Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Sweetgrass American Pale Ale – Grand Teton Brewing

                SweetgrassPale Ale from Grand Teton Brewing took the gold medal for American Pale Ale at the 2009 Great American Beer Festival, no small feat in itself, and undoubtedly been a popular beer for Grand Teton both before and since.

Originally based on the British Pale Ale, the American Pale Ale takes on the flavors and character of American barley, yeast and hops.  Instead of the fruity esters, herbal or spicy hop notes spicy and nutty/caramel malt character of British Pale Ales, the American Pale Ales tend towards the floral, piney, resiny and citrus hop varieties, and a cleaner fermenting yeast.  American pale ales often have more hop flavor and bitterness than British pale ales, while many American commercial examples blur the line between being a pale ale and a much hoppier India pale ales.

Moving on to the review; on Beeradvocate, Sweetgrass American Pale Ale has a score of 84.  Over at ratebeer, it has a score of 84 overall and an 83 for style.

They Say:

             Sweetgrass APA is a Pale Ale of distinction! 2009 Great American Beer Festival Gold Medal winner in the American Pale Ale category, this crisp and fragrant beer is hopped and dry-hopped with plenty of Bravos. Try it with any bold, flavorful food to complement its citrusy, resinous spiciness. Alcohol 6.0% by volume.

                Malts: Idaho 2-Row Brewers, German Vienna & CaraAmber
                Hops: Columbus, Galena, Simcoe & Cascade. Dry hopped with Bravo
                International Bittering Units: 60
                Original Gravity: 15.0 Plato (1.060)
                Alcohol by Volume: 6.0%
                Lovibond: 8.4°

2009 - Gold Medal, American Pale Ale (Great American Beer Festival)

I Say:

                Sweet Grass Pale Ale pours a slightly hazy reddish amber with a thick creamy white head that holds excellent retention, through the entire glass and leaves exquisite lacing.  The aroma is of caramel, and tons of citrus (grapefruit, orange and lemon) and slight pine notes up front.  As it warms, the aromas turn toward papaya and pineapple.

                The flavor is smooth and sweet with a slight grainy notes, backed up by grapefruit, orange and papaya hop flavors.  It is moderately bitter throughout with a refreshingly bitter, dry finish.  Sweetgrass is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level.

                It is a very refreshing, easy drinking American Pale Ale.  It is very easy to understand why it won the gold medal at the 2009 GABF.  I am not sure why it is rates so low on the two major ratings sites, but I tend to not trust a majority of the scores on those sites and only include them here for reference.

                That's all for tonight, check back on Friday for a review of Double Vision Dopplebock.

                Happy Drinking!

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