If you visit the Rock Bottom of Lombard you’ll notice that the Pale Ale is a beer of choice for both regulars and guests alike. This beer is readily on tap as it holds a key spot in their daily line up. I frequented there a couple days ago and thought I should write up a review.

It starts off as a hazy yellow-pale brew with a substantial eggshell white head when placed on your coaster. From there you’re taken on a wonderful ride through a fruity citrus filled beer that demands respect. Using Nugget to bitter, Simcoe and Cascade to finish, then dry hopped with Amarillo and Chinook (I hope I got that right) Tim provides you with a nice range of hop aromas and flavors to explore. The malts are light, bready and give a slight hint of caramel. There is a citrus blast that comes as you waft aromas with hints of grapefruit, orange, pineapple, and tangerine. Complimenting that is a nice floral component along with a pungent piney quality that makes me think I’m standing in a NW pine forest.

This fresh and lively beer does not stop at the nose. With regards to taste it is pleasantly hoppy all the way through, but does so in a non-aggressive manner (even though it might be aggressively hopped). It is somewhat pungent allowing for a slight resinous/oily aftertaste. This only served to remind me of the citrus hop blast I first smelled yet allowed the bready pale malt backbone to come out. Basically, it had a fruity bitter blast up front, a smooth sweet middle, and a lightly piney resinous finish.

Overall, it is one of the better APAs I’ve had in my lifetime and I appreciate that it stays within the style’s range. One could consider it an IPA, but only due to its freshness that accentuates the hoppiness. I forgot to look up the ABV, but my guess: somewhere between 4.6-5.8%.

ABV: 4.6-5.8%

Grade: A