One of the things that make it really tough for a
brewery to survive in the craft beer business is because, well, we beer
enthusiasts are such a bloody fickle lot. It’s an irony of the business that
the reason a microbrewery can exist is because its customers want diversity
in their beer-they won’t be satisfied with a Bud or Miller every time they
want a brew. That’s good-it means they want variety-and bad-it means they
are not likely to be brand loyal, even to a micro.
What makes me think about this? Well, I just finished polishing off a
wonderful bottle of
Tommyknocker’s Imperial Nut Brown Ale , surely a sweet malty delight and
proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy (thanks Ben Franklin) if
ever there was one. But now that my sweet (malt) tooth has been satisfied, I
want some hops. Yeah. I’m fickle.
And I know, the beer I’m about to drink, Pick Axe Pale Ale, is from
the same brewery as the beer I just mentioned. But the point is, I’m looking
for a different flavor, a different sensation, and quite often, that means a
beer from a different brewery. So, you now see my point.
Anyway, time for a new beer. This one is an award winner-taking a silver at
the Great American Beer Festival in 1997 and 2000 according to the brewery,
presumably in the pale ale category. They claim that Our Pick Axe uses a
blend of hopping: British Columbia Bramling, Czech Saaz, and British East
Kent Goldings. The combination is an interesting one. Both English and
Germanic/Slavic in nature.
Tommyknocker Pick Axe Pale Ale pours to a bright orange color with a
light creamy head formation and a distinctive, slightly resiny hop nose. The
palate at first is dominated by a chewy caramelly maltiness, but the hops
soon take over with a subtly citric, then more piney resiny character. I
wanted hops, and I got them.
The bitterness intensifies in the finish, becoming grassy from the Saaz, and
lingering a while on the tongue. They balance the brew and make it very,
very drinkable, and very tasty.
Yeah, I’m fickle. But I like this beer a lot. Not the best pale ale to pass
these lips by any means, but certainly one of the better ones. Try it for
yourself and see what I mean.
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.