Beer of the Week: Sam Adams New Albion Pale Ale

By Iron Chef Leftovers

I am not sure why I waited so long to review this beer. I wrote about the beer here a few months back, and, in case you don’t want to go back and read it, the short version is that this recipe is generally considered to be the first American microbrew. It was available in 12 oz. bottles and ran about $9 for a 6 pack. Some additional info on the beer here:

 Jack McAuliffe’s pioneering spirit paved the way for the American craft beer revolution. We’re rereleasing his original Pale Ale, with its distinct American hop character for the first time in 30 years in honor of Jack and his contributions to craft brewing. Cheers!

Not quite Helen of Troy, but pretty damn close.

The beer pours golden in color with a fizzy white head. There are major grain notes on this beer – from a foot away, I immediately thought of a baguette when I smelled it. Upon closer inspection, grain dominates the nose with hints of hops and a touch of yeast interspersed.  A very crisp and refreshing beer that is light on the palate – mild grain dominates and is followed by just a very light touch of hops, finishing long with a strong grain profile. Has some very lightly roasted character and very mild hop characteristics, such that you might not recognize this beer as a pale ale, but enough punch from the yeast that you know this beer is not a pilsner of lager.  More of the pale character shows through as the beer warms but it is light enough on the palate that you can enjoy several in one sitting.

The beer is a study in how far craft brewing has come from its infancy in the 1970’s and New Albion Pale is a beer that every craft brew drinker should have at least once, just so that you can appreciate a time when that beer was so much different than anything else on the market.

New Albion Pale Ale waxes nostalgic with a solid 3 antiques out of 5.

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