239_763820350468779_7790004537971138194_n “The New England style of pale ale is brewed with low bitterness but still uses a huge amount of hops. Varieties used are added late in the brewing process to promote a tropical, juicy sweetness with out bitterness. The beers are generally hazy from proteins & yeast accentuating the full & creamy mouth feel.”

Served in a shaker. We kept most of the settled yeast in the bottle so this NE pale ale pours a reasonably clear amber colour with a big and fizzy three finger head. It settles to a fine overlay that laced well.
We’re getting a lovely blend of tropical and citrus fruits on the nose – kind of has this fruit salad quality to it. Lots of passion fruit, pineapple and orange with subtle piney notes cutting through. Just a light pale malt at the base that adds a bit of balance.
It hits the taste buds like a good IPA would….fruit-forward, punchy and citric bitter which mellows a little and reveals the subtle grainy malt. This grapefruit acidity carries through the mid and rolls in to a piney and somewhat citrusy finish that unveils a hint of that warming 6.1% ABV in the tail.
Well rounded and pleasant in the mouth. The bitterness is well behaved and the co2 is nice and lively. Mild-medium body.
It wasn’t until we popped the cap that we realised it was a New England pale ale, as opposed to its hugely popular bigger brother (NEIPA). Thing is it drinks with just as much vigour anyway! Very tidy. Another solid offering from Bacchus.

Omnipollo/Buxton Original Ice Cream Pale Ale

Rating:

22089861_754645324719615_6641528912010522053_n“The original ice cream beer from Buxton & Omnipollo. This pale ale is brewed using oats, wheat & lactose to give it a full, rich texture. It is then loaded up with fresh vanilla pods to create this truly unique beer.”

Served in a shaker. It pours out a hazy orange hue which sports a thumb of loosely held foam over the top. The head recedes to a film and weaves a healthy lace down the glass.
Not really a great deal of ice cream for an ‘ice cream pale ale’. Sure, it’s creamy with vanilla overtones but it’s the slightly tropical hops that we pick up the most initially. Lots of light and semi sweet florals, hints of caramel, oats and a touch of orange blossom. Starting to get more of the lactose and vanilla ice cream as it warms.
Oh yeah, the flavour turns it up on the ice cream component – super creamy, loads of vanilla bean and creamy lactose. Again we taste a subtle floral hop with hints of light orange citrus and a soft sweet malt structure. It signs off with an assertive hop bitterness and a lingering taste of vanilla bean and cream in the tail.
Soft creamy texture with a firm bitterness developing late. Medium body and co2. Well hidden ABV also (5.6%).
Definitely improved once it had about half an hour out of the fridge. Those creamy vanilla ice cream flavors and aromas really benefit from it. Pretty cool novelty but one is probably enough. Are we blown away? Not really. Looking forward to their darker beers TBH!

Six Strings Brewing Co TPA – Tropical Pale Ale

Rating:

imageThis tropical pale ale is decidedly hoppy and full of tropical fruits like passion fruit and pineapple. Mellow malt flavours and smooth finish evoke chilled out summer days

Poured into a shaker glass we see a hazy hay -like/light golden colour with a bubbly 10-15mm white head that retains really well. Lots of lacing on the glass. Plenty of CO2 here. Aromas of light caramel malt, bready dough yeasts, some passion fruit and pineapple. First sip yields flavours reminiscent of Stone & Wood’s Pacific ale. Soft malt, wheat, light caramels, subdued passionfruit and pineapple. It’s smooth on the palate and leaves some bitterness on the back-palate that lingers. Slightly drying. We note an IBU of 15 and thought that was quite low. It’s light in body and sitting at 4.2% Alc vol we see why. Carbonation is actually mild in the mouth when comparing to the pour. It all just glides effortlessly down the gullet so your ready for the next sip.  We notice virtually no lacing down the sides of the glass. As we near the end we haven’t noticed any change in flavour compared to the start. We are a touch disappointed with the tropical hoppyness. If your going to call it a tropical pale ale, make it count. Im sure some more passionfruit/pineapple/lychee flavour could have been summonsed in the brewing process. You could easily smash a 6 pack of these on a warm day though. Meh.

