Pours a golden straw color, plenty of foamy head. The smell is a huge hop aroma, like a freshly opened bag of hop pellets (used in homebrewing). Every single time I brew I always take a huge whiff of the hops right when I open the bag – this smells almost identical.
Maybe its just my late night taste buds, but this beer is very drinkable. It helps that I love hoppy pale ales, but this one is mellow. The nose hits you every time you tip the glass but the beer is somehow not overly bitter. My guess is some generous dry-hopping: a method in which the brewer adds hops to the beer after its done fermenting but before its bottled or kegged. This results in a fresh, strong aroma, but does not contribute to bittering the beer at all.
Poured this beer out of a 64 oz growler (a common glass jug offered by many brewpubs that allows the customer to take home the beers that are served at the establishment). Ask my wife, there are random growlers floating around my basement and I actually think I saw one in the garage not too long ago. Due to the packaging of this beer I feel the carbonation has suffered a bit. If the mild carbonation is by design, I’d have to say its my one complaint about this. Chances are its not, since I broke the seal on the growler earlier (yes at work, but it was after 5 so its ok right?) The shelf life on growlers greatly decreases once they’ve been opened. Its about six hours later and I can tell its not as carbonated as it should be. Nevertheless, growlers are awesome. Get one or five, especially if they’re filled with some delicious local craft beer.
This beer is enjoyable, easy to drink, but full of hop character, again without being too bitter. Add it to the types of beer I’d like to brew successfully. It contains some malt presence, but this is far from a malty beer. This is a straight up pale ale. Bitter to the end, but just enough to leave your mouth with a distinct hoppy bitterness- something everyone who drinks beer has their own subjective feeling about. I happen to enjoy it more often than not. And having never been to Piece Brewing (a pizzeria and brewpub), I cannot comment on their establishment but I will say this- if anyone from Piece Brewing happens upon this review- I look forward to some pints of this and your other offerings and of course, some of your pizza. Thanks Nate for the late afternoon special beer delivery!
If you have a chance to get to Wicker Park in Chicago – visit this place, if for nothing more than a glass of Full Frontal!