Test Batch #9 Pale | Al's of Hampden / Pizza Boy Brewing

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9 Ratings

Brewed by:
Al's of Hampden / Pizza Boy Brewing
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.90%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Slatetank on 12-11-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 9 |  Reviews: 5
Reviews by akorsak:
Photo of akorsak
3.68/5  rDev +26%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aged on cherry wood. A handpull at the source.

A: The pale ale is lighter, more yellow than anything else. Transparent too. Plenty of head, the handpull generated a thick head, foamy and white, that threatened to subsume the entire glass. The result was plenty of thick lacing.

S: The aromas are punctuated by semi-sweet cherry. Medicinal notes follow, as do phenolic bananas aromas. The phenol is out of place but very interesting.

T: The cherry is most evident at the absolute beginning of each sip, semi-sweet and fruity. After that, the Belgian aspects take over and lend a medicinaly quality. Towards the middle of each sip, a phenolic banana flavor emerges, on that I don't normally associate with a Belgian-style ale. Here it adds sweet fruitiness akin to a German style wheat ale. A fruity start and finish, not sure that there's much more I could ask for.

M: The cherry wood is interesting, adding a sweetness upfront before turning mildly bitter. The yeasty phenols are an interesting addition, whether here by accident or not.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of VipertheIV
3.5/5  rDev +19.9%

Photo of fester71
2/5  rDev -31.5%

Photo of DrBier
3/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of StormKing47
1/5  rDev -65.8%

Photo of rfgetz
3.75/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very hazy golden straw color with moderate cap of soapy white froth. Scent is strong on the belgian yeasts, lightly bready and pleasant whiffs of lemony hops. Taste leads with the nice, lightly tart and lightly sweet notes, a bit fruity with a hint of vanilla before components of scent kick in, maybe a splash too yeasty and spicy which interferes with the cherry wood. Light, lingering bitterness. Medium bodied, creamy and good carbonation from the cask. Overall, a very good beer for one of the first batches put out by Pizza Boy.

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Photo of orangesol
3.48/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served on cask at Al's of Hampden. I have had the regular version as well but this review will be for the Cherry Wood version.

A - Pours golden yellow with a nice one and a half finger tall off white head leaving light lace down the glass.

S - Smells of very strong belgian yeast, citric hops, pale malt, lemon rind, and some dull cherry sweetness. The yeast is very strong, overpowering most of the other aroma's.

T - Starts off with a big dose of chewy pale malt and bready yeast that never really fades. Hints of pungent citric hops, lemons, light must, wet cherry wood, and some light vanilla sweetness. This one was ok, needs a few tweaks for sure to help bring all the flavors together.

M - Medium body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Creamy feel initially quickly giving way to the ever present chewy feel. Not too bad but it could use a bit of fine tuning.

O - I think this version is a slight improvement over the regular version. Both have too much "chewy" feel to them for my liking but the flavors overall have been good. With a few tweaks I think these can be pretty good.

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Photo of stakem
2.88/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

(Notes I found from a review that is over 2 years old.) 1-liter swingtop growler into a pint glass. The brew appears a hazed golden yellow color with just shy of 2 fingers of white frothy head. The cap slowly fades leaving a full wall of lace that leaves a webbing pattern sticking to the glass. A light swirl revives about a finger of white froth.

The smell of this brew carries a very strong belgian yeast scent that is a mixture of clove, spicy pepper and fruit almost like pear or apple skins. There is a bit of sulfur inclusion that mixes with something not too far off from being along the likes of cream corn. I have noticed this cream corn sort of scent in other belgian yeasts like Schelde so its not terrible but isnt that great of a character either. As it warms, it gets an herbal tinge across the back.

The taste of this brew is very aggressive with a grassy to herbal bitterness. There is a very faint straw or hay-like grainy backing that hardly provides any residual sweetness for the hops to play off of. It is quite harsh with the belgian yeast providing faint notes of clove and pepper. At times I feel like I taste a very faint corn flavoring just like the aroma hinted towards. The combination of straw-like grain and persistent grassy bitterness lasts long into the aftertaste that slowly mellows into a bit of biscuit character. There is a mild warmth from that nearly 6% abv down the back of the throat.

This is a light bodied brew with a lively amount of carbonation. The finish is crisp from the higher than expected carbonation level. This brew is quite an interesting experience, it is like a hybrid style caught somewhere in-between the looks and the smell of a blonde but with the harsh bitterness of an unbalanced ipa. It overall really clashes for me. I enjoy seeing the pizza boy brews finally available and appreciate the opportunity to finally give them a try. However, I think some kinks need worked out and with some rework this could be a decent brew.

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Photo of Slatetank
3/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I was appreciative to tenderbranson69 for sharing this 1L growler from Al's/Pizza Boy -poured chilled into a bass pint.

The color is golden and hazed with an amber highlight, very thick cap of cream settles to a ring of various sized beading with thick lace stickage. The smell is intense with hops with a good citrus aroma and mild yeast scent -the tangy odor has a leafy grassy scent w/ slightly vegetal odor which is almost oniony. The mouthfeel is just as intense if not more so with a raw bitter and dry harsh astringent entry. There is mild carbonation for the style and the light spice accents which is possibly yeast derived with moderate alcohol incfluence...it has a bitter feeling that lasts way after the swallow.

The taste is pretty hop dominant -lots of astringency with a lemon rind kind of taste that is augmented by a grassy bitter hop and the taste is kind of like chewing on a hop pellet. There is a sort of fruity belgian yeast taste way in the back giving a tangy edge to the sharp vegetal taste from the copious hop acidity. When the beer finishes the alcohol comes forward as the carbonation settles and the hop acid is still present. Overall not bad, but the hop usage was excessive for the style IMO. I would probably enjoy this if it were tweaked to more belgian yeast balanced with the hops. It is kind of hard to drink more than 1 w/ the intensity of bitterness.

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Test Batch #9 Pale from Al's of Hampden / Pizza Boy Brewing
Beer rating: 2.92 out of 5 with 9 ratings