Southern Star Pine Belt Pale Ale

Southern Star Brewing Co.
Conroe, TX
Pine Belt Pale Ale

From a can and from Texas, this beer was just asking to get consumed by the ol’ Brew Yorker in Dallas. I tried Southern Star’s Bombshell Blonde the other night and enjoyed it once I fumbled the name on the first try and finally ordered it. This can of Pinebelt is a 16oz, though. It’s like a normal can, but better.

The head billows up to a fine and active orange-hued inch and isn’t going anywhere in a hurry. The clarity is hazy, which is always exciting for a pale ale – I’m willing to bit at least a little bit of dry-hopping occurred. As I write, the head has started to subside a bit and leaves behind a tight webbing of lace.

The color is a deep amber orange – an almost tortoise-shell roan. This is a beautiful brew. The nose is smells like melted orange candy slices covered in crystallized sugar. The malt is very biscuity, not heavy and bready. There is a vinous quality to the nose – certainly not unpleasant – and may indicate a high ABV. Likewise, aroma of resin emerges, much like the beer’s name hints at.

The mouthfeel is great, the beer is full, but even. Bitter spices dry the top of the mouth quickly, followed by a roundhouse of hops that don’t hit a citrus note so much as a pine note, but you are not overwhelmed as is the case with many American Pale Ales.. The result is a woody finish that is supremely dry, like a desiccated pinecone, but one that is not unpleasant. The lacing hangs about the glass like snow drifting on the boughs of those same evergreens.

This is not a typical thrashing of hops, but most hopheads will be intrigued by it, if not impressed. The beer is like Gregory Peck – dry, but with character.

So far, Texas beers are kicking ass and taking names.

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