Dogfish Head is known for making big, bold beers with strange ingredients and ancient recipes. But what if they brewed just a regular old sessionable ale? They’ve done just that with their Shelter Pale Ale - a beer that does indeed taste and drink like any other pale ale.
I’ve had this beer twice: once on tap and once from a 12oz bottle. The experiences were nearly identical.
Appearance: Looks like a typical APA. Burnt umber/orange/light brown color. Mostly clear with slight haziness. Small head but nice lacing.
Aroma: Light floral scent with noticeable earthiness.
Taste: The best way to describe this beer would be iced tea win a slightly hoppy finish. Reminds me of a traditional English bitter or any other generic pub-style ale. Slight malty texture and bready/biscuity flavor, but not very robust as a whole (especially for a DFH beer). There’s a subtle hop bitterness in the second half, but you really have to look for it.
Despite the lack of energy there’s nothing offensive or off-putting about the palate here. In fact, it’s very drinker-friendly since lower echelon drinkers will warm up to the mildness easily, and upper echelon drinkers will enjoy picking up the subtle flavors.
Mouthfeel: On the lower end of medium-bodied with a soft, tepid, almost watery texture.
Drinkability: Probably the only DFH beer I’d ever classify as chuggable. It’s extremely smooth and very refreshing. Highly sessionable at only 5% ABV. I’d love to kill a sixer of this on a spring or summer afternoon.
Overall, it’s surprising to get such a pedestrian beer from Sam, but I like it.