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The Beer Friends write, review, and discuss Craft Beer as fans instead of experts.  They share their unique voice and affinity for craft beer through multiple platforms and offer a range of media to join their craft beer conversation.



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Filtering by Tag: Dale's Pale Ale

BFF4 Round 4: #elite8

Beerfriend Paul

After a bit of a hiatus, we are back to finish the 2013 Beer Friends Final 4! We have 3 rounds left to go, this round will decide which beer wins each region and moves on to the Final Four!

If you need some help deciding you can click on the links to each video for our “expert” opinion. If you’d like to tell us why one of these beers should win over the other you can tweet us @thebeerfriends or find us on Facebook. it won’t help that beer win any but we’ll enjoy it.


#1 vs #2

In a craft beer culture that is still very hop heavy, this final match up in the East Region we have two brews that are famous for something other than hops..  Cigar City Maduro Brown is a "Northern English style Brown Ale" that is very malt heavy creating a very deep complex brown ale that brings a sweet subtle flavor to a deep dark beer.  Poor Richard's Tavern Spruce comes from Yards Brewing Company and brings the great history of American brewing to present day. Made from an old recipe by Ben Franklin, this brew brings the style of a spruce ale to present day while preserving the history of our forefather's brewing style.

[polldaddy poll=7052608]


#1 vs #10

After facing brews from Founder's in every round of this tournament so far, Left Hand Milk Stout faces its biggest challenge yet.   Founder's Curmudgeon's Better Half Brings the flavor of Founder's Curmudgeon and adds the innovation of Founder's Canadian Breakfast Stout.  Aged in maple syrup bourbon barrels, Curmudgeon's Better Half adds a boozy sweetness to this already delicious Old Ale, it's a big beer with a big flavor. The question is will it be enough for Founder's Brewing to finally overthrow Left Hand's Milk Stout?

[polldaddy poll=7052609]


#1 vs #6

This match up has come down to two brews that are famous for their similarities, hops and cans.  However, what sets them apart will surely be where you cast your vote.  First we have Oscar Blues Dales Pale Ale which brings a nice 6.5 abv with its 65 IBU's, this brew brings a strong hop flavor to this dangerously drinkable pale ale.  On the other side of this bracket we have 21st Amendment Bitter American.  With it's 4.4 abv and 42 IBU's 21st Amendment brings a brew that is mellow in comparison but doesn't sacrifice any of the flavor.  Will the popular hoppy pale ale take this round, or will the tasty session ale be the one to move on?

[polldaddy poll=7052610]


#4 vs #10

This is the battle of fresh hops vs wet hops! The concept of fresh/wet hops is similar, but there is a difference; there is a great explanation of it on Sierra Nevada's website. Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Hop Harvest (2011) brings us fresh hops from New Zealand.  Basic run down of fresh hops (if you don't know) is the hops are picked, then dried, and then put into the brew within 7 days. Sixpoint Autumnation brings the wet hops which are hops that are undried, in their natural form, and put into the brew within 24 hours. Which of these hopping styles will be victorious and lead their brew to the #final4?

[polldaddy poll=7052611]

BFF4 Round 3: #Sweet16 Part 2

Beerfriend Paul

Today we finish up the second half of Round 3! Voting goes thorough the weekend, Round 4 to start Monday! If you need some help deciding you can click on the links to each video for our “expert” opinion. If you’d like to tell us why one of these beers should win over the other you can tweet us @thebeerfriends or find us on Facebook. it won’t help that beer win any but we’ll enjoy it.


#1 vs #5

In this battle of Colorado we have 2 beers that are aggressive when it comes to hops.  Oscar Blues Dales Pale Ale has been a trailblazer in the craft beer community for a long time; this well hopped pale ale was America's first hand-canned craft beer, and even though it calls itself a pale ale it packs a much larger punch.  It has its work cut out for it as it goes up against Breckenridge 471 Small Batch IPA.  This 9.2 abv double IPA packs in the hops and claims to bring "big sweet mouthfeel, followed by more hoppiness than you've ever had." This is a match up the hop heads should enjoy.

