Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Dale's Pale Ale (Oskar Blues)

This was Justin's final contribution to the TNJ Beer Club before he went off to work at the increasingly legendary Dogfish Head Craft Brewery. As I've said before, I consider starting this biweekly beer exchange one of the best ideas devised by anybody at any time.

The Facebook page for Dale's Pale Ale touts it as "America's first hand-canned craft beer." I've roamed the far corners of this big, scary Internet and I can't find any other brewery contesting the claim. So, what Oskar Blues started (some say as a lark) almost ten years ago has ultimately blossomed into a industry-wide trend with potentially significant environmental benefits. I never would have predicted it, but I guess that's why I'm the amateur blogger and Justin works for Sam Calagione.

I poured this beer into my trusty pint tumbler. It appears a chill-hazed amber, and enthusiastically lofts up three inches of pillowy pumpkin-tinged suds. When cold, the aroma is of pungent citrus hops with cake underneath, becoming more sour and grassy as it warms. There is extensive lacing as the glass is drained.

When sipped, low-key carbonation allows the beer to flow quite smoothly in the mouth. There is a puckering bitterness up front, but after that arrive nice fruity hibiscus and sweet malt flavors before the taste returns to a slightly sticky bitterness in the long finish. Although designated simply as a "pale ale," you could stick the label "India pale ale" or "amber ale" on this and no one would bat an eye.

This is officially the best beer I've had from a can -- and I don't mean that as the faint praise it may sound like. It is not crazy with complexity, but it has full flavor and a nice contour. Recommended for packing to the beach or any other glass-prohibited venue, and even for drinking at home.

Featured beer:
Dale's Pale Ale


  1. I've got another great beer in a can for you to try: Ska Brewing Co.'s Modus Hoperandi. It changed the way I think about IPA.

  2. I don't see anywhere to buy it around here. Suggestions?