Capital Brewing ‘Trail’ Pale Ale

Rating:

21463126_748794601971354_2260155540536000091_n“INSPIRED BY OUR DAYS HIKING IN THE HILLS OF THE CAPITAL REGION AND GETTING A GOOD DOSE OF MOTHER NATURE, TRAIL PALE ALE IS FRESH, JUICY AND SESSIONABLE. WITH A FLORAL AROMA, SMOOTH HOP BITTERNESS AND WELL BALANCED MALT PROFILE, IT FINISHES WITH A BRIGHT GOLDEN CLOUDY APPEARANCE. BEST ENJOYED OUTDOORS OR IN.”

Served in a shaker. Displaying a bold amber hue with two fingers of well retained foam perched on top. The head holds together well and works a healthy lace as it ebbs.
The nose is quite floral and piney with a hefty caramel sweetness. Subtle hints of forest berries, blackcurrant and blood orange get right in amongst those bready malt characters. Some nice aromas with good overall balance it it seems a tad restrained.
The palate offers a bit more than the nose. It’s certainly full-flavoured with a big burst of pine and citrus on entry. The caramel sweetness works itself in brilliantly to offset the bitter hops. It rolls in to a fruity middle and then delivers a long and dry finish with grassy/piney notes enduring on the back end.
She holds a nice weight in the mouth. Medium body with an assertive bitterness (45 IBU). It’s dry in texture but the malt profile makes for a smooth ride over the tongue. Quite pleasant to drink.
Tell you what the brewers have done an outstanding job at packing this much flavour in to a relatively light pale ale (4.7%). From the gorgeous colour to the session ability to the length in the tail it exudes class….and plenty of it. Another cracker beer from these guys.

Pact Beer Co. ‘Mt Tennent’ Pale Ale

Rating:

21369478_743533355830812_7199057749161624913_n“Inspired by the picturesque mountain and the legend of its bushranger namesake, the Mount Tennent Pale Ale walks the tightrope of accessible, sessionable and mindblowing all at once. Legend has it that John Tennent’s treasure is still buried at Mount Tennent, ACT. Many have tried to find it, but none have succeeded. Never mind… now you can find a little bit of Tennent’s treasure in every sip.”

Served in a shaker. Slightly hazy amber appearance with a fair bit of suspended sediment floating around. A short head forms but recedes to a film which works a healthy lace as it subsides.
The nose is nice and punchy with lifted citrus and pine resins. Also getting heady notes of orange peel, pineapple, mandarin and passion fruit with a delicate stonefruit accent – mango and rockmelon. Certainly more of a biscuity malt character with a subtle pinch of spice tying it all together. Superb aroma, very IPA-esque.
The flavour comes on strong with zesty citrus, pine resin and a semi sweet biscuit malt base. Detecting a light spicy note in here, at times a little herbal in its delivery. Hints of grapefruit and orange peel develop late in the mid and deliver a dry and crisp finish with good length.
The texture is fresh and snappy with a vibrant co2. Mild-moderate body. Slightly raised ABV of 5.2% which adds a bit more oomph.
Highly enjoyable pale ale here. We must have got this fresh off the bottling line as it is super crisp, punchy and flavoursome. Totally poundable, definitely a return-to beer especially now that summer is just around the corner and the weather is warming up. Solid offering.

The Wild Beer Co. ‘Fresh’ Pale Ale

Rating:

20915286_737160293134785_1100123501208052141_n“Created with a passion for flavour and a lust for hops — this is a frisky, fragrant pale ale. Whilst consistency is (rightly) the benchmark of most beers, we’ve gone Wild and thrown away the rulebook on this one. Every six months we source some of the most interesting hops from the northern and southern hemispheres, which means two hop harvests and two excitingly different hop profiles.”

Served in a shaker. It pours a hazy light honey hue which generates a healthy two finger head. Good retention and good lace work down the glass.
A big impression of citrusy hops offers strong uplift on the nose. Grapefruit, candied lemon and tangerine work nicely in to the grassy and slightly herbaceous notes. Maybe a slight hint of bready/grainy malt lurking in the background. Nothing that hasn’t been done a million times before but it’s fresh, fruity and screams “drink me!”
There’s a neat little progression on to the palate here with the citrusy hops hitting a fruity note on the fore. The grainy and somewhat crackery malts introduce themselves modestly as it takes on the herbal aspects late in the mid. It finishes grassy, somewhat light and well balanced on the back end.
Crisp, smooth and super sessional in the mouth. The 5.5% ABV is covered up extremely well. Mild-moderate body, good co2.
From what we’ve gathered Wild Beer Co specialises in everything sour and funky so it’s refreshing (in more ways than one) to see them offering this surprisingly hoppy and ultra seesional pale ale. Kudos Wild Beer Co.

