New Belgium Dig Pale Ale

New Belgium Dig

New Belgium Dig: Spring in a bottle.

As you may be aware, today was a pretty important day. This morning, at 7:28, our favorite prognosticating marmot, Punxatawney Phil (speaking through his interpreter, a gentleman dressed like Abraham Lincoln), foretold an early spring. Though the National Climatic Data Center asserts that Phil’s predicative accuracy is minimal, I’m about as inclined to trust a subterrestrial rodent as I am the average television meteorologist, so this is very exciting news.

To assess the imminent arrival of spring, I took my snowshoes out for a jaunt around Lake Mendota. After verifying that spring had not yet made an appearance, and that swimming conditions are not currently ideal, I returned home to pursue a more appropriate mode of celebration. New Belgium’s recently-released spring seasonal, Dig Pale Ale, seemed an appropriate choice for the occasion.

On location at New Belgium in 2010.

On location at New Belgium in 2010.

While pretentious types argue that Fort Collins-based New Belgium has gotten too big for its own good, and that no self-respecting connoisseur would consider its products seriously as craft beers, I happen to adore the place and thoroughly enjoy many of its fine offerings (I am, in fact, wearing a New Belgium t-shirt at the moment). You may judge if wish, but I’ll continue to imbibe their delicious elixers, anyway.

Moving on to the beer, Dig is possibly my new favorite among New Belgium’s pale offerings. Aromas and flavors reminiscent of lemon, peach, mango, and other tropical fruits imparted by the Sorachi Ace and Nelson Sauvin hops are quite amazing, and a little roasted maltiness balances out the hops nicely. Those lively fruit flavors, combined with a light body and an exceptionally clean finish, make Dig an exceptional accomplice to the rodent-foretold spring. Even if Punxatawney Phil’s prediction proves faulty, Dig might be just the thing to keep us from from taking drastic measures as the dismal torment of winter wears on. The facts:

New Belgium Dig Pale Ale

Style: American Pale Ale
Availability: Seasonal (spring)
ABV: 5.6%
Hops: Target, Nelson Sauvin, Cascade, Nugget, Sorachi Ace
Notes: Strong aromas and flavors of lemon, peach and mango. Lighty body; very clean finish.
More Info:
My Take: Spring in a bottle.

Tallgrass 8-Bit Hop-Rocketed Pale Ale

Tallgrass 8-Bit APA: Tasty enough to melt a hop-hater's heart

allgrass 8-Bit APA: Tasty enough to melt a hop-hater’s heart

After yesterday’s Scotch Ale faux pas, I made sure to select a slightly lighter accompaniment to my GRE study session this time around. A Tallgrass 8-Bit APA that has been taunting me all week fit the bill perfectly. Typically, pale ales don’t excite me, but 8-Bit’s charming can art tugged at my little geekling heartstrings. A brilliant marketing scheme on the part of Tallgrass, an 8-bit rocketship graphic was all it took to get a pale ale into this hop-hater’s cart.

My questionable weakness for cute can art aside, I’m glad that 8-Bit found its way into my fridge. This “hop-rocketed” APA from Manhattan, KS based Tallgrass Brewing was superb. I expected a harsh bite on the front end, but was instead pleasantly surprised by complex fruity and yeasty flavors, which gave way to a gentle wave of bitterness. The finish was clean, without the lingering notes of floor cleaner that I find so unpalatable in most pales ales. The goods:

Tallgrass Brewing Co. 8-Bit Hop-Rocketed IPA

Style: American Pale Ale
Availability: Year-round
ABV: 5.2%
Hops: Magnum, Centennial, Cascade, Galaxy
Notes: Yeasty, fruity notes at the front give way to a pleasant wave of bitterness. A superb pale ale.
More Info:
My Take: Tasty enough to melt this hop-hater’s cold, cruel heart. Bonus points for the cute can.