I’m back up in the Chicago suburbs for work again this week. When I was up here a couple weeks ago, I stopped at Beer House Chicago on the recommendation of @SubBeerBia. It was a pretty good experience, so I thought I head back there again tonight – especially since it was within walking distance to my hotel. They were having a special event with Pollyanna Brewing Co, a new brewery in Lamont, IL. Since the beers were on special, and since it was a new brewery to add to the list, I thought I’d give their beers a try. So, I started off with their pale ale.
Location: On tap and served in a tumbler style pint glass at Beer House Chicago in Lombard, IL.
Numbers: 5.4% ABV, 7 SRM, 42 IBUs, ~150 Calories
Appearance & Aroma: It’s straw gold in color and fairly hazy with a thin and soapy-like head, which left some good lacing. The aroma is a mostly piney resinous hop smell with some floral hop notes.
Taste & Feel: The body is light-medium, and the mouthfeel is smooth and slightly creamy. The flavor up front is sweet, with a piney-floral juiciness to it. These hop flavors grow in the middle, and some of that piney-floral bitterness starts to come in. The finish is almost all piney-floral hop flavor and bitterness with a bit of a sticky oiliness to it. The sticky piney-floral hops stick around for a couple minutes in the aftertaste.
Food Pairing: I had a mushroom and swiss burger from Tom and Eddies next door, and it was a perfect pairing. The piney-floral hops mixed perfectly with the earthiness of the mushrooms and truffle sauce, as well as the bold flavor of the swiss cheese.
Overall Impression: I initially tried several of their beers at the bar before selecting one, and I went with this one because of the sticky hop flavor and bitterness that stuck around a while. While the hop flavors and bitterness weren’t very complex throughout, it was still a nice combination of hop flavors and bitterness. That sticky hop oiliness was enjoyable (for those who enjoy hops), and it really helped to add flavor to the burger I had with it. Overall, I thought this was a pretty good pale ale (although the hoppiness would easily put it into the IPA category if it had the ABV to match), and it’s one I’d recommend giving a try if you’re in the Chicago suburbs.