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