Friday, August 19, 2011

Day 24 (8/17/2011): Terminal Gravity Brewing Company Pale Ale and IPA

 I'm going to mix it up and do a side by side of two beers from the same brewery I tried the other night.

The first of these was the pale ale from Terminal Gravity Brewing. Surprisingly, as this is a West Coast offering, this is an English (as opposed to American) pale ale.

It pours a cloudy amber with a half inch cream head. This is bottle conditioned, so the yeast lends a lot of cloudiness to the color. The smell is a caramel sweetness, with a solid biscuit-y malt backbone. There are hops, but they seem the the tamer variety used in English ales than the bolder, resiny types found in American, and in particular, West Coast beers.

It is a very malt-forward, with a honey sweetness coupled with a slight tinge of citrus hops. Very tasty.

The mouthfeel is a tingly medium carbonation, with a medium-full body. It's thicken than your typical pale ale, but that thickness goes well with the maltiness.

The second offering from Terminal Gravity is an IPA. This is far more "American-style" than the pale ale, utilizing a more hop-forward smell and taste.

The beer pours a murky pale copper (again, the bottle conditioning) with one finger of khaki head. the color is a shade lighter than the pale ale, as is evident in the pictures. The smell is very complex; the hops have a very fruity and citrus scent and the malt brings a sugary honey and caramel smell.

The taste is very fruity hops up front with a bread-y malt finish. There is a slight bitterness, but unlike other IPAs, this one is balanced well with the malts. You can tell this one is a West Coast IPA, but it has far better balance than most in its class from that side of the country.

It has a relatively typical IPA mouthfeel: medium-high carbonation and medium body. Nothing out of the ordinary here.

These are very good beers from a small brewery who knows how to do it right. If this was my local brewery, I would be ecstatic. To throw off convention and brew a malt-forward pale ale in a part of the country that worships hops is a bold and brave statement, and they pull it off. Neither of them are the best beers I've ever tasted or even the best in their category, but I would definitely drink these again and I would pay for them.

I give Terminal Gravity Brewing Company's Pale Ale and IPA each a B+

Style: English pale ale
ABV: 6.1%
Beer Advocate: B
Ratebeer: N/A (Too few reviews)

Style: American IPA
ABV: 6.9%
Beer Advocate: B+/B+
Ratebeer: 96/93

Acquired via a generous Beer Advocate in Oregon. Not distributed out this way.

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