Thursday, April 15, 2010


All I wanted was a Pepsi, just a Pepsi – No, all I really wanted was a refreshing adult beverage, preferably a nice hoppy pale ale or IPA or witbier – something to take the sweat off my brow and help lighten my loafers. I was in New York City last week, and they were having a heat wave. Yeah, in early April. It was the talk of the town, this 88-degree stretch of weather, and here I was in my suit coat, actin’ like a veritable man-in-the-monkey-suit, just wishing I could be sitting in The Ginger Man or the Rattle & Hum or wherever, drinking a cold-ish beer to cool off from off the corporate shenanigans. So after my work hijinks were finally completed, that’s what I did. I hoofed it over to THE GINGER MAN, and I scanned the beer list for something that would take the edge off before I met some friends at the New York Mets game in an hour. I wanted a pale ale. I ordered a DALE’S PALE ALE, from OSKAR BLUES BREWERY. It was to be the worst decision of my hot, uncomfortable day.

OSKAR BLUES are probably the most famous of the craft brewers who can their beers. If they weren’t the very first, they were one of the first. I have had their imperial red ale GORDON and am absolutely smitten by it. What’s the opposite of smitten? Smoted? That’s how I felt by DALE’S PALE ALE on draft. Positively smoted. It pours a translucent orange/brown. This beer is a very grainy, and yes, a very hoppy one, but like 6-year-olds respectively into Bakugans and Barbies, the two do not play together well. The grain taste is all-enveloping, like an improper mash that’s hurriedly been covered up by gallons of hops. Chalky. Like – gasp – aspirin, or that Melatonin I have to take sometimes to calm down. Not refreshing in the least – in fact, it was a bit of a chore to get through. It pains me still to know I turned down 50 other unknown beers on tap at the bar for this one. I found better beer at the ballpark later that night (holla for Goose Island 312 Wheat Beer, y’all!), and the only things that made it all forgettable were A.), the New York team lost the game (yessss!), and B.) I knew I’d get to savage the beer here at the HBJ. 4.5/10.


Keith said...

OMG I love Dale's Pale Ale, but I've never had it on draft. It's not exactly a refresher, more of a satisfier... I would recommend giving it a shot again in the comfort of your own home out of a can, especially if you like Gordon.

Derrick Peterman said...

At least you had Goose Island 312 and a New York team lost. Could be a lot worse.

Jez said...

I had a Dale's Pale outta the can in Pensacola in November. It's solid for a pale ale. I wonder if your sample was old, the beer lines were unclean, or your taste/mood was poor. I know it's an opinion, but I've had my share of pales, and the one I had was solid.

Plus, 312 Wheat? Meh. We get that by the case at Costco this time of year. My opinion on that: "Yep, it's an American wheat beer, all right." 4/10.