The crisp and hop-forward flavors of American Pale Ales make them great spring beers. The full body and complexity of pale Belgian styles also complements the season. American craft brewers have experimented with the pale Belgian styles, noting how the spicy and fruity esters created by the Belgian yeast can nicely accompany a wide variety of malt and hop profiles. Belgian Pale Ales, like many Belgian styles, don’t have very well defined style guidelines, allowing for a lot of creativity. One of the flagship beers of White Birch Brewing Company in Hooksett, NH is a Belgian Style Pale Ale. This beer pairs traditional Belgian style yeast with noble hops and pale malts.
White Birch Belgian Style Pale Ale pours a deep orange, slightly cloudy with a large but quickly dissipating cream-colored head. The smell starts with the Belgian yeast, some fruity esters and a little spice. The hops are also present, with some mild scents of flowers and the forest. The taste starts with the Belgian style yeast too, which contributes notes of apple, pepper and a little bubblegum. The malts are present so you get hints of whole-grain bread, crackers and a little caramel. The hops are noticeable but relatively mild in the flavor, contributing touches of pine and freshly cut grass. Overall the beer is easy to drink and pretty balanced. It weighs in at 6.5% ABV. The finish is a combination of a little malt flavor and some spiciness. White Birch Belgian Style Pale Ale is a good beer for Spring. It’s easy to drink but still full flavored and complex. Hoppy Boston score: 4.0/5.
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