Friday, April 27, 2012

[A Beer a Day] Pale Dog Pale Ale | Hops & Grain Brewing | Austin, TX

Being sick has been kicking my ass like a bastard the last couple of weeks, and that has significantly impeded my desire to break into the vault to free up some vintage beer.  My limited olfactory, gustatory, and -- in a weird way, auditory -- abilities have impacted the way I drink beer, and I'm really unwilling to crack something so limited in the name of blandness.

I feel like Nuke LaLoosh, panty'd on the mound, eyelid breath-holes jammed, unable to inhale like the lava lizards of the Galapagos.  I'm unable to throw anything right down the middle.  I need a live rooster to take the curse off my palate.

I'm dealing with a lot of shit.

But in the interim, I've had to appease the gods in my gut with a stop-gap remedy able to conspicuously penetrate through a fortnight of sickness.  In this, I turned to many-a-crafty beers, but the one I kept returning to with the gratification of solid results was Pale Dog, from local brewists Hops & Grain.

To liberally paraphrase a quote about baseball in one of the greatest films ever made: Beer is a simple game. You boil the beer, you ferment the beer, you bottle the beer. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains. Think about that for a while.

This is not more evident than with the recipe of pale ales, a style that I would estimate 90% of American small brewers batch into a sellable product.  Pale ales are the baseball of beers, a traditional formula that has triumphed through a hurricane of changes in the brewing world, and one that readily appeases like an old hound that will chaperon you for two weeks during your illness.  It is THAT reliable.

That said, you would imagine that most micro brewers do a pretty good job at their attempted pale ale -- and yes, that's pretty true.  Its a product that is hard to fuck up.  However, by that same rationale, its also a product that is difficult to make outstanding.  This is precisely where Pale Dog transcends.  Its flavor profile is extremely pervasive, as the hop-malt blend really chews through the papillae, and finishes as clean as a handful of snow.  There are some very nice, subtle, melon fruit notes that provide additional complexity to the formula. 

Pale Dog is certainly a reliable beast.  Its ushered me through a cold that manifested into the flu, and then took a hard right at a double ear infection.  Its been miserable -- in relative terms; not in real, actual life-threatening terms -- and you would think that maybe I'd learn to recoup by drinking a shitload of orange juice or something.  Fuck that.  Being sick sucks verily already.  I wasn't going to let it ruin my life.

ABV: 6.o%
Acquired: King Liquor

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