I’m still at Bruegala beer festival in Bloomington, IL, and I’ve taken the opportunity to try a few new beers. This is one I’ve had before, but didn’t get a chance to review it. Ever since I got a recommendation on Twitter from@Lauren_BILLYves – who as it turns out, is Lauren Hinkley, the daughter of Green Flash Brewing founders Mike and Lisa Hinkley, I’ve tried several of their beers, including their Le Freak Ale.
Location: Enjoyed a 3oz sample, in a sampling glass, at Bruegala in Bloomington, IL.
Numbers: 7% ABV, 70 IBUs, ~ 212 Calories
Ingredients: malty, caramelly, a bit of hops on the end, but mostly malty
Appearance & Aroma: It had a deep amber color with some redness when held up to the light. The head was tan and creamy, leaving a nice lacing on the glass. There was a piney and citrusy hop aroma, along with a decent amount of sweet maltiness in the nose.
Taste & Feel: It was medium to full bodied and had a smooth mouthfeel. It had a malty and caramel sweetness up front and through the middle, with a hoppy – pine and citrus – flavor in the finish. The mix between the malt and bitterness was well balanced, with the big malt body dominating until the finish, when the hop flavors slightly edge it out.
Food Pairing: This would go great with a big hearty meal. I’m thinking a thick, juicy meatloaf would provide a nice match to the big, sweet malty flavor, and the hop bitterness would add a nice bit of flavor on the end of each sip.
Overall Impression: Especially since this brewery is located in San Diego, I was expecting a big, bold, knock you down citrusy hop flavor. What I found was a very nicely balanced beer, where the maltiness actually dominated the front end, and the hop bitterness crept up in the end. I was actually hoping it would have a little more citrusy hop bitterness after tasting it, but overall, it was a hearty, flavorful beer that I really enjoyed.