I had a great time sampling and reviewing American pale ales in April. I know that IPAs are the king (and I love a good IPA), but pale ales can provide plenty of hop flavor and aroma in a lighter, less bitter and very easy to drink package. I would love to see more brewers use the APA style for their session and single hop beers. The style of the month for May is Maibock/Helles Bock and Helles Lager (I know they are separate styles, but I needed to combine them due to the scarcity of beers on the market). Feel free to pass on any suggestions. Here are a few awards to wrap up American pale ale month, as always the links lead to the full reviews!
A Local Classic: Berkshire Brewing Steel Rail. Originally brewed to introduce macro-lager drinkers to full flavored beer, but still holds up after many years.
English Style Pale Ales Are Good Too!: Ipswich Original Ale. English style pale ales, with their more balanced/malty flavor profile, have fallen out of popularity in favor of the hoppier American versions, but many are still interesting and tasty beers. Ipswich makes one of my personal favorites.
Hardest Name To Pronounce: Down The Road Pukwudgie. Down The Road’s flagship beer has a weird name and a strange creature on the labels, but the beer is easy drinking and full of hop flavor.
Proof That We Need More Session APAs: Night Shift Whirlpool. Tons of hop flavor and aroma, light bodied and crushable, sold in tallboy cans. What more could you ask out of a session beer?
Further Proof We Need More Session APAs: Rising Tide Maine Island Trail Ale. One of Rising Tide’s most popular beers for a reason, and a staple of my summer drinking.
Beer I Forgot About Until I Started Looking At Old Reviews: Slumbrew Island Day. I really enjoyed this seasonal release, but haven’t seen it around this spring. Any idea if they are still making it?
The Best New-To-Me Pale Ale: Long Trail Stand Out. This new release showcases the fruity and herbal flavors of Equinox hops, and is a very well crafted and delicious beer.
A Damn Good Beer Over-Looked Because the Lack of Three Letters: Maine Beer Co. Mo. Yes, it doesn’t have IPA in the title, but Mo is still a celebration of big hop flavors, and it’s much easier to find than the MBC IPAs.
My Favorite Local Pale Ale: Trillium Fort Point Pale Ale. When I did an informal twitter poll on people’s favorite APA this was the overwhelming choice, and I can’t disagree. I actually prefer FPPA to any of Trillium’s IPAs, which is saying something.