[polldaddy poll=7022798]

#6 vs #15

21st Amendment Bitter American is an "extra pale session ale" that brings a flavor you would expect form a much heavier brew.  It goes up against New Belgium 1554 which is an "enlightened black ale." Coming out in 1999, 1554 sets the bar for the newer fad of black beers that have come out the past few years.

[polldaddy poll=7022792]


#1 vs #4

Lagunitas Censored Rich Copper ale brings the smooth malty flavor of this deep red ale to battle against the fresh hops of Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Hop Harvest (2011). These very different styles bring very different flavors to this battle of California.

[polldaddy poll=7022788]

#6 vs #10

This battle of East vs West gives us two brews meant for the last 3 months of the year.  Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye is a spicy darker IPA that was brewed for the cooler months later in the year. Sixpoint Autumnation is a harvest ale in the truest sense of the style.  Here we have a beer brewed with pumpkin and spice that help frame the main attraction in this beer, the fresh harvested "wet hops." Each year Sixpoint chooses a different strain of hops for this ale, The Beer Friends reviewed the 2011 version.

[polldaddy poll=7022781]

Beer Review 85: Founders Dry-Hopped Pale Ale


Hello Beer Friends Nation! Today we return to Founders to continue reviewing their excellent line of delicious brews.  This week it's Dry-Hopped Pale Ale which is a aggressively hopped pale ale much like Dale's Pale Ale but with a different flavor.  This week we are also introducing the Beer Friends Home Game - grab one of the beers we're reviewing and drink it and post your thoughts below... want extra credit?  Grab Dale's Pale Ale and make a comparison review.  Founders!  Grand Rapids!  Home Game!


BFF4 Second Round - Brad's Bracket


Hello Beer Friends Nation! Dreams are broken and the strong move on... who ever thought the Rocky Mountain IPA had a chance against Breakfast Stout or (the biggest upset) Great Divide Yeti Imperial Stout over Bristol's Laughing Lab, not to worry Bristol fans - Mass Transit pulled through over the strong year-round available Founder's Porter.  Can Yeti continue it's run?  can Bell's pull through as the two seed continuing to a 1 vs 2 match-up?  Vote and decide!

The 1 vs 8 match up has last year's winner Fat Tire advancing to play 471 Small Batch IPA from Breckenridge Brewery.  This is Breckenridge's first year in the BFF4 and they had a strong showing... can they be a Butler and bring down the #1 seed?

[polldaddy poll=4779265]

The 5 vs 13 includes the biggest winner in the Colorado/Michigan bracket vs the upset minded Equinox Brewery Nova Pale Ale who squeezed by Odell's - Cutthroat Porter (even on nitro pour?  Nova must have a big following...).  Can the magic continue?  Or do they become like Villanova and get bounced from the tourney?

[polldaddy poll=4779279]

The 6 vs 3 matchup features no surprises - Oskar Blue's Dales Pale Ale vs Founders Breakfast Stout.  Both are strong and excellent examples of a well crafted beer... Both are in my favorite go-to beers... I'm so torn!

[polldaddy poll=4779305]

The 7 vs 2 match up features the ever popular Bell's Oberion vs the little known (and well liked) Bristol Mass Transit.   These are two lighter beers going head to head so expect a high scoring affair.

[polldaddy poll=4779423]

BFF4 - Brad Bracket First Round


Hello Beer Friends Nation! It's that time of year where EVERYONE is swept up in the madness... yes - Beer Friends Final Four Beer Bracket is BACK!

Forget Louisville in the First Round and bubble teams, we're talking ales in the First Round and drinking the suds...

This year we (kinda) followed a regional bracket match up instead of the style like last year.

