Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Drake's Brewing Company Alpha Session NorCal Bitter Ale

Hello beer lovers and welcome to another edition of the NorCal Beer Blog's brew review.

Tonight’s featured beer is Drake's Brewing Company Alpha Session NorCal Bitter Ale. Two years ago I had the pleasure of having this beer during a Drake's First Friday event that I was working for my kid's school.  At that time they didn't have plans to bottle it, but things changed and here we are.  I'm a BIG fan of Drake's Brewing Company and this beer is just one of the many reasons why.

From the Drake’s Brewing Company website: “Our hoppy session ale. Light and refreshing with 2-row barley, Maris Otter, and a touch of C-45 malts, but hopped up with classic West Coast hops and an ample dry-hop of Simcoe, Citra, and CTZ for intense flavors and aromas of pine, citrus, and grapefruit. We call it a NorCal Bitter. — Available in May on draft and in 4-packs of 12 oz bottles.”
Let’s get started!
Appearance:  Pours a cloudy gold color with a frothy white head, sticky lacing and excellent head retention.
Aroma: Smells amazing! Huge hop presence (Citra, Simcoe and CTZ), citrus and pine and a light sweet pale malt scent in the background.
Taste: Hop forward with grapefruit, tangerine and pine and the slight flavors of pale malt.
Overall: I absolutely love it. Incredibly sessionable and perfect in so many ways. At 3.8% ABV I’d love to keep a case of Alpha Session on hand for those times when you want something to session that has great hop character, but that won’t put you on your rear end. Fortunately they are bottling this gem now, so go get some!  I picked up a four pack at Caps & Taps in Dublin (here). I’m heading to the brewery next to get serious about it.


Mark Harvey

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