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beerCall me a child or immature but sometimes I buy beer because I like the packaging.  Honestly, a cool bottle or can will get me to buy your beer at some point.8-Bit Pale Ale

I’m a bit of a causal gamer, still really love 8-bit and 16-bit games, and I love novelty.  So 8-Bit Pale Ale has been tempting me for…well, years.  Really, since I started drinking quality beer.  I see it, and I want it.

Then I always remember, “I’m not a fan of pale ales.  At all.”  I’m the sort of guy who buys a six-pack (or four pack as the case may be) when I try a beer, but it’s a pale ale and I knew it would spend a lot of time in my fridge until I got that seldom hankering for a hop-heavy beer, and then another few months until I got the next hankering.

So, needless to say, I hadn’t tried it yet.  So when we were out at the golf course I saw the can in the cooler and thought, “Well, I need to get it out of my system.”

So I had one.  And it’s a pale ale.  So here we go

Tallgrass Brewing 8-Bit Pale Ale

Appearance: No idea.  The can is awesome, which is why I got it, but I was in a golf cart; I didn’t have a pint glass to pour it in, or even a plastic cup.  So, umm, it looks cool?

Scent: It smells like beer.  I kind of want to explain this one a bit.  Growing up, every sort of function around town had one thing invariably: men getting drunk on Budweiser and Bud Light in cans.  I don’t know why, but all canned beer smells the same, and it isn’t a good smell.  Good beer, bad beer, from inside the can it smells like…well, like very bad smell that beer has without any of the good smells.  I don’t recommend it.

Taste: Any concerns I had about this not being a good beer were immediately dashed and replaced by my trying to make it through the hops.  I wish, I so wish, I liked hop-heavy beers, but I don’t.  I’m a firm believer in the need for balance between hops and malts, and both should be immediately available to the palette as you drink a beer.  My experience with pale ales, especially IPAs, is that the hops completely mask any flavor of hops.  This one is no different; I pretty much just taste flowers and alcohol.  I understand why people like this, I can enjoy at a time, but it’s rare that I desire it.

Drinkability: It is quite smooth.  Despite pale ales being my kryptonite, I didn’t have a problem drinking it.  It really is smooth; I bet it would be twice the beer if I had a glass to pour it in.

Quality: Grade A.  Honestly, I wish I liked pale ales because it is a fantastic beer in terms of quality.  And the nerd in me wishes I could drink a beer called “8-Bit Pale Ale” but I just can’t.

Overall: Hop-heads, drink to your heart’s content.  The rest of us?  If you want a pale ale, grab it; otherwise, leave nerd desires at the door.

Unbiased: A.  I’m starting to come around on canned beers, and this is certainly a good one.

Biased: B-.  I really wish I liked pale ales, but I just don’t.

Tallgrass Brewing’s site for 8-Bit

To trying things.  Even if you can pretty much assume it’s not a good decision for you.

– Robby