Friday, May 6, 2011

Review: Southern Star Pine Belt Pale Ale

Alright ladies and gentlemen... time for a quick one-beer review of the Southern Star Pine Belt Pale Ale.  This one comes to me from Southern Star Brewing in Conroe, Texas... I picked it up at Bet-R but just about place that has a good craft beer selection in BR will have it.  Most notably though, what we have here is craft beer in a can!
The canning of craft beer is a bit of a trend lately, with more and more breweries either going from kegging to canning, or adding a canning line in addition to their bottling lines.  Several breweries like New Belgium, Oskar Blues, Ska Brewing, and local guys Tin Roof are all in on the canning trend.  I can see some definite advantages... for one, cans don't allow any light in to skunk the beer, which is vulnerable in even the darkest color bottles.  Cans can also go places where bottles are illegal, like down the river or at the beach.  The primary concern seems to be the danger of a metallic taste coming from the aluminum... this beer had a bit of that but I've had many canned beers with no trace.

On to this beer... I poured it from the 16 oz. can into an imperial pint glass... yeah, it's a 16 oz. can.  Nice touch, if you ask me.  I know this kind of defeats the purposed of drinking a canned beer, but it's best to pour into a glass for a review.  If it's good in a glass, it'll still be pretty good straight from the can on a hot day with LSU football going on.

It's a nice copper color with a bubbly off-white head. It has an earthy hop aroma with a little metallic twinge... see, there's that little off-taste you get from an aluminum can sometimes.  I've gotten this from bottled beer stored on its side before as well, though.

The taste is mostly hoppy, piney as the name indicates. There is a little malt kick but mostly hops. It's tasty, but not one of the best APAs I've had recently. Great mouthfeel. Bubbly carbonation, no bad aftertastes. Feels good. Overall I'd say it's a notch above average.  Quite refreshing and one I'd definitely bring on a canoe trip or to the tailgate party.

My Rating: B-
BeerAdvocate: B+

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