Full Sail Brewing Co.
Hood River, OR
As much fun as it is to say “Full Sail Pale Ale,” this really is a lovely-looking beer. The slightly cream-colored head is dense and foamy, sticking to the pint glass even as it first begins its slow collapse. The color is amber, with faint touches of honey orange.
The nose is spicy and slightly vinous. A strong, wet breadiness with apricot and under-ripe peaches comes about, too.
The first sip has a very good mouthfeel, one that is creamy but refreshing and not at all thin. The beer is not as big and bold as you might think from a Pacific Coast Pale, but in a good way.
A pleasant malt texture hits the tongue but is neither too bread- or molasses-like. It is a crisp grain taste,. You are met with some nice citrusy hops, not quite grapefruit, but certainly a fruit sweetness that gives way to a grassier finish. This is a true pale in the traditional sense, but with a very delicate Oregonian hand. When completed, this beer leaves behind an equally delicate lacing.
This brew is smooth but with a certain amount of complexity brought about by the crispness and fruit specters that linger just long enough before you take another sip. Full Sail Pale Ale rolls as well on to the tongue as it does off it and I would enjoy this in a pub any time.
As long as we’re in the pub frame of mind (aren’t we always), I would say this would pair well with a chicken pot pie. Likewise, this would go well with some sharp cheddar to bring out the sharpness of those more subtle hops. Cheers!