Sunday, July 31, 2011

Pale Ales — Walkabout Brewing vs. Seven Brides Brewing

Walkabout Brewing Co.
Worker's Pale Ale

ABV 5.5%

Color: Crystal clear orange.
Aroma: Spicy hops, roasty malts and a bit of dank funkiness.
Flavor: Clean with mildly bitter citrus hops and herbal notes.
Hops vs. Malts
(Hoppy, Malty or Balanced):
Finish: Mild bitterness turning to moderate bitterness.
Overall (Fantastic, Good, Mediocre or Bad): Good

Seven Brides Brewing Co.
Lauren's Pale Ale
ABV 5.7%

Cloudy orange. 
Aroma: Floral and perfumy with tropical fruit notes. Alcohol is also noticeable. Kind of like a fruit brandy.
Flavor: Tart. Almost like a hard cider with a bit of lemon squeezed in.
Hops vs. Malts (Hoppy, Malty or Balanced): N/A (tart and sour)
Finish: Harsh lemon rind bitterness.
Overall (Fantastic, Good, Mediocre or Bad): Bad

Blow by Blow 
Another day in the low 90s down here in Southern Oregon had us craving some refreshing pale ales. Fortunately many craft breweries make a pale ale as it is usually a gateway beer to get people hooked on hops. After featuring a brewery from the midwest in last week's battle we decided to keep it closer to home for this one with two breweries from Oregon, one close to us in Central Point (Walkabout) and one near Salem in Silverton (Seven Brides).

Unfortunately it was a lopsided fight. So lopsided, in fact, that we suspect foul play. And by foul we mean that the Seven Brides seemed tainted. It had an intriguing aroma with tropical fruit and alcohol notes, but the flavor was so tart that we would have guessed it was a mild sour beer. We're pretty sure that Seven Brides did not intend to make their Pale Ale sour, so either it was improperly stored, spent too much time on the shelf or the batch was bad. So that was a bummer. We never like to dump a beer down the drain, but we had no choice with the Lauren's Pale Ale.

So the winner by default was the Worker's Pale Ale. It's a classic northwest pale ale with plenty of citrus hops to round out the roasty malts and even has a bit of funkiness thrown in for good measure. Walkabout is a pretty small brewery, so we're not sure how much distribution it gets outside of the Rogue Valley, but if you see it on tap or in a store it's worth checking out. They have quite a loyal following down here in southern Oregon and we hear that they are in the process of getting a tasting room up and running so we look forward to visiting that in the future.

Winner by unanimous decision: Walkabout Brewing.


  1. The guys at Seven Brides are great, but unfortunately there seems to be a lack of quality control. The beers can be a little hit and miss. Good recipes so the beers taste good, unless it has some sort of infection...

  2. The Walkabout tasting room has a grand opening today from 2-6 p.m. The brewery and tasting room is located on Mason Way in Medford, next to UPS and across the street from Western Beverage.