After having the Hopivore yesterday, I was still craving a big, bold, hoppy beer. You can pretty much say that this one spoke to me, since was really in pursuit of a hoppy beer. When I got this beer, it was literally from the Brewmaster’s Reserve, when John Harris, Brewmaster at Full Sail – Riverplace, dipped into his hidden fridge and gave me several beers when I was there for my Brewmaster Cuisinternship. The bottle says, “A crisp blonde extra pale ale with a medium malt body. The malts are chased by a ton of hop flavor and a zing of bitterness.”
Numbers: 6% ABV, 55 IBUs
Appearance & Aroma: It was a hazy copper-orange color, with a creamy and soapy textured head. There was a good amount of carbonation in it, along with a citrus and floral hop aroma.
Taste & Feel: The mouthfeel was creamy, but crisp, and it was medium bodied. After a little bit of carbonation up front, there was a good pilsner-like malt flavor with a bit of a lemon-like citrus flavor in the middle. The hop flavor comes through in the finish with an airy mix of floral and citrusy hop flavors. There was a bigger citrusy and piney hop flavors in the aftertaste.
Food Pairing: The nice pilsner malt flavors made me think of something bready, but the hop flavor in the finish would require something a big stronger to pair with this beer. The more I drank it, the more I craved a pepperoni pizza. The breadiness would go nicely with the crust, and the big cheese and spicy pepperoni flavors would go pretty nicely with the hop flavors.
Overall Impression: This was a very drinkable beer with an airy hop flavor that makes you want to take another drink. The hop flavor built gradually throughout each drink, ending with a very good hoppy flavor in the finish. I thought this would be an excellent beer for a hot summer day – very light and drinkable, yet with some great hop flavors.