Brad's Bracket includes beers from Colorado and the Michigan area (somehow Great Lakes snuck in there...).  Vote your favorite brew through and pick that Cinderella team, sorry, stout.  Pick the winner and hold it over your friends heads until the next year (Brooklyn's Dark Matter anyone?) Beer!  Voting!

The 1 vs 16 match up pits Last Years winner, New Belgium's Fat Tire against a stout from Boulder - Avery's Out of Bounds Stout.  The Out of Bounds was delicious when infused with coffee, but Fat Tire seems like the fan favorite - should be interesting.  See more of this entry for voting!

[polldaddy poll=4748425]

The 8 vs 9 match up has Breckenridge Breweries 471 Small Batch IPA against Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter.  This is a interesting choice because Edmund Fitzgerald is a multiple award winner - but the selection committee always gets a few wrong (they failed the "eye" test?)

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The 5 vs 12 match up sees Great Divide Yeti Imperial Stout against Bristol Laughing Lab.  This is a Colorado knock down drag out... Yeti is known all over the US and Laughing Lab all over Colorado - both delicious beers - I'm guessing multiple overtimes.

[polldaddy poll=4748434]

The 4 vs 13 match has upset special all over it.  Odell Cutthroat Porter against the ultimate mid-major in Equinox Nova Pale Ale.  These two breweries are miles apart (if even a mile) but the beers couldn't be different.  Dick Vitale is watching this one as a "upset special!"

[polldaddy poll=4748439]

The 6 vs 11 match up has another two close breweries duking it out.  Oskar Blues Dale's Pale Ale against Boulder Beer Companies Cold Hop.  Both beers are available all over the US, but only one beer became available at my local grocery store which puts their RPI in the 20's!

[polldaddy poll=4748452]

The 3 vs 14 match up is another mismatch.  Founders Breakfast Stout against Fort Collins Brewery Rocky Mountain IPA.  While Rocky Mountain IPA is a great beer, Breakfast Stout is built to win.

[polldaddy poll=4748457]

The 7 vs 10 match up could go either way.  Two completely different beer styles in Bristol's Mass Transit against Founder's Porter - but great brews in their own rights.  Will the up-tempo smooth play of Mass Transit triumph over the slow down pace of Founder's Porter?

[polldaddy poll=4748466]

The 2 vs 15 match up could be another upset special.  Bell's Oberion vs Ska Brewing Company Pinstripe Ale.  Oberion is a summer time favorite but Ska is quickly moving up the popular breweries ladder.  With Ska Brewing Company now available in cans... will this be enough for the 15 over 2 upset?

[polldaddy poll=4748468]

Featured Brewery: Oskar Blues Brewery


Hello Beer Friends Nation! Recently the trend in craft brewing has been cans instead of bottles.  Open Can at Oskar BluesThis is a point of high contention amongst the Beer Friends and we have a 6 month running conversation about why switch to cans, why not start with cans, whats the stereotype/stigma behind cans, etc... While in Colorado we visited one of the leaders in the Craft Can Beer revolution, Oskar Blues, then hung out, took a tour and gained more ammo for the Cans vs Bottles conversation. Now Oskar Blues produces some pretty high quality beers - here is the Beer Friends take on same:

Dale's Pale Ale CansDale's Pale Ale: Although one Beer Friend used to be against this beer, he has come around in full force.  Pale Ale can be a bit drab and focused on the plainness of the taste.  However in our brewery travels we have found some high quality Pale Ale's and Dale's Pale Ale fits perfectly in this high quality pale ale category.  The amount of hops used seems to make it a stretch that this is a true "pale ale", but we're going by what's listed on the can!

Ten Fidy Imperial Stout: If any beer is strange to drink from a can it's a stout.  Even the Guinness in a can you need to pour into a glass for the widget to create and manage the head.  The Ten Fidy is a pretty decent stout and even has a few awards under it's belt (including the Gold Medal in the 2010 World Beer Championships).

