Pale Ale – American: Odell St Lupulin

This week we have the summer seasonal offering from Odell Brewing. Odell are part of the exciting Colorado brewing scene, and none of the beers I have had that are produced by them have disappointed.

I chose this beer because Pale ales are great to drink in Autumn and Summer, and as we go into Autumn with the weather still being warm this beer is perfect.

Let’s start with Odell’s description of the beer:

A mystical legend echoes in our brewhouse – that of St. Lupulin (loop-you-lin) the archetypal hophead. He devoted endless summers to endless rows of hops, tending to the flowers and the beloved resin within – lupulin. Extraordinary oils in this yellow resin provide this dry-hopped extra pale ale with an undeniably pleasing floral aroma and clean, crisp finish. One sip of this seasonal summer ale and you too, will believe.
Available May through September

It’s always nice to have a story along with a beer along with hints of the flavour, and Odell have always been very good with that. St. Lupulin truely is a crisp, refreshing beer and great for after a long day at work or indeed drinking in the garden on a hot day/humid evening. At 6.5% you probably could session it, but not as much as some other Pale Ales offered.

I recently e-mailed Odell about their recipes and they were willing to tell me some of the details of the ingredients for a few of their beers, which is nice. Some brewers keep their recipies under wraps, even when you e-mail them! The malts used in this beer are Pale Malt, ESB Malt, Vienna, and Caramalt – a great malt backbone for a Pale Ale in my opinion. It’s nice seeing a few british malts in this brew. As for the hops, CascadePerle and dry-hopped with Centennial. I think this is a really good, sensible hop bill for an (extra) Pale Ale brewed for Summer/Early Autumn as the Cascade and Centennial hops provide that nice floral, fruity taste and the Perle provide a nice clean, crisp, almost lager like taste to the brew. Odell have come up with a great recipe for this one.

This beer pours a russet gold colour and is slightly cloudy, leaving a great head even when not poured vigorously which sticks around for a long time until it slowly dissipates leaving some nice film on the glass along with a thin cap. The smell of this beer is quite complex for a Pale Ale, hints of honey, crisp malted barley which is balanced well with the floral, citrus and some pine aromas from the hops. There’s also some subtle spice which is nice. The taste is a clean malty flavour to start, which then fades into some citrus, subtle grapefruit and a little pine. It’s definitely quite hoppy as far as Pale Ales go, but still crisp and refreshing like a lager. It’s extremely well balanced. The beer is almost velvet-like and is very smooth. It finishes very crisp. An extremely refreshing brew indeed.

You can purchase Odell St. Lupulin in the UK at:

Beers Of Europe

Honest Brew

Beer Ritz (In Stock!)

Amazon

As always, a google search is good too!

Unfortunately there is no distribution for Odell in the UK, but if you’re a bar or a shop Beer Ritz does offer 24 bottles of this sesonal ale.

 

EST. CALORIES: 195   ABV: 6.5%

Sours/Berliner Weissebier: Dogfish Head Festina Pêche

Peche

To mark the mid-point of August I’ve picked this one. Although the Berliner Weissebier is a German style, I thought I would pick Dogfish Head Festina Pêche beer due to it being a great example of a Berliner Weisse and Sours/This style being very popular in America as of late.

As always, let’s start with Dogfish Head‘s description of the beer:

A refreshing neo-Berliner Weisse, Festina Peche is available in 4-packs and on draft during the sweaty months.

Sadly, there are only a few breweries left in Berlin still brewing the Berliner Weisse style, which is characterized by its intense tartness (some say sour). There were once over 70 breweries in Berlin alone making this beer!

In addition to fermentation with an ale yeast, Berliner Weisse is traditionally fermented with lactic cultures to produce its acidic (or green apple-like) character. Served as an apertif or summertime quencher, Festina is delicately hopped and has a pale straw color. To soften the intense sourness, Berliner Weisse is traditionally served with a dash of essence of woodruff or raspberry syrup.

In Festina Peche, since the natural peach sugars are eaten by the yeast, the fruit complexity is woven into both the aroma and the taste of the beer so there is no need to doctor it with woodruff or raspberry syrup. Just open and enjoy!

A medium to long description on this one, but Dogfish always like to give a decent description of their beers. Festina Pêche is a seasonal offering from Dogfish and since the release I am talking about in this post apparently the “tart” flavour has been reduced which I think is a shame given the popularity of sour beers in the US at the moment.

After tasting this beer and doing some research, I think the grains used in this are Castle Château Pilsen 2-Row for the malted barley and Rahr White Wheat for the wheat part. This is Dogfish Head, so I’m guessing they have used Centennial Hops in this brew, but it isn’t a very hoppy beer so it’s hard to tell and could well be Kent Goldings which would also work very well. Someone at Dogfish Head told a friend of mine in Delaware that they used Champagne Yeast to ferment the beer which makes sense as it does have a very sharp taste. I must congratulate them on this, as it can be quite a difficult yeast to deal with.

The beer pours with a very light yellow/amber colour with a thin white head which fades to a thin cap, this is pretty standard for a Berliner Weiss. The only difference is that the carbonation is a lot higher than usual for this style, again probably due to the Champagne Yeast. The carbonation makes you think it’s going to be as fizzy as a supermarket lemonade but it calms down after a while and starts to look very inviting. The smell of this beer is very complex, it has hints of malt, wheat and the peach concentrate is most definitely there. There is also that sour tarty smell from the Lacto conversion of some of the Sugars into Lactic Acid and there’s a small grassy hint that there are hops in the beer (not that this is the most important part of this style). The first thing you notice when you taste this beer is the intense tart sourness of the peaches, the sugar really has been stripped out but it’s such a great addition to such a classic style. You get the wheat and malt after this intense hit and then a slight piney hop bitterness to finish off. The beer goes down very smooth but it is as dry as a Pinot Grigio. The carbonation is still almost champagne-esque but it’s nothing too bad and the quality and complexity of this brew brushes off this almost negative point.

Unfortunately Dogfish Head beers are extremely hard to get in the UK as they have stopped distribution here to concentrate on expanding their market in the US. However, if you get a chance to try or buy this beer in America or you can ask someone to bring it back for you I seriously recommend you do. If you want to try a Craft Berliner Weissbier in the UK that is brewed in the UK I would recommend Siren Craft Brew’s Calypso, you could even add some peach concentrate to try and replicate this great Dogfish Head brew. If you’re looking for something closer to the traditional style, I would recommend Berliner Kindl Weisse but I must warn you it is extremely sour!

EST. CALORIES: 135   ABV: 4.5%