Another great American brewing operation has arrived in my home town. I’m beginning to wonder if this is becoming something of a theme! In any case, I’ve been quite in favor of it, since its making available more and more craft brewing operations that those of us north of the 49th parallel have not previously had access to. And with that, I shall now cover my latest sampling from a American brewing operation, which appropriately comes from the operation known as American Brewing.
Located in Edmonds, Washington, this craft brewery has only been in operation for two years. However, the brewers have been active in the industry since 1992, and from my initial encounter I can tell that they are certainly not lacking in either qualifications or talent. And from what I managed to procure, I think I got a pretty good feel for what they are capable of. In fact, the two beers I tried just happened to be the breweries signature creations – the Breakaway IPA and the American Blonde. This encompasses half of their initial lineup, minus the three seasonals they have produced thus far.
American Breakaway IPA:
Apparently, this beer was the first to be produced by the brewery, and is something that Skip Madsen, the brewmaster, is rather proud of. And since it is a fine example of a true Northwestern India Pale Ale, I could certainly see why. The beer pours a deep amber color, is cloudy (indicative of high gravity), and boasts a pretty good head. On the nose, you get a good combination of citrus and floral aromas. And in terms of flavor, the malts are quite strong, sweet, and have a bit of a coarse finish. And of course, the hops, which contain a burst of citrus, grapefruit and passion fruit, and have a long, bitter finish. Add to that a respectable alcohol content (7.2% alc/vol), and this beer pretty much has all that you would expect from an IPA.
Appearance: Dark amber, cloudy, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Malty nose, sugars, good dose of citrusy, floral hops
Taste: Burst of grapefruit and passion fruit, sweet malts giving way to slight coarseness
Aftertaste: Lingering coarse malt flavor, lingering hop bitterness
American Blonde Ale:
I was actually warned about this beer in advance. Given its yeasty nature and unfiltered goodness, it can foam up on you. However, I suspect this particular source was not used to drinking bottle fermented or Belgian-style beers. And another source highly recommended it, claiming it was better than the IPA. So naturally, I had to try it. And in the end, they were both right. This beer pours a light, golden blonde, has serious foam and carbonation, and possesses a very nice, very subtle and varied palate. Abundant yeasts are balanced out with mild fruits, and the finish is very clean. In a lot of ways, I was reminded of Belgian-style Wits and Ales, not the least of which was Orval Trappist and Blanche De Chambly.
Appearance: Golden blonde, cloudy, heavy foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Dried orchard fruit, cherry, peach, plenty of yeast and mild oak
Taste: Mild malts, gentle hints of sour cherry, oak, yeast and peaches
Aftertaste: Very clean, lingering traces of yeast
Not a bad intro, but its only served to pique my interest further! In addition to their Oatmeal Stout and Pale Ale, they also have a pretty significant seasonal lineup. This includes a Scotch Ale, Brown Ale, and a Winter Ale, style that I must admit, I highly approve of! See you soon, American Brewing!