I love to have company over for meals, especially on those warm days when we can relax on the deck and look out over the open space behind our house. This part of Colorado is known for wide weather variations. As I write this in mid-November, the temperatures are in the mid-sixties, yet we have already had two snowstorms.
But back to entertaining…
One of the joyous consequences of having people over is buying a 12 pack of fine beer that would satisfy different tastes as well as my own. The 12 pack from Oskar Blues admirably fills the bill. This little treasure contains four each of Mama’s Little Yella Pils, Old Chubb Scotch Ale, and the flagship beer of the brewery, Dale’s Pale Ale. Each beer is worth some reflective drinking and, taken as a whole, would satisfy an exceptionally wide range of invited palates.
Let me state unequivocally that, in the past, I had not been of fan of pilsners which was probably collateral damage wrought by mass marketed stinko slop by large American beer companies (using the word “beer” here in its most forgiving context). Hence, Mama’s Little Yella Pils was always the last one to be consumed, but my tastes have widened as I have studied more about beer. This is just a wonderfully clean, mild beer. Quite refreshing on a hot summer day. If we were doing a beer intervention for my friend Lupe (who will only drink Miller Lite), I would choose this. I imagine even my mom could have benefited from the occasional Little Yella Pils as she was raising 5 kids (although my sister Julie and I were practically perfect in every single way).
This pairs nicely with almost any standard picnic and/or BBQ fare. ABV 5.3%, 35 IBU’s
I have several beers in the refrigerator that need to be consumed and reviewed, but when I just want to drink a good beer without worrying about the research, Dale’s Pale Ale is just the ticket. I have never been a “hop head” always on the lookout for triple digit IBU’s (International Bittering Units). I can appreciate them, but sometimes I think high IBU’s obliterate any subtlety that might be there or, worse, mask flawed beer. I might as well just grab a handful of hops and shovel it into my mouth. But Dale’s hoppy character is just right for my palate. It is plainly evident but not so overwhelming as to mask the grain notes of the malt. As with Mama’s, Dale’s pairs nicely with almost any standard picnic and/or BBQ fare. ABV 6.5%, 65 IBU’s
Because of the area’s low humidity and high elevation, temperatures drop significantly once the sun sets behind those gorgeous Rocky Mountains. This makes Old Chub Scotch Ale a fine year-round choice. It pours a lovely reddish brown with malty sweetness on the nose. A casual taste will reveal the sweet malt, a hint of roast, and just a touch of coffee. This is a Scotch Ale as distinguished from a Scottish Ale. The 3 types of Scottish Ales (Light, Heavy, Export) contain increasing amounts of alcoholic strength ranging from 2.5% to 5.0%. By contrast, the ABV (alcohol by volume) Scotch ales ranges from 6.5% to 10%. Old Chub weighs in at 8%. Perfect for grilled meats or even after a meal.
All in all, quite the range in ABV’s and IBU’s which undoubtedly makes this a 12 pack for all seasons.
For those of you following the tale of the Lost Abbey’s Angel Share (http://beeredland.com/2013/08/17/the-beer-i-cant-bring-myself-to-ing-drink/), I solemnly declare that this will be consumed on Thursday, November 14th around 5 pm. I do have to wait for Pat to get home as I am affording her a thimbleful.
Top Photo- Mine
All other photos from the Oskar Blues website http://brew.oskarblues.com/
except for the Angel Share which is from http://lostabbey.com/beer/the-angels-share/