Friday, June 10, 2011

Schlafly Beer Pale Ale

I was introduced to Schlafly Beer by a couple of really good friends from Saint Louis.  I've previously told the story that I met them in the elevator the day before my wedding; and, after the introductions, they handed me a six pack of Schlafly Pale Ale. Our friends are such good friends that they traveled from St. Louis, Missouri to Birmingham, Alabama for the Guest Chef Night, when Clare's father Frank and I served as chefs for our good friends.  And, they brought more Schlafly, a mix of some of Schlafly's year-round beers, including the Pale Ale.  

Schlafly Beer describes the Pale Ale, which is its flagship beer, as a "rich, amber-colored, medium-bodied, British style ale with a smooth, mild hop character."  The brewer uses East Kent Golding, Northdown, and Pilgrim hops, all of which are from the United Kingdom.  These hops are "paired" with 2 row and caramel malted barley.  The end result is a copper colored beer with an ABV of about 4.4% and an IBU of 25.  An IBU of 25 is on the low end of the range for a Pale Ale, which generally is from 20 to 50 IBUs. However, the IBU is perfect for obtaining that "smooth, mild hop character" sought by the brewer.

The beer pours a copper color, which amber and orange hues in the glass.  There is a thin, off-color foam that continues long after the beer is poured.  The aromas of this beer feature grapefruit, along with some hints of bread, most likely from the yeast. The use of traditional British hops such as East Kent Goldings provide the beer with the flavor one would expect from a British pale ale.  The body of the beer is medium, although the finish is fairly dry. 

When it comes to pairing with this beer, the rules for pairing with pale ales generally apply.  The pairings include all types of meat, especially beef, bison and lamb.  Pale ales can also be paired with poultry and certain cheeses, like cheddar.  An Internet search produced one restaurant, which was doing a Schlafly beer tasting, paired this beer with a Seafood Bisque.  This is an interesting pairing, a mellow Pale Ale with a smooth soup. 

As its flagship beer, the Schlafly Pale Ale should be available at stores with large beer selections.

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