Whenever I am away from home, I like to sample the
local beer. That should not surprise you. Depending on where I happen to
find myself, that can be, at times, a challenge. Not when I hit the Pacific
Northwest, however; in fact here, the opposite is true. I never seem to have
enough time here to try all the beers I want to sample.
When I was in Seattle a few years ago, I tried a bottle of
Wildcat IPA , and immediately fell in love with the stuff. I had heard
nothing but good things about the brewery, and the Wildcat bore out those
rumors. So, when I was in Seattle again shortly ago, I picked up another
Snoqualmie Falls beer at a Fred Meyer store. This time, it was the
Copperhead Pale Ale, which is an American style pale ale.
American style pales, like American style IPAs, are notorious for being well
hopped, much hoppier than their English style counterparts. It is about
average in strength at 5.3% alcohol by volume, with 32 IBUs of bitterness.
The beer is not named for a snake, but for a local species of salmon that
seems to be extremely rare. While dining at a seafood restaurant in
Mukilteo, I was told it can only be served for three weeks out of the year.
The beer, fortunately, has a much longer season than that. It’s available
year round. I bought a 22 ounce bomber bottle for about $3.50, which seemed
a fair price to me.
Snoqualmie Falls Copperhead Pale Ale pours to a bright coppery orange
amber color with a towering, rocky foam head formation and a spicy, rather
citric hop nose. A very thick layer of Brussels lace clung to the sides of
my glass as the liquid descended.
The body of the beer seemed just right for a pale ale, with a good amount of
chewy caramel malt that imparts a good body to the brew. Not as much as
you’ll find in an IPA, mind you, but then this isn’t an IPA, is it? A floral
aroma infuses the beer with a quenching citric character suggesting fresh
The beer finishes with a grassy, herbal hop bitterness that balances nicely,
but does not overpower. All in all, this is a nicely balanced American pale
that leans slightly to the hops, and seemed to me even a wee tad
under-hopped as American IPAs go. But it is refreshing and very, very
drinkable. Might I suggest a bottle with the salmon of the same name?
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For
reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.