a beer reviewer, there’s little that’s more baffling than trying
different beers from the same brewery and finding a major difference in
quality. I was pleasantly surprised (shocked, really) but Butte Creek’s
Organic Pilsner, so I had high hopes for their Organic Pale Ale. Perhaps
the bottle I was drinking was old (can’t tell – there’s no freshness
date), but whatever the case may be it’s a major downgrade in quality
from the last beer. Not that this beer is bad – for what it’s worth it’s
at least drinkable and somewhat enjoyable. That’s not much of an
I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. There was no freshness date and it cost $3 ($0.25 per ounce).
Appearance: Dark, nearly opaque copper color (too dark for a pale ale,
frankly). Pours to a two-finger, white, frothy head which retains and
laces very well.
Smell: A faint floral hop aroma with a general earthy overtone. Otherwise mild. Nothing off-putting.
Taste: The palette begins with a fairly mild taste. I get amber
maltiness, but it’s not especially robust or sweet. Slightly bready to
be sure, but this is a flavor I associate with amber ales. I do detect a
slight off taste; perhaps a bit of green bean on the finish (indicative
of DMS). The hops impart a slightly sharp, dry bitterness – though
nowhere near the citrus or juicy character a West Coast brew of the
style should have. I do find some caramel sweetness lurking in the
aftertaste - which is nice – but too little and too late. Overall, this
is either flawed but drinkable a pale or just an old bottle. My money’s
on the latter.
Drinkability: Old or fresh, one thing’s for sure - Butte Creek Organic
Pale Ale is actually no challenge to drink. The mouthfeel is fairly
light and crisp. The texture is soft and smooth, which makes it easy to
drink quickly and in larger quantities. At 5.5% ABV it has the body and
weight that potency should have, but none of the complexity.