Doctor Duvel

I'm like a sommelier, but for beer.

My Photo
Location: Upstate New York, United States

Favorite Beers: Orval, Samuel Smith, Duvel, Hennepin, Oude Gueze, Chimay, Dogfish Head, Anchor Steam, and anything made by Trappist monks.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

APA: The Style I Sometimes Forget

I like IPA's so much that I forget about APA's, what we beer geeks call American Pale Ale, that large family of American beers that are indebted to the English pale ale tradition, but which have branched off in other directions. Basically, they use American hops, not English ones. They almost never use adjuncts--the Brits often do. They tend to be a couple points higher in gravity and a little hoppier overall. The classic commercial example would be Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Taste British to you? Didn't think so.

I'm tasting the only semi-traditional example I've ever made. An offbeat variation using more Teutonic ingredients is keg conditioning as we speak. But it really is a style I tend to forget about. Mine is indebted to my favorite commercial example, Smuttynose's Shoals Pale Ale, which, the brewer concedes, is really more of an ESB, but let's not even get into that very hazy distinction.

Anyway, mine is good, I've only got two bottles left, and I should make more. It's quite a bit darker than a conventional example--almost in the Marzen color range. Head's O.K. Nose is lovely, marked by Cascades and a little teeny whiff of burntness (like a black tea)from the dark crystal malt employed. Palate is crisp and dry, but also a little caramelly and not without body--I employed both Carastan and Crystal 120. This could sell in a brew-pub and it'd be dandy with a burger. I think that next time I'll lower the overall proportion of specialty malts just a tad to get it a little brighter. Better get on that.


Post a Comment

<< Home