Thursday, August 2, 2012

Steadfast Sorghum Pale Ale


You may have seen me "review" this beer around Christmas but that was just a prototype batch. Since then, Steadfast has appeared in just about every beer fest event in 2012. I even sent a bottle to the Better Beer Authority. This is a gluten-free beer made by my friend Jeremy Hosier - who's also the manager of my favorite beer store Westmere Beverage Brew Crew. I wanted to save one of the last episodes of this show for a proper, formal review of his beer. I'm hoping to interview him sometime soon on my Chad9976 channel.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (703) - Albany, New York, USA - AUG 1, 2012
The Steadfast Beer Company was started by my friend (and beer monger) Jeremy Hosier, as a way to fill a hole in the craft beer market - that is, the lack of GOOD gluten-free beers. There are few offerings available on the mass market, and the ones that are there are usually disliked by mainstream beer drinkers and celiacs alike. Why not brew a gluten-free beer with actual taste? That’s the idea behind Steadfast Beer Company, and their initial offering - Sorghum Pale Ale - is definitely the most robust and best tasting beer of its kind I’ve ever had. It’s a gluten-free beer that can hang with real craft beer.



I poured a 22oz bomber into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Beautiful crystal-clear dark amber/copper hue. Little carbonation visible, but forms a good sized white foamy head which retains and laces fairly well.

Smell: Prominent hop flowers and citrus notes likely due to the dry-hopping. There’s a subtle sorghum scent, but it’s akin to apple cider and spice and not the usual "sorghum funk" found in most brews of the type.

Taste: The palate begins with light bitterness and a slight cider-like flavor. The hops develop more in the middle, combined with a more refined, slightly juicy flavor of citrus, and a resiny, peanut shell-like taste at the end. There’s a hint of real apple cider and candy apple-like flavors on the second half. It’s slightly confectionary and definitely sweet, yet the hops never give up the ghost. The aftertaste is clean for the most part, but reminiscent to the flavor of eating peanuts, combined with so hoppy pine needles.

I originally wasn’t too crazy about this beer when it first debuted, but I was drinking a protoype batch at the time. I’ve have it many times since then and it’s improved every time. Steadfast Pale Ale drinks and tastes like a REAL beer now more than ever (and it’s likely to improve with each additional batch). I think the average craft beer enthusiast can probably tell it’s a gluten-free beer, but all the annoyances and distractions found in others of the type (including Dogfish Head I might add) are very subtle if not undetectable (and if they are, they’re very easily overlooked).

Drinkability: Weighing in at 6.8% ABV, Steadfast Sorghum Pale Ale is pretty hefty for a pale ale, but has the easy drinkability of the style. The mouthfeel isn’t too thin and has a definite crispness and a smooth finish and mostly clean aftertaste. I drank this on a hot summer’s night and found it to be surprisingly refreshing for such a hoppy and potent brew. This is a must try for anyone sensitive to gluten that still wants to drink GOOD beer.
Grade: 8/10