Beer O’ the Moment: QPC Edition #1

Very appropriately, our first contender in the Quest for the Perfect Can is the granddaddy of canned craft beer, Dale’s Pale Ale from Oskar Blues Brewery in Lyons, Colorado. These guys declared that the “canned beer apocalypse is upon us” as they began to package their “big, beefy beers” into cans two at a time on a tabletop canning machine way back in November of 2002. Here you’ll find a pretty good Wall Street Journal article from 2005 on the subject. It is also interesting to note how quickly things have changed in the two years since that story was published. Anyway, it may not exactly qualify as the apocalypse, but production has grown by 1200% (that is no typo) since then, and their main beers, Dale’s Pale and Old Chub Scottish Ale have consistently won rave reviews. Pretty impressive stuff, and that is without making mention of the many other brewers who have followed Oskar Blues’ aluminum lined trail over the past five years.

On to the quest. We’ve tried Dale’s on several occasions previously, both on draught and from the can that made it famous. And a handsome can it is; deep royal blue background with snappy red trim and silvery mountains. It vaguely calls to mind the look of our favourite pop (soda to the ignorant) can, Royal Crown Cola, which is never a bad thing. But the beer is the thing here, and that’s where this one has always left us wanting a bit more. It pours a pretty copper color, with plenty of head and a pleasing hop aroma. The flavour, while well balanced, comes across a bit “soft” to us, like the edges were rounded off and filed down so as not to offend any pallet. The first couple of times, we chalked that characteristic up to the beer having aged a bit on its journey from the Rockies, as in our experience a little age will sometimes take the bite out of a pale ale or IPA. After this many tastings, however, we’ve begun to suspect that that is simply what this beer is – a very good, but hardly great – American Pale Ale. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Contender: Dale’s Pale Ale, Oskar Blues Brewery
Style: American Pale Ale

ABV: 6.5% ABV

Price: $8.99 for six 12 oz. cans

Verdict: Solid (if unexciting) possibility

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~ by bojangles on June 19, 2007.

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