 

 

4 Pines Kellerdoor Series ‘Hop Hash’ XPA

Rating:

20800293_735329003317914_8777340047172113006_n“Bumped, bruised and battered, the race for Lupulin powder is not one for the faint-hearted. A single harvest once a year, sending brewers into a hop hash feeding frenzy – and for good reason! As dangerously aromatic as it is addictive, you’d sell the house with nan in it just to get your hands on a beer with hash in it. But we’ve gotcha covered this time. Hop Hash XPA, displaying strong stone fruit characters with a bitter finish, tell nan it was a close one.”

Served in an IPA glass. Very good looking beer – crystal clear golden amber with hyper active co2 streaming up to form the thumb of foamy white head. Good retention and good lace work on the glass.
The nose offers fresh piney hops, citrus, mango, unripened rockmelon, subtle aniseed spice, yellow grapefruit and a clean biscuity malt at the base. We’d love to know the bottling date because this smells as fresh as a daisy. Really digging this aroma.
The flavour follows through with punchy notes of fresh green herbs, citrus, pine needles and grapefruit on the fore. Quite an emphasis on the herbal aspect as it takes on much more of a grassy character midway. A firm citrus acidity forms late before it rounds off on a dry and super bitter finish.
Crisp, sharp and dry in texture, not thin but definitely lean and light bodied. Aggressive 50 IBUs making it slightly tough to session on.
We don’t usually like to compare beers to others but this has a lot of similarities to Sierra’s Hop Hunter. The use of hop powder is obvious but the superb clarity, the fresh piney and citrusy nose and the clean and crisp palate are all here. Just not as refined as the Hop Hunter though. Still, a decent offering from 4 Pines.

Behemoth Brewing Co ‘Chur!’ NZ Pale Ale

Rating:

image“Our flagship beer. This is NZ hops in a bottle or glass. A tropical hop fruit salad if you will. A refreshing bitterness that makes you want to come back for another sip or gulp. This beer is all about having a great flavour packed bigger tasting beer and enjoying the churness of good friends and family. Chur!”

Served in a shaker. The pour offers a bright amber hue with a thumb of foamy head emerging on top. There’s steady reduction, eventually it forms a ring that weaves a fairly decent lace down the glass.
The aroma is popping with tonnes of fresh green NZ hoppy goodness. Loads of tropical fruits like pineapple, passionfruit, lychee and guava with hints of gooseberry finding its way in. Some pine resins, citrus fruits and white grapes also. Quite a clean malt backing, mild-moderate sweetness with a touch of biscuit and bread. Got a bit of everything.
Relatively light and sessional in the mouth. Love the subtle fizz, perfectly carbonated. Gentle bitterness (40 IBU) developing in the swallow. Very pleasant to drink.
Brilliant transition on to the palate with a hearty dose of tropical fruits, citrus, pine and vinous hops with just a hint of semi sweet malt tucked in behind. It carries through the mid with a tangy citrus note leading in to the crisp, piney and mildly bitter finish.
This was another bottle we muled back from our recent NZ brewery tour. The week was long and our liver’s hated us for it but this great little micro brewery was uncovered in the process and was easily the pick of them all. So, no surprises that this was another cracker of a beer.

Philter XPA

Rating:

imageThis is a session beer that will meet you with tropical fruit aromas with a balanced finish. Naturally cloudy and easy drinking.

We love the 80’s style retro graphics on the can. Looks like Fosters. Hope it sinks better. Poured into a shaker glass, we see a straw/hay like complexion with a touch of haze. There is a nice sparkling white 10mm head with compact carbonation that retains really well leaving a frosting of lacing down the glass. Aromas initially are of tropical fruit like passion fruit, guava, with light malts with a faint whiff of honey. Nice and hoppy for a pale ale. Of note there is mild carbonation seen rising up through the body. First sip yields mild to moderate carbonation in the mouth. Bitterness is contained. More flavours now that are less juicy fruit, and more melon and lemon like. The body is mild and just glides down the gullet. We note the alcohol vol of 4.2% and its apt for a session pale ale. More and more of the juicy tropical hops disappear and the melon, lemon flavours now seem prominent, alongside easy drinking malts giving a sweetness of subtle caramel and light biscuit/wheats mixed with the drying and crispness of the brew. Is there is a touch of spice in the there? One thing for sure is that it is very smooth to drink and certainly sessionable. Interesting use of the word ‘XPA’ here. We unsure why. In this current craft beer market there are so many hoppy pale ales. This is just another one. Above all that though, we would definitely buy this over Fosters!

