Our third of seven posts in honor of Tacoma Tastes Washington Beers Week hosted by The Red Hot and The Parkway Tavern
I’d kick this thing off with an allusion to Big Gay Al’s Big Gay Animal Sanctuary, but any reference to South Park would just be too low brow for our audience. C’mon, what kind of digital rag mag is this? Big Al is actually Alejandro “Big Al” Brown, the president and head brewer of Big Al Brewing, and he is most definitely not wearing a neckerchief in the photos I’ve seen of him. Though someone should really bring the neckerchief back.
Big Al serves up six year-round brews and a couple seasonals from his South Seattle brewery. Distribution is to the greater Seattle area, and you can find Big Al in several Tacoma hangouts. The beer on tap at The Red Hot is Papa Charlie’s Pale, and judging by this flavor snapshot of Charlie, he liked to live the quiet life. Here’s the breakdown from the Big Al site:
Papa Charlie’s Pale Ale: A clean, enjoyable NW-style Pale Ale with herbal, spicy, and citrus-fruit hop flavors. Named in honor of Charles McElevy, the man who brought Craft Brewing to White Center.
Ingredients: Malt = Pale, Crystal 80L, Victory.
Hops = Nugget, Sterling, and Cascade.
Yeast = Wyeast 1084 Irish Ale
Specs: ABV = 4.2% O.G. = 1.047/11.7P IBU = 39
The IBU on this is 39, which is actually pretty standard (if you would like a comparison Sierra Nevada’s Pale is 37), but the bitterness seems a touch low. Maybe it’s the hop selection or portioning, or maybe this was an off batch…didn’t catch any of the spicy citrus, and just a touch of the herbal. Maybe Charlie is a tea drinker? The malts are standard too, but aren’t giving the beer enough body to make up for the hops’ shortcomings. A bit tangy, a bit sweet, but no personality.
Sorry Al. At least the Hop Villain seasonal looks intriguing!
*****Big Al http://www.bigalbrewing.com