Gubna Imperial IPA: At 10% ABV this Imperial IPA has a real kick from the can.  This has a 100 IBU rating but the citrus hops used hit the tongue at the beginning and calms the bitterness while the two other hops kick in, taking the taste buds on quite a ride.

The tour that the Oskar Blues staff gave us was one of my favorites while in Colorado.  We started in the tap room, which is located in a walled room without a ceiling, so that you are enjoying your beer among the sounds and smells of a working brewery.  After having a couple beers we were summoned to join the tour group.  The tour guide was very friendly and funny, putting entertaining spins on the usual information you get at a brewery, while also spilling some interesting Oskar Blues info and answering some interesting group questions on the brewing process of specific Oskar Blues Brews.

One of my favorite parts on the tour involved the canning part of Oskar Blue's operation.  Since all of Oskar Blue's brews come in cans, there isn't a bottling line in sight, only a canning line.  Canning has received some criticism in the craft brew world, but many breweries are starting to come around to the idea, with breweries like Oskar Blues leading the way.  The tour guide had some interesting arguments in support of cans including debunking the myth of aluminum taste (there's a silicate barrier inside the can preventing the beer and aluminum from ever touching), the ease and efficiency of recycling cans over bottles, the amount of light penetration that a can allows compared to the bottle (0% - eat that Sam Adams!) and the fact that if you enjoy draft beer, then you're already okay with cans...giant aluminum cans (kegs).

It was also interesting to watch the canning line at work.  The best part being when a not-totally-full can passes over a scale and is punched off the line, quite dramatically into a bin.  The almost-totally-full cans are then given to the tour group to drink.  I'll tell you what Oskar Blues, your brews are so good that I'd be down with being employed to take those cans off your hands permanently.  What'dya think?

All-in-all Oskar Blues was a great brewery to visit and tour.  They gave us some insights into things we knew little about and they gave us good free beer.  So don't be afraid of the can and head on over the next time your in their area!

The Oskar Blues Brewery is located at: 1800 Pike Road Longmont, CO 80501 [googlemaps,+Longmont,+CO&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=38.775203,87.714844&ie=UTF8&hq=Oskar+Blues+Brewery,&hnear=Longmont,+Boulder,+Colorado&ll=40.139003,-105.12201&spn=0.073223,0.171318&z=13&iwloc=A&cid=12299102076721962176&output=embed&w=425&h=350] The Tap Room Hours are: Monday - Friday: 3p - 8p Saturday and Sunday: 12p - 7p

Tours are held: Friday at 3:30, 4:30, and 5:30p and Saturday and Sunday at 2, 3, and 4p

Beer Review 31: Dale's Pale Ale


Hello Beer Friends Nation! The recap of the Colorado Brewery Tour 2010 continues!  This week we re-visit Longmont, Colorado - home of Left Hand AND Oskar Blues!  Longmont is a great stop on the brewery tour and Oskar Blues was so great, it changed one Beer Friends mind about them.

Dale's Pale Ale is our SPotW, a excellent hopped Pale Ale that ranks up there with the best.  Enjoy!


Colorado Brewery Trip 2010 Recap


Hello Beer Friends Nation! While one Beer Friend held down the fort in NYC, the other three travelled out to the Great (Brewery) State of Colorado for a look around.  Below is a brief recap of the days and breweries we hit.

August 12th -

Garden of the Gods

Phil, James (honorary BF this trip) and Brad arrive in Colorado Springs, quickly finding themselves standing in front of a liquor store cooler inspecting the new and interesting beers in the cooler.  Then a quick run around Garden of the Gods, in North-west Colorado Springs.  Then a drive to Denver to pick up Graham and back home for our first beers of the tour - an extension of Christmas in July/August with a New Belgium 2 Below and Odell's Isolation Ale to kick off the trip (beers remaining from my winter holiday trip home).