New England Brewing Pale Ale

Rating:

19511323_714283592089122_190517218999936281_n“The New Englander Pale Ale is an example of a classic American pale ale. With a creamy white head and brilliant colour, the aroma presents hints of fruits like mango, grapefruit, and passionfruit, while an earthy and resinous flavour and moderate bitterness finish things off.”

Served in a shaker. This pale ale from New England pours a deep honey amber with a short cap emerging on top. Head retention is average as it peels off to a fine film with patchy lace work as it ebbs.
Certainly a well balanced aroma. Picking up a robust and somewhat sweet caramel malt base underneath a fruity/spicy hop profile. It’s not overflowing with fruity sweetness but there’s enough to offer a mix of mango, peach, rockmelon and hints of apricot. Nothing overly memorable here but it’s OK all the same.
The mouth feel is smooth and slightly frothy in texture. Moderate body with a mild bitterness (36 IBU) developing on the rear. Co2 offers a pleasant consistency.
Flavour-wise it’s providing a good overall balance but it seems to fall short on wow factor. It all seems a bit too restrained. Hints of some tropical fruit are intermittent at best with the semi sweet malts making a dash to the finish which finally reveals some piney and spicy hop characters in the tail.
Just your standard Aussie pale ale here folks. It bangs us up to say it but Aussie hops just don’t cut the mustard when it comes to hop forward beers. For us, this sits somewhere between an English bitter and an Aussie pale ale. It’s got good session ability with a nice balance but that’s where it ends.

Alesmith Brewing Co ‘.394’ San Diego Pale Ale

Rating:

19059752_705768809607267_4800146497088032808_n“In early 2014, Tony Gwynn’s team approached AleSmith to create a distinctive beer for the baseball legend. A meeting was called at the Gwynn household, which included a sampling of AleSmith beers to identify Tony’s preferences. He wanted the beer to be “light with a kick” which he elaborated further to mean full of hop character and light in body and color. The result of the Gwynn family’s feedback on test batches rendered a golden pale ale full of American hop flavor and aroma, with a subdued bitterness and a malty sweet finish. AleSmith San Diego Pale Ale .394 pays tribute to the city that Tony loved and the career high batting average that he achieved in ‘94. Discover what happens when a Hall of Fame perfectionist crafts a beer with a world-class brewery.”

Served in a shaker. She pours a pale amber colour with a big and fluffy three finger crown perched on top. Reduction is slow and steady, eventually settling to a thick overlay that weaves a healthy lace as it goes.
They don’t come much more American than this…presenting big orange citrus and pine overtones that come together with a subtle honey malt structure. Hints of grapefruit, passionfruit and mango get amongst it as a somewhat spicy/resinous note gets a look in. Top notch aroma.
The mouth feel holds a really good weight. The texture is dry and crisp with the IBU clocking in at a mild 26. Medium body and Co2. 6% ABV.
Lovely balance on the palate – finding that happy medium between the fruity/citrusy hops and the semi sweet malts. There is a nice injection of grapefruit through the middle that lays up for a long and clean piney finish.
Absolutely love these full-blooded APA’s. We kind of feel like we get more bang for our buck as they teeter so close to that boundary between a pale ale and an IPA. It’s amazing how sessional it is as well. Geez that’s a decent drop.

Stone Brewing ‘Ripper’ San Diego Pale Ale

Rating:

18581509_695599157290899_7223398438192117955_n“When it came to creating Ripper, we drew inspiration from the coastal surf cultures of SoCal and Oz. Sourcing classic Cascade from the Pacific Northwest and Australian Galaxy hops from…yes…Australia, we made a beer both lovers of frothy peaks and hoppy green buds will be stoked about. At the same time, we stayed true to our San Diego roots by pushing the hop boundaries of this style. While some might think it lingers on an edge far closer to an IPA, with all the dry-hop flavor and aroma, it’s actually right in line with the current-day interpretation of a West Coast pale. Ours just so happens to have an Aussie accent that’s cascading with a juicy amount of grapefruit and passion fruit hoppiness. So veg out or venture out. Either way, rip one open and taste this awesome golden nectar!”

