Inevitably there are some breweries that for some reason or another you just never end up trying their beers. I mean when you walk into a beer store there are literally thousands of options from hundreds of breweries and a seemingly endless parade of the next new thing so how can you ever hope to try them all?
For a beer geek this glut is fantastic but it also drastically increases your chances of bringing home a proverbial dud (Bud?). Thankfully our app-happy world has equipped me with more tools than Batman for honing in on the perfect choice. Basically if I see a whole lotta Untapped, Beer Advocate or RateBeer love for any particular brewery it sways my hand (the one that holds the VISA anyway) and I will take a chance on something untasted.
This was the case with Ale Smith Brewing Company, which according to their website is “one of San Diego’s premier craft breweries” who “create award-winning, hand-forged ales that are anything but ordinary.” Not just self-aggrandizing, Ale Smith has an impressive amount of beer geek support for what they are brewing up so I used my trusty phone to assist me in picking out the highest rated Ale Smith beer I could find, which turned out to be their somewhat boringly named IPA (it’s just called IPA but hey they are Ale Smith not wordsmith).
Ale Smith IPA (7.25% ABV) pours a bright gold colour with lots of white head on the initial pour and nice lacing that lingers for quite some time. Very good clarity and carbonation; this beer looks very pretty in the glass. Lots of citrus hop on the nose and some tropical fruit notes. As you sip, resin/pine hop flavours come through. A very well-balanced IPA not hit you over the head hoppiness but more that enough to make sure you know what style you are drinking. Clean drinking, light bodied but with some alcohol kick that tapers off to a dry bitter finish. A remarkably drinkable IPA for both hop head and malt head alike.
Clearly the communal consensus was not off the mark on Ale Smith, way to go fellow beer geeks!