Tag Archives: pale ale

Pale Ale Blind Tasting Party

Although pale ale is a staple of the craft beer industry and likely the style responsible for growing the industry in the US from 80 breweries to over 1700, pale ale is many times underrated and under-appreciated, even by yours truly. In my quest to find great session beers (to balance against the super high gravity beers), I decided to get some friends together to have a blind tasting of pale ale. The results of this party culminated in both this story as well as an article I wrote on Menuism.com about American Pale Ale.

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Full Sail Pale Ale Review

The craft beer made by Full Sail Brewing Company is of high quality, reasonable price, and easily accessible in 27 states. In fact, I’ve seen it at every Trader Joe’s that I’ve been to in California. Their pale ale is no exception to their high standards of quality. On a coast dominated by super hoppy and bitter pale ales, Full Sail has made a beer that is a refreshing departure by being more malt-forward than hops-forward.

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Deschutes Red Chair NWPA Review

Deschutes Brewery of Bend, Oregon has a solid line of year round beers and many times an even better line-up of seasonal ans special release beer. The spring seasonal beer from Deschutes in 2010 is the Red Chair NWPA (Northwest Pale Ale). I thought it would be heard to beat Cinder Cone Red from 2009 but they did it. Continue reading

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Homebrewing: Black Dog Ale Clone

For my next batch of homebrew I wanted to accomplish a few objectives. First, I wanted to brew a batch where I could re-pitch the yeast for the next batch, which I already determined to be a nut brown ale. Next, I wanted to find a recipe that would utilize the hops that I’m growing: Cascade, Willamette, Mt. Hood, and/or Zeus. Finally, I wanted something fairly simple that I could use as a basis for something more experimental like using lavender instead of aroma hops.

Black Dog Ale Clone boiling wort

I was flipping through my copy of North American Clone Brews [Amazon] when I came across a recipe for Black Dog Ale, on page 81, from Spanish Peaks Brewing. It seemed to be the perfect recipe for what I wanted and it was a beer that I have not had in ages and have not seen in the stores for a long time.


When I got to the homebrew shop, they were out of Mt. Hood whole hops so I substituted with Vanguard whole hops. The following is a modified version of the recipe from North American Clone Brews. The main differences are the Vangaurd hops substitution, addition of Whirlfloc, substituted crystal 50 with 40 and 60, and the amount of dry malt extract that I used.

  • 5 lbs. light dry malt extract
  • 0.5 lbs. Crystal Malt 40
  • 0.5 lbs. Crystal Malt 60
  • 12 oz. white wheat malt
  • 4.5 AAU Willamette whole hops (60 minutes)
  • 4.5 AAU Vanguard whole hops (15 minutes)
  • Whirlfloc wort clarifier (15 minues)

This recipe has a starting gravity of about 1.055 and a target final gravity of 1.012.

Vanguard whole hops.

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Mammoth Paranoid Pale Ale Review

In March, I was snowboarding at the Northstar-at-Tahoe ski resort and for lunch my group stopped for lunch at the Summit Deck & Grille at the top of the mountain. While I was trying to figure out what I wanted to eat, I noticed that they had two beers by Mammoth Brewing Company on tap. I had never tried any of their beer so I thought I’d grab a Paranoid Pale Ale. I had no intention of reviewing that beer on the spot, especially since I did not have my camera, until I tasted it. It is hoppy, well balanced, smooth, and refreshing. To me, it really seems like an ideal beer for skiing and snowboarding.

This malts used to create Paranoid Pale Ale are ESB malt, crystal malt, and honey malt. Simcoe hops are used for bittering, crystal and cascade hops are used for finishing, and this beer is dry hopped with cascade.

Where I Found It. At the top of Northstar-at-Tahoe at the Summit Deck & Grille.

Serving Type. Paranoid Pale Ale was served on tap into a clear plastic cup.

Appearance. The head of this beer is nice and foamy with a slightly darker than egg-shell white color. This beer is crystal clear with an orange amber color. The color is similar to that some dark orange candies.

Smell. The hop bouquet of Paranoid Pale Ale is a little spicy with spruce or pine notes. There is also a hint floral and citrus notes. The aroma comes through with a little caramel maltiness.

Taste. The flavor is malty caramel and vanilla while very nicely balanced with a distinctive cascade flavor. The taste of the hops are slightly spicy, a little floral, but not pine tasting. Although this beer has 40 IBUs, the hop bitterness is smoother and balanced by the sweetness of the malt.

Mouthfeel. Paranoid Pale Ale is a medium bodied beer. The bitterness lingers briefly then is smoothed away by the malt sweetness. The bitterness does, however, builds up on your tongue over time.

Drinkability. This beer goes down smooth with a wonderful hop flavor balanced with the malt. Since it does  not have a harsh bitterness, it goes down smooth. I’m thinking the beer was designed with skiing/snowboarding in mind because it was great with lunch after a morning of snowboarding. It would also be a great après ski beer.


  • Appearance (20%): 3.5
  • Smell (20%): 3.5
  • Taste (40%): 4.5
  • Mouthfeel (10%): 3.5
  • Drinkability (10%): 4.5
  • Overall: 4.0

Caption on the Bottle

Although I did not try Paranoid Pale Ale from the bottle, I did find a picture on Flickr.

Classic American pale ale featuring a piney citrus hop nose, a full malt body, and a clean bitter finish.


  • Style: American pale ale
  • Brewery: Mammoth Brewing Company
  • Alcohol by volume: 5.5%
  • Hops: simcoe (bittering), crystal and cascade (finishing), cascade (dry hopping)
  • Malts: ESB, crystal, and honey
  • Original gravity: 1.055 (13.5 Plato)
  • Final gravity: 1.013 (3.2 Plato) (calculated)

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