Sunday, September 6, 2015

Double Mountain Brewery - Homestead Pale Ale

The end of the trail?
Ah, ORE-A-GUN, what a wonderful state. You know, there's so much more to Oregon than Portland, my funky home base on the Willamette River. Portland always seems to get the most attention, as unwanted as it may be. Boatloads--wait, make that VOLVO loads--of Californians are moving here to Stumptown, much to the chagrin of everybody else who got here first. Lately, whenever I drive down the street, it seems like every other license plate is from the Golden State. My gawd, when will it end? I blame the beer, and I think we need a new city motto:

PORTLAND, come for the BEER, but stay for the...NO! DON'T STAY!

Hey, I'm only kidding. I myself am a transplant, originally from Nebraska then through SoCal. Of course, Portland wasn't considered chic and trendy when I moved here--just weird. The city is "evolving", like all metropolitan areas do, but I'm really going to miss the weird.

Still, Portland is an amazing craft beer city, and the beer scene just keeps getting better, but if you get out into some of the other parts of Oregon (hint, hint), you will find a healthy, thriving, craft beer culture AND some beautiful scenery. Let's look at the city of Hood River, for example. Hood River is home to an array of fantastic breweries for a city of its size. It's only a short drive through the pristine Columbia River Gorge from Portland. The drive itself is a treat and the beer at the end of the road makes the trip a must for any visitor to this corner of the Pacific Northwest.

Double Mountain Brewery & Taproom is a craft beer destination that cannot be missed. The beer is top notch and the pizza is like the icing on the cake. So GOOD! I have yet to try a Double Mountain beer that I didn't love, or at least like. I'm always excited to find a new-to-me beer from Double Mountain in my local market cold case. Today, I spied a pint bottle of Homestead Northwest Pale Ale at New Seasons for $3.99. I ran off with it toward the checkout like a gleeful gnome. Let's see how it tastes, shall we...

The beer poured into my pint glass a clear, golden yellow color with a clumpy, creamy, white head. Quite a different looking pale ale. The head came up to an inch tall and dissipated at a moderate rate. Spotty lacing was left behind.

Aroma was tropical fruit and citrus hops. Sweet, earthy malt. Floral and herbal notes. Wow, Merry the Wonder Beagle went crazy over the smell of this beer. Four long, viscous tendrils of drool dripped least six inches from her muzzle. Just nasty, I know, but the dog only has that kind of reaction to the smell of a few select beers, and let's face it, her sniffer is far more powerful and perhaps even more discriminating than mine.

Taste followed the nose. Very IPA-like. Citrus hops with a dose of pine. Grapefruit and lemon. Tropical fruit flavors of pineapple and mango. Quite juicy.

Medium mouthfeel with good carbonation. Crisp, clean finish. Respectable hops bitterness left behind on the palate.

Overall, this is a unique variation on the familiar pale ale style, and an appropriate addition to Double Mountain's cold case line-up. It's different enough to be a standout, in my opinion, and I was quite pleasantly surprised. I'm giving Homestead Northwest Pale Ale a BeerGuyPDX rating of 3 crushed cans out of 4 and a well-deserved Droolie.

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