Thursday, January 27, 2011

Review: Swamp Head Stumpknocker Pale Ale

This past weekend I ended up in Gainesville, FL to visit my friend Diane.  I don't like UF, but I don't hate it either like I do Ole Miss or Auburn or Alabama... and really there's not a whole lot to Gainesville other than the university.  The University of Florida has an enrollment of over 50,000 (according to Wikipedia) and the Gainesville metro area is somewhere around 250,000.  For comparison, Baton Rouge has a metro population approaching 800,000 and LSU's enrollment is closer to 25,000!  That's a pretty big difference, but it also made getting around town pretty easy.  

After a beer run to a fantastic beer store called Tipple's Brews, we made our way to a college hangout called The Swamp.  We weren't too hungry after a large breakfast, but it was definitely time for a beer.  I'd read previously about a local brewery called Swamp Head and was happy to see that they did have one on tap, the Stumpknocker Pale Ale.  It came out a copper color, with a creamy white head with good lacing.

The beer had a floral aroma, with a little fruit in there as well.  It was definitely hoppy for an APA, but I still enjoyed the smell a good bit.  The taste is similar, definitely hop dominated and not much of a malt presence. Pretty good, but it seemed to me that this one was bordering on a darker colored IPA flavor profile.  I like IPAs, so that's fine by me, but this one definitely was a hop-forward APA.  As for the mouthfeel, it was creamy, with a slight bitter aftertaste due to the hops.  Very easy to drink, I ended up going through 4 or 5 of them! 
A good local brew... unfortunately I wasn't able to try any of Swamp Head's other beers on the trip, but maybe one day I'll be back or they'll make it over here.  As it was, this one made number 23 on my list!

My Rating: B+