well, thanks to the dysfunction of the usps these days, it took nearly two weeks to get to me in new orleans from chicago (even with priority mail), but i finally poured my very first tasteNA sample from big drop brewing, their pine trail pale.
it’s funny how for most of my adult life, i have not enjoyed pale ales, IPAs or anything that has a strong hops bitterness to it. i’m usually much more of a dark beer fan, a lover of maltiness, sweetness, and caramel, chocolate, nut, and/or coffee undertones. but now that i’m drinking NAs, i’m finding i can tolerate hops more and actually enjoy it in some brews. i don’t think i’m gonna become a huge IPA fan anytime soon, as things labeled as such usually have much higher IBU than things simply labeled pale ale and i’m not that into the bitterness, but i’m happy to have more options.
so, this beer. it arrived earlier today, late morning, due to its detour and extended stay in a distribution center in southaven, MS, so it was only in the fridge for like 6-7 hours. but i couldn’t wait any longer! (my fridge is petty cold though.)
first of all, i love their can design and logo. the company is originally from the UK and has just recently started brewing and distributing here in the US, so it has a bit of a different “cool” look to it than a lot of the US NA brands. this should help them stand out on the shelves, for sure.
it poured a pretty pale yellow color but had minimal head. usually that would make me think it might be flat, but not in this case and really didn’t bother me visually. it had a fresh, floral aroma that was inviting. the carbonation and body of the beer was great, good mouthfeel – that addition of lactose really helps it to feel like a beer in my mouth. i get the pine, a little citrus (lime), and the hops bite is there, prominent but not overpowering. it’s light and crisp and paired nicely with my pasta dinner. i can see why it won a world beer award for style!
i would drink this again for sure, and now that i have an idea of the quality of their beer, i’m even more excited to try their galactic extra dark, which is basically a stout. thanks tasteNA for the chance to sample this! hopefully next time it won’t take 2 weeks to get to me!