Bale Breaker Field 41 Pale Ale: An Amateurish Beer Review

in #beer4 years ago

Have I mentioned that hops are kind of a big deal for microbreweries in the northwest?

Bale Breaker Brewing Company is located near Yakima, Washington. This particular brew, Field 41 Pale Ale, is apparently named for the hops field where the company is located. I am drinking from a can like the one shown in the image to the right, and like their page says, this is a hoppy ale.

Immediately on popping the tab, I caught a grass and citrus scent. The taste is bitter-sour up front, but there's a touch of sweetness in the aftertaste. Apparently it's won a lot of awards and rave reviews, but it just doesn't seem to be to my taste. As is often the case with microbreweries, they seem to have decided to add extra hops to be "unique," just like everyone else around here. It's not bad, but I don't think it's really good, either. I think I need a few more points of reference before I can make a conclusive judgement, but for now, I would choose something else for a pale ale fix.

As always, your mileage may vary. If you like IPA, but want a lower ABV, this 4.5% offering may work for you. It's also definitely a step up from any canned macrobrew, but it will be a shock if your beer palate has thus far been limited to just Bud, Miller, or Coors.


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I've been drinking beer for a couple decades now, and I'm certainly not limited to your stereotypical American watery 'lite' beer. Although I've been known to imbibe quite a lot of that stuff on occasion too. I like stouts, porters, browns, nut browns, ambers, reds, blondes, wheats and more. But I can't stand the IPAs that everybody's been so crazy about for the last 10 years or so. I think they taste like aspirin, and now those super-hoppy flavors have been flooding into my beloved brown ales, probably my favorite kind of beer along with everything else I listed above. Brewers need to give this ultra hops thing a rest. I have no idea why anyone would like them, and I'm suspicious that most of the people who drink them don't either.

Moose Drool Brown Ale isn't bad. I like Redhook ESB, too. And Iron Horse Irish Death is a nice oddity that's a bit hard to classify.

I have never tried a microbrew in a can.

Of all the pale ales I have sampled, I preferred the least hoppy of them all, Bass.

Mebbe you'll like it too.

Personally, I couldn't agree more regarding hops. While a bit of bitter is necessary to focus the mind on the other flavors present, it is all too common for (particularly young) breweries to think they're kicking the flavor up a notch while they're actually drowning it in hops.

As for ABV, I have not yet found a beer that exceeds my desired level. I've tried some belgian wheat beers with alcohol content in excess of 17%, and I could stand more.

I like wheat beer, too. Basically tasty alcohol you need to eat with a spoon, it's my second favorite, just ahead of Irish stouts, and just behind Bass Pale Ale.

Belgium and Germany especially revel in good beer.

Some beers need extra hops for the proper character. Pale ales are not among them.

I do tend to prefer stouts and porters myself, too.


I wonder why no hipster microbreweries have pitched cans as "personal kegs" yet? Maybe they have and I missed it.