I don’t often hear about a new beer through a geek news site, in fact I don’t think I have ever heard any news about any beer or brewery on any of the geek news sites that I visit. However, that all changed back in March when Geekologie posted a story about a new beer with a retro gamer theme, 8-Bit Pale Ale from Tallgrass Brewing. Sheer gamer nostalgia made me want to find this beer and try it. This is an expertly marketed beer for gamers. Heck, word is that empty cans of 8-Bit Pale Ale have proven to worth quite a lot on eBay. Fortunately, I was able to get my hands on an unopened can of 8-Bit, so that I could try what I hope is an excellent beer that lives up to the hype.
Tallgrass is a relatively new brewery, founded in 2007 by Jeff Gill and his wife Tricia. Jeff was one of the home brewers lucky enough to get total buy-in from his wife when he told her he wanted to pull up stakes, quit his position as an environmental geologist and move start a brewery. Jeff, you have an awesome wife! While my wife supports my dream of eventually opening up a brewery, I have heard from many home brewers who aren’t as fortunate. With dreams, his wife’s support and the help of investors, Jeff opened Tallgrass Brewing Company and the brewery brewed their first beer in August 2007. Here’s to hoping they continue to expand.
They say: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.
Malts: 2 Row, Victory, Vienna & Munich
Hops: Magnum, Centennial, Cascade & Galaxy
8-bit poured hazy light golden with a think, almost rocky white head that had excellent retention and left nice lacing in the glass. It had a nice citrus and floral hop aroma with just a hint of mango and passionfruit, backed up by a light sweet maltiness.
The flavor was slightly malty with strong grapefruit and orange notes fading to sweetness with a bitter, dry finish. If I didn’t know better, I would place the IBUs a bit higher than the official listing of 40 due to the strong finish. 8-bit is a well-balanced beer, but definitely tipped a little further towards the bitter side than many other pale ales. If you like a nice strong hop bitterness in your beers then this is definitely a beer you should try.
I am not a big fan of Pale Ale’s, but 8-bit is definitely an excellent example of the style and it will certainly satisfy anyone looking for an excellent, well-brewed beer. So head out there any pick up a 4-pack if you can find it in your area, if not it is available online from France 44. Keep up the good work Tallgrass, I can’t wait to try the rest of your line-up!!
That’s all for today, check back this weekend for my next post. I have a few more beers from Tallgrass in the queue as well as an English bitter, a pale ale, a few fruit beers and a couple stouts. I am not sure what the next update will be, but it will be up soon!