Dale’s Pale Ale
October 13, 2012 Rozanne Woodward 0 Comments
Sure, you could argue ribbed sweaters, motorcycles, and punk rock t-shirts, but beer is the essential accessory, regardless of mode of dress. Good beer is as welcome at a wedding as it is at a barn dance, elegant as a tuxedo, and familiar as faded overalls. Only one minor problem with good beer. Good beer is hard to find in a can.
Let’s face it, there are some places where beer in a can makes sense. The average long-neck bottle, no matter how well engineered, simply cannot hold up to the real rednecklifestyle. Ever backpacked bottles up a Fourteener? Ever used a bottle opener after shooting the high end of Gore Canyon in a wooden canoe? Of course not.
Oskar Blues Brewery is making history and changing the way craft beer lovers view canned beer. The small brewpub operation northwest of Boulder has just released Dale’s Pale Ale , the nation’s first full-flavored, canned pale ale and Colorado’s first canned craft beer.
"We like pushing the envelope and stretching the boundaries," says Dale Katechis, founder of Oskar Blues and namesake for his company’s precedent-setting beer. "We like hearing something can’t or shouldn’t be done and then doing it. That’s what craft brewing is supposed to be about."
Dale’s claims it’s "the heartiest beer ever squeezed into a can, a richly hopped ale that stretches the style guidelines for pale ales." Brewed with hefty amounts of European malts and four strains of American hops (added in a 90-minute boil), Dale’s delivers a blast of hop aromas, a malty, hoppy middle and a clean finish. It weighs in 6.5% ABV. (And friends, be forewarned, a six pack of these for lunch was enough for yours truly and Editor Alex to forget work for the rest of the day.)
"The public’s perception," Katechis says, "is that cans are a cheap way to sell cheap beer. But we see cans as the beer industry’s most popular package and the premium way to present our beer to the public. Unlike bottles, cans eliminate the risk of light damage and oxidation to our beer." The glass polymer lining of Dale’s Pale Ale cans also ensures the beer never contacts metal. Dale’s Pale Ale cans are also shipped under constant refrigeration, a quality control practice used by no other microbrewery in America.
Brian Lutz is the brewmaster for Oskar Blues and the company’s sister brewery, Redfish New Orleans Brewhouse, in Boulder. Lutz agrees that the can is the next frontier for the craft beer market. "The canned market offers nothing for the beer connoisseur," says Lutz, whose beers have won three medals in the Great American Beer Festival’s professional judging contests.
"There’s a void there that needs to be filled, craft beer lovers deserve a choice in beer packaging." In addition to providing the most protective package for his beer, Lutz notes, "cans are far more environmentally friendly than bottles, they’re much easier to recycle. They also make it easier for outdoor enthusiasts to take great beer into the backcountry, in the canoe, the ski-pack, anywhere they want to go."
"Outdoor recreation," Katechis says, "will never be the same thanks to Dale’s Pale Ale." Neither will flying, now that Dale’s is available on Frontier Airlines, in addition to your local liquor store. Talk about friendly skies. A cold Dale’s makes that icy-handed cavity search at security almost seem worth it.
Ahhh, Dale’s Pale Ale. What better accessory to show your hearty, outdoorsy, adventuresome spirit than a beer designed with the rugged individualist in mind?