August 13th -

A beautiful drive to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park.  After taking some time to find a campsite (be sure to call ahead) we stop at our first brewery, Estes Park Brewery.  This small brewery  stays true to their roots, producing small batches to sell to local stores and supply their pub which is upstairs.  A few highlights were the Trail Ridge Red - also known as the Redrum Ale (playing off the famed Stanley Hotel in Estes Park - inspiration for the Steven King novel "The Shining") and the Estes Park Porter.  Then we headed into Fort Collins to check out Coopersmiths Pub and Brewing and Equinox Brewery a short walk away.  Equinox had a great feel - a bit of a coffee house vibe, it's a bar without any heels and no Coors Light on draft.  We enjoyed their sampler with six offerings - Sunrise Golden Ale, Vernal Hefeweizen, MidSummer Pale Ale, Orbit ESB, Zenith IPA, and the Sunset Stout.  All we very enjoyable but MidSummer Pale Ale was a favorite of these Beer Friends.  From there we headed to a favorite drinking hole - Old Chicago, had a few before returning to the forrest.

Rocky Mountain National Park

August 14th -

After waking up in Roosevelt National Forest, we pack the tents and head to Fort Collins to visit

Odell Brewery

Odell Brewing and New Belgium Brewery.  Odell had some fantastic stuff - including a Cutthroat Porter on Nitro and we played some board games, which turns into a theme this trip.  From Odell's we head to New Belgium to try to get on a tour, but on a Saturday afternoon we had no chance.  We decide to head to Oskar Blues Brewery in Longmont, Colorado before heading down to Denver for a Colorado Rockies game.  Oskar Blues was a great experience in visiting a brewery known for craft beers in cans.  Dale's Pale Ale is always delicious and no different here.

August 15th -

On Sunday we headed down to the Great Sand Dunes National Park.  A beautiful 4.5 hour drive from Colorado Springs, with a visit to San Luis Valley Brewing Company.  This was a very cool brewery built inside of a old bank building, using the thick layered vault as the cooler.  At the campsite we enjoyed some Ska Brewing Company, Breckenridge Brewery and Bridgeport Brewery beers.

Great Sand Dunes Nat'l Park

August 16th -

The Beer Friends jumped in the car again and drive through Pike National Forest on route to Denver.  In

Great Divide

Denver we checked out Great Divide Brewery, Breckenridge Brewery Pubhouse, and Wynkoop Brewery before checking out a different Old Chicago which every one has a unique selection of beers on draft.

August 17th -

After a early start we head up through the town of Breckenridge on our way to Mount Evans, home of the highest paved road in America.  After coming off the mountain, we visited Dostal Alley Brewpub in Central City, Colorado before heading to Lefthand Brewing Company in Longmont, Colorado.

Mt Evans

August 18th -

After a tearful goodbye to Phil, Brad and Graham head up to Fort Collins again for their scheduled tour of

New Belgium Brewery

New Belgium.  Before New Belgium we stopped at Fort Collins Brewery which was moving into a beautiful new facility, but alas not open for business.  Right down the road was ODell Brewery and we stopped in for another taste and tour, including exciting news of Odell's shipping beer to England starting in September!  Lucky Brits!  After a long and very informative tour of New Belgium (including four different beer tastings!) we stop in to Equinox Brewery for a game of Candyland, and - since we were there - a beer.  Then into Rocky Mountain Nat'l Park for another night under the stars.

August 19th -

Tents packed and campsite cleaned, the Beer Friends head down to Boulder with a quick stop off in Lyons to check out the original Oskar Blues location.  Once in Boulder we head to the Boulder Brewing Company and then to Avery Brewing Company - with highlights of Cold Hop (at Boulder Brewing) and Out of Bounds Stout small batch with a coffee kick.  Then we drove and wondered around Red Rocks and Garden of the Gods before heading to our last brewery, Bristol Brewing Company.

Overall an excellent time had by all and look forward to Colorado Breweries becoming our Breweries of the Week!