Served in a shaker glass. She pours a lovely bold amber color that sports a fluffy three finger crown. It’s maintained well and weaves a thick lace as it ebbs.
Smelling fresh and super fruity with juicy ruby grapefruit pulp, burnt orange, berries, a hint of spice and some clean piney undertones. Nicely balanced too, getting a lovely caramel malt sweetness at the base. Fresh, juicy and summery. Building nicely.
We get a good consistency in the mouth. It’s held up well with a medium body and moderate Co2. Nice and assertive 40 IBU kicking in to gear midway, enduring well on to the rear palate.
A lot more malt driven initially – somewhat earthy somewhat sweet with a good dose of grapefruit bitterness forming through the mid. The citrus then returns with a vengeance as it delivers a sturdy finish with heady bitterness on a length.
Stone have definitely crammed a lot of character in here, really extracting the best out of the two hop varieties used (US Cascade and Australian Galaxy) pretty good overall balance with that assertive bitterness signing off. An all round beer that ticks all the boxes.

La Sirene ‘Urban Pale’ Farmhouse Pale Ale

Rating:

18582089_695599200624228_5332760669833587921_n“The Urban Pale is a hop-driven juicy Farmhouse Pale Ale made in our Urban Farmhouse Brewery. Expect grapefruit & pine-cone characters with an assertive bitterness that is enveloped seamlessly with melon, black pepper and citrus rind.”

Served in a shaker glass. The Urban Pale offers a rich golden hue with a faint haze. It constructs a thumb of foamy head which slowly peels back, leaving a thick and soapy lace sticking to the glass.
We’re getting quite a citrus-forward aroma that possesses a slightly tart undertone. The technicality over whether this is classed as a pale ale or a saison is probably a hot topic but there’s no surprises that this beer has farmhouse qualities (La Sirene specialise in saison) with its floral pot pourri and spicy black pepper notes getting amongst the litany of other scents like angostura bitters, crusty bread, candied lemons and straw. Lovely stuff.
Pretty smooth palate. There’s a short and sharp injection of hop bitterness mid way that lays down for a nice crisp finish. Mild-medium body with spritzy Co2.
The flavour follows on from the nose with a healthy display of tart citrus such as grapefruit, orange rind and candied lemons. Certainly some funky yeast characters in the mix, introducing the farmhouse element with the spicy phenols and earthy barnyard grains. Refreshing and somewhat grassy in the tail.
This one would surely get the convo flowing between mates at a craft beer bar that’s for sure. On its merits it’s a fairly decent drop with its dominant yeasty funk mixed with the fruity citrus of a pale ale. The result = a fine offering.

Modus Operandi Brewing Co ‘Modus’ Pale Ale

Rating:

17799369_674349346082547_6453754316392382812_n“Awarded Champion Australian Pale Ale in 2015, this is a rich golden coloured pale ale, dry hopped with Yakima valley’s (Washington State) favourite heavy hitting hop, Simcoe. This hop brings with it big aromatics of pine and citrus followed by a crisp finish.”

Served in a shaker glass. Hazy golden orange pour with a thumb of frothy beige foam taking shape on top. Steady reduction, settling to a thin sheet which deposits a set of rings as it ebbs.
Getting a good impression of tropical fruits like passion fruit, pineapple, mango and rock melon initially. A lovely orange citrus tang also imparts hints of mandarin and ruby grapefruit. Quite a shy malt backing here but what we can get from it is a little sweet, a little bready and slightly biscuity. Certainly isn’t short on character, a fine aroma.
There’s good weight to the beer, well balanced as well with a smooth texture, moderate Co2 and medium body. Fairly well tempered IBU just hinting at some dryness in the swallow. Very approachable.
The palate seems to favour the citrus and piney notes on the fore. Definitely getting more of the tangy orange, ruby grapefruit and mandarin coming through. Suggestions of pineapple mingle with the dry bready malts as a touch of herbal/grassy hop bitterness finishes on a length.
Not 100% sure what happened with their original pale ale (Mona pale) but if this is its replacement then it’s thumbs up from us. Packs a good punch on the nose and backs it up with a well balanced and full flavour profile. A lot like their Sonic Prayer IPA just a bit lower in ABV (5.2%) and slightly more approachable. Solid drop from Modus.

Magic Rock ‘Highwire Grapefruit’ pale ale

Rating:

imageAll we take from this brew is that it’s a grapefruit pale ale.

