Friday, April 13, 2012

Beer of the Week (Vol. CXLII)

Another edition of Beer of the Week sponsored as always by the playful folks at Glen Lake Wine & Spirits who can help find the wine, whiskey, and beer that best suits your game.

This week’s beer hails from Tallgrass Brewing Company in Kansas. Like all their beers, it comes in cans and this offering has a unique angle:

Just like those classic video games we all grew up with, 8-Bit Pale Ale is spectacularly simple at first glance yet remarkably fun and complex when you get into it. Our Hop Rocket infuses the character of Australian grown Galaxy Hops into an American Pale Ale, giving a unique tropical, almost melon aroma in a classic American style.

The Tallgrass site is currently running a poll asking “Which of these classic 8-Bit games was your favorite?”:

Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt
The Legend of Zelda
Mike Tyson's Punch Out
Metroid (spoiler: Samus is a girl!)
Super Tecmo Bowl

That’s a good list, but for me it’s gotta be Super Tecmo Bowl. Anthony Carter on the reverse was unstoppable. Now the question is whether the beer itself lives up to the reputation of the classic games it gets its name from.

A four-pack of 16oz cans goes for $8.99. Perfectly executed retro video game design on can. The colors, the shapes, and the font are all spot on.

STYLE: American Pale Ale


COLOR (0-2): Light gold color with a bit of haziness. 2

AROMA (0-2): Delicious aromas of hops with a little bit of honey and mango. 2

HEAD (0-2): Bright white color. Lots of volume off the pour. Good lacing. 2

TASTE (0-5): Like the smell, the taste mostly features hop flavors with more muted bready malt and a bit of sweet and citrus touches. The hops are well-moderated and the result is a smooth, pleasantly bitter beer that goes down remarkably well. Creamy mouthfeel with a medium body. 4

AFTERTASTE (0-2): Clean finish with lingering, but subtle bitterness. 2

OVERALL (0-6): In some ways this pale ale reminds me more of a bitter than anything else. In a good way too. While pale ales are ubiquitous, bitters are harder to come by, especially good ones. 8-Bit is a very good beer from a can and I can only imagine that it would be awesome on tap. To relive the good old days in style, fire up your NES, pop in classic cartridge, and pop open a Tallgrass 8-Bit Pale Ale. And with the moderate alcohol, it's a beer that can carry you deep into a night of gaming. 4

TOTAL SCORE (0-19): 16