Friday 18 March 2022

Best American Pale Ale - Tasting & Review

Review Date: 18/3/2022
Brewery Name: Birallee Beer & Brewing
Beer Name: Best American Pale Ale

After a number of weeks to mature and settle in the keg, the flavours have all mellowed and balanced out a little meaning it's time to give our latest brew the formal review treatment.

Our Best American Pale Ale in the Craftd Freddy glass


Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 6.0% (Standard)

Serving Style: Draft/Tap

Region of Origin: Pacific (Australia, New Zealand)

Style Family: Pale Ale

Malts/Adjuncts: Pale, Pilsner, Gladiator, Aurora

Hops: Centennial, Amarillo

IBU's: 50


Colour: Deep Gold


Brilliant Clear Slight Haze Hazy

Collar of Foam & Head Retention


(Up to 15 secs)

(15 - 60 secs) 

(more than 60 secs)

Foam Texture

N/A Thin Fluffy Mousse-Like

Carbonation (Visible)

None Slow Medium Fast-Rising Bubbles

Alcohol Aroma

Not Detectable Mild Noticeable Strong Harsh

Aroma & Flavour

Esters Aroma: None
Phenols: None

Alcohol Taste:

Not Detectable Mild Noticeable Strong Harsh

Hop Pungency:

Mild Moderate Strong Extreme

Hop Bitterness:

Restrained Moderate Aggressive Harsh

Malt Sweetness:

Low Medium High Cloying


Low Medium High


Light Bodied
Medium Bodied
(Light + Full)
Full Bodied
(Round, Rich & Creamy)

Palate Carbonation: 

Low Medium High


(Up to 15 seconds)
(15 to 60 seconds)
(More than 60 seconds)

Oxidative/Aged Qualities: None


Drinkability: 7/10

Overall Impression: 6/10


Although by all rights this beer is pretty good, I cant help but feel a little disappointed. It just hasn't got the hop presence I was hoping/expecting it to have. In hindsight I should have dry hopped it, even just a little to get some more of those fruity hop flavours up front. This may have pushed it into IPA territory with a high IBU and ABV already, but that doesn't matter. Perhaps this is how it should be for a pale ale and my tastes have evolved to want and expect big hop presence like what is found in an IPA now?

We exceeded our efficiency expectations in the brewing process (which is good), and meant we had a beer with a higher ABV than expected. It's still balanced, but the extra alcohol really has a kick to it and is noticeable on the nose, and on the palate. Another indication that perhaps some more dry hops were required to mask it a little.

Also wondering if our process of using a hop spider in the brewing process is perhaps holding back some of the hop flavours, especially with the large and late whirlpool hop additions?

Don't get me wrong, there is definitely still some hop presence, but it's subdued or moderate at best and doesn't really shine or stand out amongst the bitterness and alcohol. It's got quite a bit of dankness on the nose, but thankfully not so much on the palate.

Mouth feel is very good - very thick, and as you can see from the photo at the top of this post, it has a nice, thick, white, "pillowy" head. Best of any brew so far and I'm attributing this to the Gladiator malt in the grain bill.

Colour wise, it's come out darker and much hazier than I expected. The colour in poor lighting conditions almost looks like it's oxidised, but it definitely isn't. And the haze is very prominent - not sure if this is from the yeast, or the hops, chill haze or some factor or combination of factors - will be interesting to see how much it clears up over time, if at all.

For 50 IBU's, it isn't over the top, as it also has the alcohol presence to back it up. It's good, but not exceptionally great. I think next time I do an American Pale I'll go with crystal malt to give it some more of those classic caramel flavours that are synonymous with the style

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