New Belgium Hoptober Golden Ale Review

New Belgium Hoptober Golden AleGolden Ale [Type 17] 6% ABV

Hoptober is like a harvest in a bottle. New Belgium mixed in five hops and four malts to great this Fall seasonal brew. As the name implies, this is a hoppy beer, but it is not an IPA. The hop flavors predominate the beer's profile. The malts aren't absent, just hiding.

Pours a beautiful golden color with a white head.


A pretty good seasonal beer. I like it because many Fall beers are so malty and heavy that this beer is a nice contrast. The Magistra still prefers pumpkin beers tho.

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Flagstaff BrewHaHa

Tonight we went to a new beer festival in Flagstaff. Like the summer Sun Sounds beer festival, this benefits charity, in this case Habitat for Humanity. It was well done, with the exception of the food. The food was included in the cost of the tickets, but the quantity was such that there was never enough. However, this festival was delightfully understated. There were never crowds inside the conference center, or long lines to get a taste of beer. The tasters were 100 mL, which is more than enough beer for me. 15 tastes were included in the price of admission. Hopefully this festival will continue in Flagstaff. Now on to the beer!

I started with Fat Tire's La Folie sour brown. I have had this beer before, so I knew I liked it.

Next was Velvet Merlin from Firestone Walker. It used to be called Velvet Merkin, but it was considered too offensive. This is an oatmeal stout [Type 49]. 5.5% ABV. It is very creamy, but has a nuttiness like their Double Barrel Ale.

Then I had San Tan Brewery's Devil's Ale. This is an American Pale Ale [Type 17]. 5.5% ABV. A nice even pale ale.

Blue Moon had their spring seasonal, Rising Moon. This is a light amber ale. [Type 44] 5.4% ABV It looks and tastes like a light lager, but with a bit more body.

There were a great many beers sampled, including:

Barrio Ben's IPA

Deschutes Greenlakes Organic

Powder Hound Winter Ale

Stone Russian Imperial Stout

Stone Arrogant Bastard

Levity Amber

Oak Creek King Crimson

Sierra Blanca Alien Amber

Beer Club August 2010

Pale Ales

LineupPintThe pale ale isn't necessarily pale, it is called so in distinction with the porter, the other common style in England. The use of malts with less color makes the pale ale less dark than a porter, but usually darker than a pilsner.

As an ale, they are made with top-fermenting yeast. The style originated in Burton-upon-Trent, a city known for its hard water. The preeminent pale ale from Burton-upon-Trent is Bass. The minerals in the water gave the beer its flavor, and later a process known as Burtonization was developed to allow for the same flavors in beer brewed in other locations.


Oak Creek Pale Ale

An American Pale Ale [Type 17], which tends to be maltier and much hoppier than the English Pale Ales, Oak Creek Pale Ale is amber colored, with a significant piney hop taste. 5.5% ABV. 3 beers.

Reaper Deathly Pale Ale

Dark orange, and a little hazy. Has a sour, Belgian finish. Surprisingly sweet for a pale ale. 6.2% ABV. 4 beers.

Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale

This is my favorite of the bunch. It is an old school English Pale Ale [Type 10], more like a porter because of the cocoa flavors from the malt. Very drinkable beer. 5.0% ABV, 2 beers.

Poleeko Gold Pale Ale

A California beer, it is strong on the hops, with a smell like stale beer. 5.5% ABV, 5 beers.

Four Peaks 8th Street Ale

An Arizona classic, 8th Street Ale is the flagship brew from Four Peaks. It is citrusy, something I had never noticed before. As a milder Pale Ale, it is considered an English [Type 10]. It has a bit of a soapy finish. 4.5% ABV, 3 beers.

Boddington's Pub Ale

Boddington's Pub AleA traditional pub ale, Boddington's is clear and smooth, the kind of beer you can just keep on drinking all day. We had the can with the nitrogen capsule, so it had a nice creamy head on it. Light in color and flavor, goes down easy. 4.7% ABV, 2 beers.

Mirror Pond Pale Ale

Another moderately hopped pale ale. 5.0% ABV

Nimbus Pale Ale

Nimbus is a very pale pale ale. Light on color and flavor. 5.5% ABV

Ballast Point Yellowtail Pale Ale

A bit of a blended style, Ballast Point Yellowtail is an ale that is lagered. It is a Kölsch [Type 55] more than a pale ale, but they label it as the latter. Very sweet, I don't think I could drink too many. 4.6% ABV, 5 beers.

Rogue Juniper Pale Ale

I couldn't really taste the juniper, but that may not be the beer's fault at this point in the evening.

Two Hearted Ale

A couple of IPAs snuck in at the end, which is okay since in this part of the queue you aren't all that selective anymore, and the IPA hops cannot affect the more delicate flavors of the earlier beers.

I reviewed Two Hearted Ale in January of 2010.

Modus Hoperandi

OMG! That is hoppy! This is a quote, and everyone insisted I write down what I said, so there it is. Modus Hoperandi is one of those punch you in the face kinds of IPAs. It has an intense hop aroma and equally intense flavor. 6.8% ABV, 4 beers.

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