Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A New Starr

One of the benefits of working in the Starr Hill tasting room is getting to know what new beers are coming down the line for seasonals, the brewery's 'All Access' series, and other special beers such as Pro-Am for the GABF, and the annual(ish) Brew Ridge Trail collaboration beer.

Earlier in the year, at our quarterly tasting room managers meeting, we learnt that the summer seasonal for this year would be an American Pale Ale. We had heard rumour of there being a new pale ale on the horizon, and a few of us were hoping for a revival of the old Pale Ale, which I reviewed here back in 2009 (random fact, Fuggled is now 5 years old!). I was a big fan of the old Pale Ale and, like quite a few of our regular customers, a little disappointed when it was discontinued.

Another of the benefits of working in the tasting room is being able to taste beers before they are on sale to the general public, thus I acquired some of the new pale ale, which is called Grateful, an homage to our master brewer's favourite band. But what about the beer itself I hear you ask....well, it looks like this:


More of a golden colour than the old pale ale, but still with a good half inch or so of tight, white, foam. Yep, it looks like an American Pale Ale to me. In terms of aroma, you get that punchy citrus element that you would expect from a beer brewed with Centenntial, Chinook and Cascade, and sure there is a trace of pine resin, again classic, but there is something else, something different, something funky. Also in the hopping is Topaz, an Australian hop variety which has some earthiness to it, as well as the tropical fruit thing which is apparently common in Antipodean hops. Is Topaz where the beer is getting its grassiness from? By grass I don't mean the common garden stuff that makes a lawn, I am talking about special grass. Maybe it's just me, but I think it smells a bit like marijuana. So, plenty of interesting things going on in the smell department, but nobody in their right mind only smells beer, what about drinking it?


Up front and centre is a big whack of bright, tangy, citrus flavours, I wouldn't go as far as to say grapefruit, more bitter orange in my opinion, but it is there and very much a star of the show. The backing singers though are noticeable and certainly add harmony to the main attraction with a light caramel note, blended with a light toasty element which gives it just enough of something else so as not to make this just yet another hop transportation system. The body is just on the light side of medium, which makes it nicely pintable, though not really a session beer at 4.7%. I can easily see this being a regular beer in the fridge over the summer months.


So, where can you get this lovely beer? Erm, until May 1st only at the Starr Hill tasting room. Despair not though, especially those of you living in Virginia, this Saturday (4/20) is the release party at the brewery, so if you can, get along and try a very welcome addition to the Starr Hill line up.

No comments:

Post a Comment