110. Pelican Brewery – The Guillotine Strong Ale Draft

I wanted to try as many local and interesting brews as I could while I was at the Oregon Brewers’ Festival Brewmasters’ Dinner – and after being less than pleased with my previous choice of the Spruce Budd beer from Fort George Brewery – I thought I’d ask my Cuisinternship Brewmaster mentor, Jamie Emmerson, what he might suggest.  He mentioned that Pelican Brewery had a reputation locally for brewing very solid beers, so I thought I try theirs next.  I didn’t know what kind of beer “The Guillotine” was at first, but I read the sheet of paper next to it and discovered it was made with experimental hops from Alsace, France. It read, “The Guillotine is an international-style pale ale that is golden hued and slightly stronger than other brews at 6% ABV—a perfect beer for summertime on the Pelican patio.”

It was very clear, and had a copper tone to it.  The head was thick, but fell pretty quickly.  The aroma was malty with a bit of an earthy hop aroma.

Despite being made to show off the experimental hop bitterness, the first thing I noticed was the sweet, caramel maltiness of the light-medium bodied beer.  However, the earthy/spicy hop bitterness followed in the finish and aftertaste.  It was a bit more of a spicy hop than I was used to.

If I had to pair this with a food, I think I’d recommend a lemon-pepper fish dish, as the hop spiciness would complement the lemon-pepper quite well.  It was an interesting beer, which I wasn’t completely thrilled with.  I can only imagine that since it was an experimental beer/hop, it wasn’t characteristic of Pelican’s other beers.

Author: Kevin

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