Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Pike Brewing - India Pale Ale

Well-mannered yet feisty.

Pike Brewing is Seattle Washington's own downtown-market brewery with a nice selection of micros of which this India Pale Ale is a standout. This brew pours a hazy golden-orange in the glass with just the slightest bit of cream for a head. On the tongue it's surprisingly effervescent despite the weak head and I notice it has a complex balance of sweet and bitter happening - very nice! The bread-and-pie-crust flavor of the malt vies with the citrus-apricot tang of hops but neither side triumphs - this is a nice, flavorful ale that hits the IPA middle ground squarely. The finish is slightly sweet with a lingering bitter overtone of pine. I'd pair this up with peppered steak fries and a steamed spicy-hot Italian sausage.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Morland Brewing - Hen's Tooth Pale Ale

Bottle-brewed Beauty.

Morland Brewery in Suffolk are the authors of this fine bottle-fermented English Pale Ale. This pours copper-orange in the glass with just a bit of lacing at the top and a touch of sediment on the bottom, this brew is a delight to the eyes as well as presenting a pleasant yeast-and-honey nose. On the tongue it's nicely hoppy with flavors of grapefruit and unripe pears. Malty caramel-like overtones dissipate into a robust bitter finish of lemon rind and dates. Maybe just a tad "skunked" from the clear bottle, this one's still very smooth and refreshing. I'm curious now about its sibling "Old Speckled Hen" and will see about an assignation in the future. I'd have a pint of this with toasted Cheddar on a heavy Rye with crisp pickled carrots on the side.