Sunday, 5 June 2016
Bystander American Pale Ale
On the Friday of the Victoria Day long weekend, I worked up a powerful thirst waiting for the bitter wife to get home so we could order some chow. Fortunately, Innocente Brewing Company answered my prayer for beery relief with their Bystander American Pale Ale. Brewed in Waterloo, Ontario, Innocente's take on the APA contained a mere 4.7% alcohol (fortunately a buttressed that with a whisky), and came in a 500mL bottle. The brew was a swampy, dull orange number, with a lush, off-white head and a pretty fair volume of yeasty floaties.
According to the copy on the label, I was due for flavours of grapefruit and strawberry. While citrus is an altogether common (if wildly enjoyable) note in hoppy beers, the prospect of strawberry threw me for a bit of a loop. Sure enough, though, the ale's aroma walked a tricky line between citrus and berry, while maintaining the promise of bitterness. The flavour played a similar tune, with a cacophony of fruit notes dueling with dry bitterness in an effort to be heard.
This was my second tango with an Innocente offering, and like the Charcoal Porter before it, I found myself genuinely impressed with the quality of this beer. Someone (or someones) in the Innocente organization has their shit together. I could have done without the floaties, but this beer had little else to count against it. It was sessionable, flavourful, slightly unusual, hoppy, and memorable. And that isn't just the whisky and the pending long weekend talking--this beer was baller. I feel like a trip to Waterloo is in my near future!
Note: "a trip to Waterloo is in my near future" is a nine-word combination that may have never been accompanied by an exclamation point prior to this blog post.
Rating: 9.0 out of 10.