New Angles on Old Tricks: The Classic Pale Ale

With all of these funky new beers, many of which were unimaginable even a few short years ago (and I say that as a guy with a vivid imagination when it comes to beer), I often forget that a good pale ale is one of the true treats of the beer world: delicious; low enough in alcohol to drink several without causing the world to spin, yet flavorful enough to thoroughly enjoy; and strikes the right balance of bold flavors and drinkability for a craft beer neophyte to enjoy. Few things make me happier than seeing the inroads Sierra Nevada has made with marketing its flagship Pale Ale. No matter how lame the bar is (and I have been in plenty of lame ass bars), these places will usually now carry Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale as a sop to beer snobs like me. No matter how lame the pizzeria (or now that I am in Texas, a taqueria is more likely), they usually have a few bottles of it handy, or better yet, a tap devoted to it.

Let’s try some new pale ales:

We all know that the Book of Revelations are the jotted down ramblings of a lunatic, right? RIGHT?

We all know that the Book of Revelations is the jotted down ramblings of a lunatic, right? RIGHT?

No Label is a new Texas brewer, and while I was not a fan of their Jalapeno Pale Ale that the rest of the world loved, their Pale Horse Pale Ale is quite nice. It has a bitter citrus aroma from the dry hopping, but the taste is not nearly as bitter as the aroma would indicate. It is somewhat maltier than I expected but has a nice dry finish. This may be too tame for hopheads, but on the other hand, I am a hophead, and I enjoyed it, 7/10.

Aujourd’hui, maman est morte.

Aujourd’hui, maman est morte.

Stranger American Pale Ale from Left Hand Brewing is brewed with rye malts, and that peppery spiciness is prominent in both the aroma and the taste. There are some piney hops as well, but it is the rye that truly stands out in this beer. It is as flavorful as many IPAs without the mouth puckering bitterness associated with that style. Smooth, drinkable, and accessible, 7.5/10.

Mississippi’s Lazy Magnolia Brewing Company’s entry in the pale ale race is the Deep South Pale (formerly known as the ‘Reb Ale’ according to their website*). It pours a golden amber with good head retention. The hops are citrus with a touch of pine (by far the hoppiest of these pale ales) but the hops are balanced by biscuit like malts. It is not quite as smooth as the Left Hand, but is a fine beer nonetheless, 7/10.

Yall lost. Get over it. The bullshit - refernces to Rebels, the battle flag, all of it - has got to go

Yall lost. Get over it. The bullshit – refernces to Rebels, the battle flag, all of it – has got to go

*A note on the name change from ‘Reb Ale’ to Deep South Pale Ale – This beer never should have been called Reb Ale in the first place. The South lost the Civil War, and while I do not doubt the bravery of the Confederate soldiers, they fought in support of an abominable institution, namely slavery, and do not come back to me with any bullshit about how they were fighting for state’s rights or against tariffs or other nonsense. Each state that seceded drafted and ratified Articles of Secession, and each state listed slavery as the first or second reason as to why they were seceding. The Articles of Secession are primary documents. They are not historians’ interpretations as to why events occurred. Rather, they are the actual historical actors telling you why they seceded. With that being said, Lazy Magnolia’s explanation of the name change, that “consistent growth into new distribution areas, we had to change the name to accommodate our growth” is spectacularly lame. If you do not want potential customers in new distribution areas to think you are paying homage to the South’s ugly racist past, do not reference that ugly racist past in naming your beers. Simple enough to me, but I am just a Yankee carpetbagger, so what the fuck do I know?

6 Responses to New Angles on Old Tricks: The Classic Pale Ale

  1. jpe says:

    The left hand logo looks like a right hand to me.

  2. Hag says:

    It depends on whether you are pitching or catching….

  3. bladdamasta says:

    Does this mean you’ll lose half your readership? I heartily concur with your sentiments, btw. Very jealous of the constant supply you have access to Stateside.

    • seanrude says:

      Losing half of my readership would mean either you or JPE would be taking your leave, and since both of you commented, I think I am safe.

      No one has even emailed to complain. Defending the confederacy is a tough sell, although it does happen more than it should. Most of the Confederate imagery that lingers does so due to inertia more than anything. Once a complaint is raised, it usually gets killed off. I just thought the reasoning offered by Lazy Magnolia was especially specious.

  4. […] New Angles on Old Tricks: The Classic Pale Ale ( […]

  5. […] Lazy Magnolia Jefferson Stout: This stout is brewed with sweet potatoes. I did not detect any distinct sweet potato flavor, but I did like this beer. The ‘Jefferson’ referenced in the name of the beer is neither Thomas nor George. It is Jefferson Davis. Just stop with this crap. […]

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