Sunday, October 9, 2011

Red Ales — Lompoc Brewing vs. Pyramid Brewing vs. HUB (Hopworks Urban Brewery)

Lompoc Brewing
Proletariat Red
ABV 6.2%

Dark reddish brown.
Roasted coffee, chocolate, molasses.
Sweet coffee with honey and molasses.
Hops vs. Malts
(Hoppy, Malty or Balanced):
Finish: Light acidity, roasty and smoky.
Overall (Fantastic, Good, Mediocre or Bad):
Mediocre +

Pyramid Brewing

Juggernaut Red Ale
ABV 5.6%

Light orangish brown.
Aroma: Sweet malts, light fruitiness, touch of iron.
Flavor: Bit thin and watery with roasty malts and slight citrus hops.
Hops vs. Malts (Hoppy, Malty or Balanced): Balanced
Finish: Mildy hoppy.
Overall (Fantastic, Good, Mediocre or Bad): Mediocre +

HUB Rise Up Red
ABV 5.8%

Hazy dark honey orange.
Aroma: Perfumy and sweet. Anise, floral, dusty and earthy.
Flavor: Earthy, citrus rind.
Hops vs. Malts (Hoppy, Malty or Balanced): Hoppy
Finish: Moderate bitterness.
Overall (Fantastic, Good, Mediocre or Bad): Mediocre +

Blow by Blow
With my parents in town again we decided to conduct a cage match featuring three red ales from the Northwest. HUB and Lompoc hail from Portland while Pyramid has many locations but calls Seattle home.

Just like our previous experiences with red ales these beers were wildly different despite their similar style designation. The Pyramid was easy drinking with a mild hop finish, the HUB was more aggressive with the hops and had a distinct earthiness and the Lompoc focused more on dark roasty malt flavors and came across as a watered down porter. Not surprisingly there was no consensus opinion but we did have a majority winner since Ellen and my dad chose the HUB due to its assertive hop character. My mom chose the Lompoc because she liked the coffee flavors and I chose the Pyramid because it didn't try to do too much and seemed like a simple but solid beer.

Winner by majority decision: HUB Rise Up Red

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