Our second stop on the Tales, Taverns & Towns tour of Chicago was the Old Town Alehouse. The had a few local beers on tap, and so I picked a couple of them I hadn’t had yet – this one and Goose Island Green Line Pale Ale – and let my wife pick which one she wanted. So, I ended up with this one. We had a great time at this bar, which had some great artwork on the wall and a great intimate atmosphere, where we got to sit and chat with my wife’s college friends and their spouses. While they didn’t have a lot of local craft beers on tap, I wouldn’t mind coming back here when we come back to Chicago.
Location: On tap and served in a tumbler pint glass at Old Town Alehouse in Chicago, IL.
Numbers: 5% ABV, 45 IBUs, 3.5 SRM, 13 Plato OG, ~120 Calories
Appearance & Aroma: As the name suggests, it was bright yellow-gold in color and extremely clear. It had a thin, bright white head which fell after a few minutes to just a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass. The aroma was bready with a bit of cracker-like and grainy smells.
Taste & Feel: The body was very light and the mouthfeel was crisp. Up front, the flavors were lightly cracker and bread-like, with some malty sweetness coming in during the middle. The sweetness – which was mostly bready and a bit honey-like – grew into the finish with some light graininess and even lighter bitterness in the background. The sweetness stuck around for half a minute or so in the aftertaste.
Food Pairing: This is a light beer with some bready sweetness, that could go with almost anything. Because it was so light and sweet, I’d probably pair this to counteract some spicy foods, like spicy chicken pad Thai or chicken wings. It would also be a good pairing with a light fish dish or other seafood, due to it’s light sweetness.
Overall Impression: When I saw this beer, it immediately reminded me of a macro lager, and like a macro, it was light, with not a lot of flavors. While the breadiness wasn’t bad, the amount of sweetness in this beer surprised me a bit. It was almost as if it hadn’t quite fermented out, leaving more than usual residual sweetness. It wasn’t offensive, it just seemed a bit out of place, and I would have preferred less sweetness and more grainy malt flavors. Overall, it was an OK beer, but to be honest, for a light lager, I think I would have actually enjoyed a macro lager more than the light sweetness delivered in this beer.