Friday, January 16, 2009

Santa Cruz Ale Works: Pale Ale

I do love Czech pilsners, German lagers, and Belgium witbiers. But more than any authentic European creation, I relish the taste of almost all west coast style American ales.

With the general expansion of microbreweries in the US, it is easier and easier to grab local craft brews. Another relatively new brewery caught my attention: Santa Cruz Ale works. I noticed this brewery had the same "California Brewed" bottle caps as Marin Brewing Co and Moylan's Brewery and Restaurant. (see picture) Apparently any California brewery can get their hands on these bottle caps instead of placing their trademarked logo on the cap. I really like this idea. For those of us who prefer to shop locally it's nice to easily identify California breweries and know that these brewers are also proud of their golden state roots.

But besides the fact that shopping locally helps the environment, stimulates the regional economy, ect, ect it's just fun to sample local craft. And this site is about the beer. As for this pale ale it has really nice spoungy head which eventually dissipates leaving a great hoppy fruity aroma. Unfortunately the taste doesn't back up the smell. While nice and hoppy with a good citrus kick the body is quite thin. I was sorta surprised because all the nice hop flavors are there but it just feels a little watery in the mouth. But one benefit of this character is that it makes this ale very drinkable and thus there was no problem putting down a 22oz bomber.

So next time you are at the grocer or in your favorite local watering hole I encourage you to order a local beer; wherever that may be. You can stick to an old favorite or have fun sampling something new. You can't go wrong. Cheers.

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