Poured into a shaker glass we see a hazy golden with faint orange with a small 10 mm off white head that fades quickly leaving just a rim of lacing around the glass. Low to moderate carbonation seen here. Aroma out of the can is unbelievably strong grapefruit. Never smelt such a strong aroma before out of a beer. Is this the fruit or chemical? We also get candied sweet malts, toffee, and marmalade jam. Divine! First sip shows up all that jammy sweetness combined with a softer candied sugar and prominent grapefruit bitterness that’s not overpowering on the palate. Body is moderate here and almost chewy. It reminds us a lot of Ballast Point’s Grapefruit Sculpin but not as refined or heavy. We note the Alc vol here of 5.5% and it packs a small punch this drop. We see lots of patchy lacing down the glass. Half way through and the dominant grapefruit flavour remains interwoven with caramelised sweet malts, marmalade, and some pine. So good for a pale ale. We would have assumed this was an IPA! Top marks for the grapefruit aroma and the jammy sweetness of the body. This is a fine drop. We would love to do a taste off with the Grapefruit Sculpin. Impressive.

Kaiju! Beer ‘Kaiju Krush’ American Pale Ale

Rating:

17457805_668723676645114_8697558808178430607_n“A super-clean malt profile allows the shipload of juicy tropical fruit flavours to arrive on the desert island of your palate unhindered. And it comes in a can, so after you Krush it, you can Krush it. After generations of KAIJU! interacting with the local flora, a new species arose. The FRUJUS found the balmy weather and laid-back pace in tropical climes to their liking, settling many remote islands, but always on guard for those who would seek to exploit their mouth-watering juiciness and impeccable balance.”

375ml can in to a shaker glass. Slightly hazy amber appearance with a gushing three finger head forming on top. Gradual reduction, holding together extremely well with a smattering of lace clinging to the glass.
We know this sounds cliche but the aroma is so Kaiju! The aroma pops with a big tropical hop fruitiness, a solid piney presence and a healthy biscuit malt back bone. A nice touch of citrus fruits too – grapefruit, subtle orange peel and mandarin adds to the overall Sumer feel to the beer. Similar to their big IPA’s just without the intensity.
Pretty well weighted feel for 4.7% ABV. Mild-medium body, moderate Co2. The 30 IBU only really showing in the swallow, albeit discreetly. Does its job in the mouth.
Taste follows the nose, opening with a nicely balanced hop to malt ratio. Tropical fruits hit the fore with juicy pineapple, passion fruit and melon with a suggestion of resiny pine and a biscuit malt at the base. Getting a citric hop bitterness developing late as the flavour kind of tapers off in to a relatively short finish.
They’ve done quite well here. Considering this is the first time they’ve ever brewed a beer under 6% they have certainly held on to all the traits of their big brothers. The only difference being you could have one or two and still be able to drive! Not bad.

Modus Operandi Brewing Co. ‘Lost Key’ XPA

Rating:

17098418_654141614769987_7710210684001033543_n“Keys are a pain in the ass. They’re easily lost. Which is exactly what happened when we lent the key to Modus HQ to the crew from Black Bunny Kitchen whilst they were taking over our kitchen. While mistakes happen we insisted they stick around and do a brew with us as remittance for losing the key to our kingdom.”

Served in a shaker glass. This limited release pours a dense amber complexion with a pillowy head that swells to two fingers in height. The head retains remarkably well and dispenses a fine lace as it ebbs.
Very subtle fruits on the nose, quite subdued actually. From all the hype we’ve been seeing and hearing it’s a very timid aroma for M.O. Once we really dig our noses in we do pick up the lovely orange citrus, pineapple and ruby grapefruit which does balance out beautifully with the sweet biscuit malt structure. Lovely characters on the nose we just wish there was a bit more uplift out of the glass.
The texture offers up a little dryness with a vibrant Co2 to make it pop. Light-moderate body leading to a healthy bitterness in the swallow.
The palate is where it’s all at folks! Hop juice galore! Big showing of citrus tang, fruits and a subtle piney note cutting in. Well countered by those delicious malts though, as they lay down for the dominant hops to sail past the mid and deliver a crisp, dry and fruity finish. Really well drawn out bitterness in the tail here.
They lost the key and they almost lost us on the nose but we know never to write M.O off. They pulled it back with a magnificent flavour profile and a soft, spritzy tannin. Easy to drink, packed with hops but still well balanced enough to go the distance in a session. A fine way to come back to these guys after a bit of a spell. Kudos Modus!