Talk about your niche beers. This is a session pale ale. And a good one, at that.
First off, this beer is assertively — yet not obnoxiously — hoppy, both in flavor, aroma and bitterness. Right when you open the can, you get that whiff of citrus and pine that says Cascades. It smells dry-hopped, for sure.
The website for 21st Amendment says they use Simcoe, Centennial, Warrior and Cascade. Whatever. It’s the Cascade and Centennial that stand out. Simcoe and Warrior are new American designer hops that have yet to impress me much. I’m guessing they’re from Monsanto or ADM or Dekalb or some other big Aggro firm. The brewery is in SFO, and the west-coast influence is right out there for everyone to love or hate.
The beer advertises itself as a session beer, and at 4.4% ABV, it fits the bill. You could probably have a full 6pack of these 12 oz cans and not get done in. The color is gold-amber, and the mouthfeel isn’t particularly substantive. But it’s not lawnmower beer thin, either. This reminds me of what people end up making when they try to make their first few pale ales.
The thing I will say that is nice about it is that for as much work as they put into the hop flavor and aroma, for hitting a full 48 IBU’s, it’s not horribly bitter at all. It did fail the Angie Earwax Test, however. That’s when Angie tries a beer and says, “This tastes like earwax.” Don’t ask me how she knows what earwax tastes like, though. Some things I don’t even want to know about my own wife.
If you like your beers sessionable, noticeably hopped, none too sweet at all, and highly drinkable, I recommend this. It comes in 6-packs of 12 oz cans which doesn’t thrill me. Pint cans would be just peachy for this since the beer is meant to be had in volume.
Overall, this beer gets 4 Bring The Father In Law To the Corner of Market & Castro out of 5 Cities Built On Garbage Piles.