Saranac is a brand that’s known for the accessibility and if they can
introduce more pedestrian beer drinkers to more niche styles via good
beer I’m all for it. I was pleasantly surprised by their new Belgian
Pale Ale - which is essentially an American Pale Ale with Belgian yeast,
but a good beer nevertheless.
I poured a 12oz bottle into an official Saranac shaker pint glass.
Appearance: Bright amber color; crystal clear with plenty of visible
carbonation. Forms an average sized, eggshell hued, foamy head which
retains and laces quite well.
Smell: Strong banana scent akin to a German hefeweizen, but with more lemony notes and no spice.
Taste: While I wouldn’t say there’s anything particularly authentically
"Belgian" to Saranac Belgian Pale Ale, I will say it’s a nice departure
from the brewery’s usual safe bets. Their flagship beer is an
English-style pale ale, so they know the general genre pretty well I’d
say. Plenty of hop character in this one with a strong lemony character.
It’s reminiscent of a witbier but without the spices of orangepeel or
coriander. Instead, the Belgian yeast imparts a distinct banana aroma
and gentle sweetness to make the palate on the lighter, more refreshing
Plenty of lighter malts throughout the body with subtle honey notes. A
quick, but mild, hop bite through the middle and on the end that imparts
a bit of dryness and crispiness. It’s also remarkably refreshing making
this an ideal summer brew (why it’s in their winter mix pack I haven’t
Drinkability: With a thinner, crisper mouthfeel and drinker-friendly
palate, Saranac Belgian Pale Ale is a great introductory craft beer. The
Belgian yeast makes itself known as the carbonation is fine and
continually effervescent, but the body is light enough to lend to easy
drinking. The aftertaste is almost completely clean and there’s a
definite sense of refreshment here. At 5.4% ABV it’s dangerously
drinkable and I could see myself killing an entire six pack on a hot