Tag Archives: Oskar Blues

Have I told you lately that I love….Dale’s Pale Ale.

22 Aug

Dale’s Pale Ale is truly a masterful blend. 

After doing some “field research” for an article I am writing on canned beers, I decided I need to praise this old classic once again. I also got the chance to interview Dale Katechis, of Oskar Blues, for the article and he had some really interesting things to say.

We took a trip down memory lane to 2002,when he became the Father of canned craft beer and spawned this tasty brew. He said he knew people would scoff at the idea of putting such a high quality of product in a can. Since then, there are now over 600 craft beers in cans from over 200 breweries.

Here’s some things I learned about  the idea behind canning:

1. Portable – Better for hiking, biking, backpacking. Watch out for the trees and don’t pull a Sonny Bono. And, you can cool down a can in 5 minutes – quick for a break in your outdoor adventures.

Light penetrating bottles causes beer to smell like this guy. Le sigh.

2. Better quality – It’s SCIENCE people. A photochemical reaction occurs when light reaches beer through glass. It degrades the hops and causes it to excrete the same compounds produced by skunks. Hence, skunked beer. Beer in clear and green bottles have a better chance of skunking than brown bottles, but still some light gets through them. Not so in cans.

3. Legal – Some stadiums and outdoor venues don’t allow glass, but you don’t have to duck the cops when you’re rolling around with aluminum.

4. Eco-friendly – Mother Nature will thank you, since aluminum is more widely accepted by recycling facilities and infinitely recyclable.

5. Cheaper – Cans are lighter, so this concept should be pretty straight forward, even if you’re on your 3rd or 6th brew. Lighter cans, less fuel.

6. Practical – Just like driving a Subaru, it may not be pretty, but it’s a damn good package – perfect for the outdoors, trustworthy, and nothing more fancy than you need.

So if you think canned beer is only for Nascar races, above ground pools, and hanging out with people that don’t wear shoes and may be named Billy Bob or Bobby Jo, you’re just wrong. Unless it’s Natty Light in a can, then you are probably right. But as far, as craft beer in cans go, love it or hate it, I don’t care. I’ll be driving my Subaru up a mountain with a sixer of these bad boys.

Cans get cold in just 5 short minutes.

Gainesville Beer Festival

27 Mar

I have to say the 2011 Greater Gator Beer Festival was a success.

Beer festivals are like a blend of speed dating and the biggest power hour game imaginable…except 4 hours. Any ADD ridden/extremely impatient person can appreciate the ability to bounce around from one beer stand to the next at your leisure and the ‘anything goes’ atmosphere these things provide. Oh yeah, old drunk man, you just ran over my foot with your wheelchair , don’t worry about saying excuse me. And don’t worry big sweaty stranger who told me “I pregamed this thing with Jager”, lean on my shoulder even though you outweigh me by double.

All inclusive food and beer?  You had me at all-inclusive beer.

Beer festivals are lots of fun and gives people a chance to sample beers and find what they like without the commitment of buying the whole 6-pack. It’s also something different to do, usually in the sun. A little vitamin D is good for the soul.

I went with the roomates, one being a novice in beer drinking and we all had a great time. The attendants of the beer stations are usually knowledgeable and friendly.

There’s one downfall to this type of thing, as you may know from going to any outdoor concert or festival – port-o-pottys(gagged a little typing that). Can I please wait 20 minutes doing the “pee dance” to go into the worst smelling, Claustrophobia-inducting, germ-ridden box. I try to not drink any water before I go to these things…not the best advice for your health -Sue me.

So I decided to do an awards ceremony for the sake of this blog and here is what I came up with. Here’s some good beers to try:

1st Place

Southern Tier Choklat Stout – Sooo good. This chocolaty bitter beer is black with dark brown foam. It’s very strong, full-bodied and delicious. Obviously, this is a dessert beer. I could not drink more than one of these. It’s definitely worth a try if you ever come across this beer. It would probably be great paired with something else chocolaty.  Also check out the Crème Brulee Stout I have reviewed earlier, this company knows how to make good dessert beers. Like many dessert beers, this beer is very strong – 11 percent to be exact. Being almost as much alcohol as class of wine, you should only drink one of these bad boys.

2nd Place

Oskar Blues Old Chub – delicious. This Scotch Ale rings in at 8 percent alcohol and is smooth and worth a try. Only available in a can, like all Oskar Blues beers, Old Chub is reddish brown and color with hints of caramel and malt. It is a bit smoky tasting with hints of roasted nuts or fruit. Overall, this beer is strong, and surprisingly enjoyable.

3rd Place

Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale is a long time favorite of mine. Although I am partial to Sweetwater beers because I have been to the brewery and have seen this brand grow from just a wee little baby to a well-received craft beer company, I still think it is worth a mention. 420 is just an all around good extra pale ale. It is smooth, bitter and hoppy, but not overwhelming. It’s a sharp tasting amber color ale and contain 5.2 percent alcohol.

Au revoir friends. After all this beer and typing, I need a nap.

Dale’s Pale Ale: A delicious craft in a can

7 Feb

So we meet again, Dale’s Pale Ale.

This beer first started as a small-scale craft beer brewed out of Colorado. Risking it all, Oskar Blues decided to hand-can their masterpiece instead of bottling it. Word quickly spread about delicious pale ale in-a-can circulating through Colorado and soon it began to expand to other parts of the United States.

Dale’s Pale Ale is, without doubt, one of the best American pale ales around. It was voted Top Pale Ale by The New York Times and is highly regarded by beer connoisseurs.

This is not my first rodeo with Dale’s. I have had Dale’s Pale Ale a few times throughout my life – and I always come back for more.

“Pale Ale” generally refers to an ale (top-fermented yeast beers) that is hoppy and bitter. Pale malts are used in brewing, hence the name. They are often a good blend of malt and hop flavors and can range in color from light copper to dark brown.  Pale ales have become very popular in American because they are usually a flavorful medium-bodied beer.

Dale’s is an amber-red color and is fruity and bold. The rich, hoppy flavor dominates the taste, leaving a bitter taste and aftertaste. The fruit taste is also strong but not as strong as other fruit beers. The hops are medium-level, not as strong as an IPA, but definitely there.

There was a slight layer of white foam upon pouring this beer from can to glass, which quickly dissipated. There was medium to low carbonation, which held pretty much throughout the whole drinking process. It would have nice the have the foam hold for a little longer.

This is a very good beer, worthy of the awards it has won. The smell is not floral, and is slightly musty, as was Mama’s Little Yella Pils, also by Oskar Blues. Just a guess, but maybe it is the can that causes this. The smell is barely detectable and not something that will turn you off the beer or anything, but I though it was relevant nonetheless.

The best thing about this beer is that it surprises the taste buds with ever sip. Pale ales take some getting used to. Dale’s is bitter and hoppy but not overwhelming. I would most definitely recommend it if we carried it at the bar I work at.

It is 6.5 percent alcohol, about 2 percent stronger than your average domestic lager, such as Bud Light, so you may want to keep this in mind.

Dale’s is available on draft at many restaurants and bars that carry craft beers. It’s great on draft, and is also available in singles, six-packs and most recently a 12-pack box. It’s a good pale ale to start with, but may create a standard that is hard to beat.