As a Kansas City, and Boulevard Brewing Co. homer, I had been reluctant in purchasing beers made by the Schlafly Brewing Company of St. Louis. In fact, during my now three years as a craft beer drinker I had yet to purchase a single one of their products. Luckily, for me, the lady of the house picked up some of their Pale Ale up by chance the other day at, one of our local liquor stores.
Shclafly’s version of the pale ale is made in the style of the old English Pale Ales rather than its American counterparts like Boulevard’s and Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale offerings. It uses traditional English hop varieties rather than American.
- Appearance – 4 of 5
- Smell – 3.5 of 5
- Taste – 4 of 5
- Mouthfeel – 3.5 of 5
- Drinkability – 5 of 5
- OVERALL – 4 of 5
Its appearance boasts a medium copper/ amber body that becomes more orange when held to a light. The body color also has a definite haze, which makes it difficult to see through to the other side of the glass. (though on further research pictures found on the web feature glasses poured showing little to no haze at all) It pours with a finger width, off-white head that dissipates quickly and leaves little lacing as the beer recedes down the glass.
The aroma is a fairly even balance of hops and biscuity malt. Significantly more malty and less hoppy than most American pale ales. The scent is of a medium strength and there are hints of floral and herb as well, but they are only faint.
The taste, much like the aroma of this beer is a wonderful balance of hop bitterness and malt flavor. The first thing the drinker should notice is the coating, biscuity flavor of the malt, which is followed shortly after by the faint floral and herbal notes, then again by the hops for a dry, crisp finish and a pleasant alcohol burn. I personally, really like the taste and mouthfeel on the back of my tongue, as Schlafly’s pale ale delicately works on those bitter-sensitive taste-buds.
The mouthfeel of this beer is very nice. It is light enough without being watery, and thick enough without being too heavy. It coats the drinker’s mouth nicely, and could be described as a “fluffy” mouthfeel. Note again the dry finish from before. Its only flaw would be that if drank slowly too slowly it has a tendency to become a bit watery. Again, this is not typical and with its drinkability should rarely be a problem.
This brew is also very drinkable, and would be suitable for a session at any time throughout the year. It is quite easy drinking and when served cold would be perfect for an afternoon of yard work or at the ballpark. It also has a slight warming effect that translates nicely to a winter session. As it says on the bottle, “Perfect for those summers days and nights as well as a cozy winter fire. ”
Schlafly Pale Ale would pair nicely with spicier dishes from the Mediterranean, India, and the Americas featuring poultry and fish.
Overall, I think this brew will be a definite mainstay in my beer rotation. It would also be a great transitional beer for those looking to break away from the typical American macro swill.