Monday, December 29, 2014

Crux Fermentation Project - Crystal Zwickle Fresh Hop Pale Ale

Good? You bet your zwickle!
We dropped the youngest off at his home in Eugene, Oregon after this most recent, beautimus Christmas holiday. It was a long, rainy drive to Eugene--home of the Oregon Ducks and a WHOLE lot of hippies...uh, oh, here comes the tangent...

For those of you who are too young, ignorant or sheltered to know any better, there is a big difference between HIPPIES and HIPSTERS. Hippies are closely connected to the peace activist movement of the 1960's and the subculture that sprang up around it. When you think hippies, think long hair, psychedelic music, psychedelic DRUGS, hemp clothing, sandals, and the overuse of words like groovy, far out, and psychedelic.

HIPSTERS are annoying, tiny, elf-like, wee men and women who dress like mini-lumberjacks and hang around in espresso cafes all day with their Macbooks, furiously trolling Reddit for obscure band references and mocking anyone who works 9 to 5 and/or has never heard of Phosphorescent and/or Sun Kil Moon.

Personally, I prefer the company of HIPPIES over HIPSTERS any day of the week. Hippies are generally more interesting and generally much more cool. Oh, and hippies typically drink much better BEER. Yes, it is often homebrew, but at least it isn't PBR or Hamm's. What the heck was I writing about? Oh, yeah! Sorry, I warned you that a tangent was coming. Let's get back to the beer review.

As I was telling you, I was in Eugene, so that warranted a quick stop at The Bier Stein, which is a great taproom, deli and bottle shop. I scooped up a bag full of singles for $14. The Bier Stein gives a 20% discount for take-out beer! Deal!

One of the beers I purchased was a bottle of Crux Fermentation Project's Crystal Zwickle Fresh Hop Pale Ale. The bottle was a unique 500 ml (1 pint 0.9 oz.) size. The label proclaimed a 6.0% ABV and 30 IBU's. The beer is a fresh hop Belgian-style pale ale. There was also quite a lengthy description on the label, but I have to be honest and let you know that my eyesight sucks. I couldn't read that teeny, tiny print. Something about old world and Belgian-esque. Beats me. I should've asked for a giant magnifying glass for Christmas.

The beer poured into my glass a slightly hazy, golden orange color. The white head rose up to about a 1/2 inch and dissipated quickly. Spotty lacing was left behind.

Aroma was citrus and tropical fruit on top of yeasty, bready malt. Floral, herbal notes rounded out the nose. 

Taste was citrus and tropical fruit hops. Orange and pineapple. Sweet, biscuity malt. Evenly balanced, though. Enough of a bitter edge to back down the sweetness.

Medium mouthfeel with appropriate carbonation. Clean finish with light, bitter hops and pleasant malt flavors left behind on the palate.

Overall, this is a tasty, easy drinking brew. This is one of the better pale ales I've tasted. Not too sweet and just enough of a bitter kick to let my taste buds know that there's some hops in there. Nice! I wish I'd picked up more than one. I'm giving Crystal Zwickle a BeerGuyPDX rating of 3 1/2 crushed cans out of 4. It's pretty darn flawless for what it is.

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