Trying something new here, a regular—well, we'll see about that—Monday series in which I offer a few thoughts about the beers I drank last week. Of course, this pretty much means it will be about the three or four I typically have over the weekend, as mid-week beers are a rarity for me these days. I'll also try to add a little context, when I feel it's appropriate.
Friday night, our plan was to grill, but since the little guy's bedtime is 7pm, we decided to eat after putting him down for the night rather than scrambling to finish up in just enough time to avoid a meltdown. So, after an evening walk along the beach—Did I mention we live 1/4 mile from the beach? Folks from the west coast might ask the question: You call that a beach? To which our reply would be: Yes, we do—I fired up the grill, while KJ fed Little Chuck for his final meal of the day.
It was pretty hot out, although the temperature wasn't quite as high as it would get over the weekend, so something on the lighter side seemed to make sense. I decided it was a good time to break out the Harpoon Bohemian Pilsner I had placed in the refrigerator last weekend.
I've had some luck with the concept of micro-brewed pilsner as summer beer. Victory Prima Pils comes to mind as one that really fits the bill in this regard.
Harpoon's offering gives off a distinct aroma that reminds me of lesser beers of the style, such as Pabst Blue Ribbon. What follows—i.e. it's initial introduction to my mouth—kind of reinforces that reminder. After that, it proves itself not worthy of being dragged down by such a comparison. It has a solid maltiness and subtle hops bite that the PBRs and Budweisers of the world can't boast. It's no Prima Pils, but overall it's a solid offering.
I noticed earlier in the night that my beer inventory is almost depleted, so my next choice was one I've been saving for a while. I bought a six-pack of Dale's Pale Ale a couple months ago, mainly for those infrequent-of-late occasions when KJ wants a beer, but also figuring I'd get around to drinking one eventually. Dale's has been one of my go-to beers for a while, but with the new beers resolution I made this year, I knew I should save it for when I really needed it. I'm not sure if this was really that occasion, but so be it.
Of course, it did not disappoint. Dale's may, in fact, be the perfect pale ale. IPA is my favorite style, but a lot of IPAs fall just on the hops side of the hops/malt balance equation. Of course, I don't have a problem with that, but sometimes I'm looking for something a little different. Despite the fact Dale's is hoppy and malty enough to call itself an IPA, it's clearly different from the aforementioned IPAs in that there's a slight emphasis on its malt profile while still maintaining a more than acceptable hops bite.
On Saturday night, I went the route of drinking only one high octane beer. It just so happens it was Deviant Dale's, the IPA version of Dale's. This one was an absolute thing of beauty (see photo) with several noses full of that wonderful grapefruity aroma that I love in an IPA.
Just as Dale's could rightfully be called an IPA, at 8% ABV Deviant Dale's could just as easily be considered an imperial IPA. The hops' bark is much stronger than its bite, however, as this is a very well-balanced offering, with tons of caramel malty sweetness and, as with regular Dale's, just the right amount of hop bitterness.
Now that we've reached the mid-point of 2012, this brings my unique beer count on the year to 91, with the new beers resolution still intact. I believe I'll have to find a special brew to mark my 100th.
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